First December Initiative condemns “language” coup in parliament


Members of the First December Initiative write that it is with deep concern that they are turning to the Ukrainian public and to each Ukrainian citizen regardless of his or her origin, language, faith or views.

“On 3 July 2012 an anti-constitutional “language” coup took place in the Verkhovna Rada.  There is no other way for an honest person wishing to express their unbiased view to describe it.

The content of the “language” draft bill voted on is an example of false legislating which does not resolve any fundamental language problem in Ukraine; does not concern itself with the language needs of national communities; but instead uses some Russian-speaking Ukrainians to divide Ukraine, for civil confronation and dissent.

The way the “language” draft bill was passed demonstrates the catastrophic state of Ukrainian parliamentarianism and staggering degradation of parliamentary tradition. Parliament has once and for all turned into a place for mindless button-pushing and has lost any public legitimacy.

In the eyes of the public the “language” draft bill was voted on in criminal fashion with cynical commentary from those involved in the criminal behaviour who feared neither their own crime, nor public condemnation.

A sense of personal honour and life experience give us, members of the First of December Initiative the right to make such assessments. We call on Ukrainian society to realize that the “language” coup of 3 July 2012 is directed against each of us since for the first time in Ukraine’s history a language border is being drawn between us. This is the outcome of an arrogant and malicious plan. It is an assault of Ukraine and on the unity of our people.

It is with regret and pain that we view the helplessness of all political forces and legislative insturcitons which should have deterred such a “language” coup.

In such circumstances defence lies with the people and each honest person and it matters not at all which language they communicate in.

The “language” draft bill passed is about conspiracy, , lies and a crime. Our conscience does not allow us to accept such a law and to see it as a legitimate decision of Ukraine’s parliament.  The document is part of a tradition of Ukrainophobia and will never be a part of the national political and legal life of our country.

We believe that there needs to be contemporary, clear, unambiguous and just language legislation which will be the spur towards development of the Ukrainian State language and will give proper protection to all national communities. The formation of such legislation is not a task for political swindlers and criminals, but for all Ukrainian political forces which must find the strength and wisdom to draw up the necessary legislative intiatives in a way which is open and honest before the people.

We do not accept the “language” coup.

We condemn the criminals who have done this against both the law and morality. We expect the President of Ukraine, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, in recognition of the possible dangers, to use their powers to prevent the entry of the document voted on into formal effect.

At the same time we call on all political and civic forces in the country to lodge civil appeals against the 3 July decision.

We call on each Ukrainian citizen to express his or her protest and condemnation. Defence of the Ukrainian language is the symbol of the defence of our statehood. We call all honest people in Ukraine to action – to make their personal Ukrainian language choice, buy Ukrainian books and journalists, support cinema in Ukraine, television, culture. From now on this is not only about which language, but a moral choice.

We should remember that both Ukrainian and Russian speaking citizens are lawful citizens of our country and must not be the objects of tension. The prerequisite for their civilized co-existence is mutual solidarity which will make artificial polarization of society, playing one group off against others, impossible.

Today the object of attack is the Ukrainian language and we therefore stand in its defence since only in this way will we defend ourselves from hirelings who want to sell the free future of our country, our people, our children and grandchildren.

Vyacheslav Brykhovetsky

Ivan Dziuba

Semyon Gluzman

Bohdan Havrylyshyn

Volodymyr Horbulin

Cardinal Lyubomir Huzar

Myroslav Marynovych

Myroslav Popovych

Vadim Skurativsky

Yevhen Sverstyuk

Ihor Yukhnovsky

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