Freedom Day with Regions Party “Accompaniment” and Riot Police Vans


The People:  All to revolution for rihts and power

People gathered on Tuesday, 22 November, to mark the seventh anniversary of the Orange Revolution – Freedom Day – in two places in Kyiv. A demonstration was held outside the Lukyanivsk SIZO [detention centre] where two of the leaders of the Orange Revolution - Yulia Tymoshenko and Yury Lutsenko – are being held.

And, in spite of a court ban, around two thousand people gathered on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square. However there was effectively no meeting as such since speeches were drowned out by the music and statement by Regions Party member Oleh Kalashnikov (the former MP whose attack on two journalists outside the Verkhovna Rada in 2008 led to vehement journalist protest, but no prosecution).  There were about 100 people with Kalashnikov under police guard on Maidan.

At 1 p.m. the police prevented MP Andriy Parubiy from erecting a symbolic orange tent on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. A police special unit simply formed a tight cordon around the opposition deputy. Mr Parubiy said that the police had told him that this event was prohibited. “This is the panic-stricken fear felt by the regime of Maidan [the word has come to symbolize the mass peaceful protest in autumn 2004 – translator). What the police are doing is pure idiocy.”

Andriy Parubiy has deputy immunity, however several members of the event had administrative offence protocols drawn up against them for going against the court ban on protests on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. They have received summons to the Shevchenkivsky District Court. The police officer who drew up the protocol declined to say how many people were being charged with administrative offences.

There were also a large number of people who came to show solidarity with the imprisoned former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko and former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Lutsenko, both held at the  Lukyanivsk SIZO. Another opposition politician, Arseny Yatsenyuk called on those present to fight for the release of political prisoners and for freedom.

Later in the evening, Interfax Ukraine reported scuffles between demonstrators and the police. 

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