21.05.2000 | Sergiy Fedorynchik, Kyiv

The demonstration on Independence Square


On 25 April 1999 on Independence Square and on Khreshchatik Street a demonstration was held under the motto ‘No to nuclear adventure, no to violation of citizens’ rights!’ The demonstration was organized by various ecological NGOs, by the ‘Spadshchina’ club and by the Kyivan Rada of citizens’ unions.

The goal of the demonstration was to attract the attention of Kyivans to the fact that Kyiv City Rada since November 1998 has been dodging from organizing public hearings about the closure of Chernobyl atomic station and additional construction of reactors at Khmelnitskaya and Rivnenskaya atomic stations. As to the latter project, it is illegal since no ecological expertise has been made. The reaction of the local authorities to the demonstration was swift. The staircase to the City Rada was occupied by the municipal orchestra in red coats. On the one hand, the appearance of musicians greatly increased the audience. On the other hand, the speakers could address the audience only during short intervals between musical pieces. Some people compared this to a new variant of jamming, with which we came across in the Soviet times, while trying to listen to the ‘enemies’ voices’. Other people compared it with the sinking of ‘the Titanic’ during which the orchestra played to the last moment. The mixture of merry melodies with funeral speeches did not seem to puzzle the audience.

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