Day of Rage not allowed
The police claim that the protest in Kyiv outside the Verkhovna Rada which was entitled “Day of Rage” and supposed to be indefinite was banned by the court. The protest organizers assert that Ukrainians have the right to peaceful protest.
According to the latest reports, the organizer of “Day of Rage”, Oeksandr Danylyuk has been detained by the police. According to the Press Service of “Common Matter”, the organization he heads, he is accused of continuing a protest action banned by the court.
Earlier in the day there was a scuffle between protesters and Special Force Berkut officers after the protesters tried to set up tents for the protest in Mariyinsky Part which spans the length of parliament and is near the Cabinet of Ministers’ building.
Several protesters were detained (according to reports, five). They were all held in a police van and only began being released after protocols of administrative offences were drawn up.
The police say that all those who had protocols made up will be taken to court, and claim that “their actions are on the border between hooliganism and disobeying police officers”.
One police officer was also injured in the scuffle.
In the early morning protesters – according to different estimates – between 500 and 1, 000 – began gathering to take part in the protest organized by the Civic Movement of Ukraine, Common Matter, Opir [Resistance] and the political party Front for Change. The protesters who demanded the resignation of the President, parliament and Cabinet of Ministers , as well as the revoking of the new Tax Code, also included deputies from BYuT and Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence. In the districts adjoining the park some people alleged that the police had prevented them from joining the protest. More than 10 police vans were stationed around the park, and according to spokesman from the Kyiv police, V. Polishchuk, 1400 police officers were deployed.
Polishchuk said that the number of officers was because the protest organizers had spoken of 135 thousand protesters. He also noted that the protest had been banned on Friday by the District Administrative Court in Kyiv. However, Polishchuk added, the police would not be dispersing the rally using force, but would document the violation of the court ruling by protesters and pass these documents to the Prosecutor’s office.
“There are several groups documenting and investigative-operational groups who will record any violations, if they occur. At present no wide-scale infringements of public order have been observed. There are infringements of the court ruling”.
The Prosecutor’s office has already stated that it will carefully study all material.
The leader of Common Matter, Oleksandr Danylyuk says that the rally is a meeting between deputy Yury Hrymchak and voters which is entirely legal.
“This action is entirely lawful. There is no ban on a number of applications, yet the police are now obstructing people from taking part in these peaceful gatherings, are not letting people into the park. There are illegal searches and the removal of tents and sleeping bag”, Mr Danylyuk asserted. He also stated that the police were pulling people out of the crowd without giving any reason for the detention.
There was a several thousand-strong protest in Kharkiv which passed without incident.
The organizers are calling on supporters to continue the protest on Sunday.
According to the latest survey by the Ukrainian Institute of Social Research, together with the Academy of Sciences Institute of Economics and Forecasting, 84% of those asked believe that representatives of the authorities are indifferent to ordinary citizens. Every third respondent said that the Ukrainian authorities aroused irritation in them, or indifference. 45% expected their own future to get worse, and for 13.5% the future looks “much worse” than a year ago.