From the Network “OPORA” on the Second Anniversary of the Orange Revolution
Two years have passed since the Orange Revolution. Each person who took part in those tempestuous days will remember the experiences and impressions of those first days of that All-Ukrainian peaceful act of disobedience before the vertical of the Kuchma regime and a criminal system.
Two years ago activists of the civic campaign “PORA!” organized student strikes throughout Ukraine, general Ukrainian mobilization and awareness-raising campaigns, direct action campaigns, etc. 384 of our activists were detained over half a years activities even before the elections, searches were constantly carried out in regional offices and printed material removed. All students were under threat of expulsion from their institutes. Some of the activists have still not had their criminal record cancelled. Despite all of this, we continued our actions.
From 2005 the organization underwent restructuring and changed its name. We consciously distanced ourselves from those who hoped to gain political mileage from the revolutionary brand, consciously moved away from the past for the sake of the future.
Two years ago the Ukrainian people ceased to be a bland, docile and controllable blob. The entire world held its breath and each day followed the events unfolding in the heart of Ukraine. We became a nation with its own dignity, pride and self-respect and ready to uphold this. Our land had never before known such a festival of the spirit of the Ukrainian people. Each of us understood that we were not alone within the four walls of a concrete apartment, but the maker of our own history, and responsible citizens. No politicians believed that this could happen. No one anticipated that the people without enticement or coercion could be stirred to such great steps. Yet Ukrainians believed in the ideals of self-identification and non-violent defence of their rights, freedoms and personal dignity.
No participant in that non-violent resistance has the right to apathy, disillusionment or depression because the ideals cannot be destroyed by the actions or omissions of individual politicians. It is convenient for any regime when its people are passive and silent, yet such a state is impossible for Ukrainians. The legend about the fight between the knight and the dragon says that by killing the latter, the knight himself turns into a monster. Therefore each responsible citizen of Ukraine must remember that it is up to him or her whether there is true metamorphosis of the political figures of the present day.
Today we must remember what it all began with and how the events of 2004 changed each of us. Those changes were for the better and we must be proud that we will have that to tell our children.