Police stop people entering Independence Square from eve of Orange anniversary
A correspondent from Gazeta.ua. reports that on the eve of 22 November, the anniversary of the Orange Revolution, Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] has been completely cordoned off from the metro exit. There are also extra police units, and two cars with Berkut riot police, and several patrol cars.
People are not being allowed beyond the fencing, and people arriving there have to content themselves with having photographs taken outside the Main Post Office.
Passers-by say to each other that Maidan, which was the centre of the revolutionary events in 2004 will remain closed until the end of November. They link it with the anniversary of the Orange Revolution and believe that the authorities are afraid.
As reported, on 18 November the Kyiv District Administrative Court allowed an application by the Head of the Kyiv City State Administration to ban meetings planned on Maidan Nezalezhnosti to mark the seventh anniversary of the Orange Revolution on 22 November. The application was apparently made on the request of police. The blog site Maidan 2011 provides scanned copies of the rulings and the police request. Head of the Kyiv Central Police Department, O. Krykun justifies the call for a ban not only on the “high likelihood of confrontation” between different organizations, but also conflict between those gathered and police units “which could lead to a sharp escalation of the political situation”.
It was also reported during Monday evening, that in the subway under Maidant Berkut officers had attacked young people filming a feature on the anniversary of the Orange Revolution. The report said that they had tried to take the equipment away, and had beaten one young man, and taken documents from the young women. At the time the report was given, the young people were sitting on Maidan waiting for the police unit in order to have a protocol drawn up.