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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Maidan 2: Better Than Expected, to Be Continued

The spring sequel to the Orange Revolution came out clean and drew an audience that approached the early days of the winter 2004-05 protests. The mode was different: no sit-ins or tents — just the people and the stage. And yet the mood was very much the same: we came together again and we were as one.

Only this time, we Kyivites made it our mission to be there right from the start. We supplied the lion’s share of the audience. It was our way of saying hello to ChernoCo — the City Hall's pluto-kleptocratic practices — definitely a key mobilizing factor in Maidan 2. A mayor who challenges freedom of assembly in court is a mayor who fears his own people. Do we need that kind of mayor?

Main characters on stage: Tymoshenko of BYuT, Kyrylenko of NSNU, and Lutsenko of Narodna Samo’oborona.

Message to the people: “Yes, we’ve made mistakes and we don’t deserve your praise. But if we are to get this country back on the right track, we should act together.”

Message to the President: “Just do it!”

By that time, Yushchenko had already issued an ultimatum to the Coalition of National ImpUnity: “Stop party-shopping, give back what’s not yours or face disbandment.” (Technically speaking, this means that the so-called imperative mandate must be extended to the Verkhovna Rada on a retroactive basis.)

The Counter-Maidan, just a block away, was mostly attended by people shuttled in from eastern Ukraine. They broke camp in Maryinsky Park in front of the Cabinet building, where they plan to stay for two weeks.

Police behaved blamelessly and exhibited a hilarious sense of humor. Specifically, the MoI gives the following rally attendance estimates: Maidan 2, from 25 to 27 thousand; Counter-Maidan, from 30 to 35 thousand. Quite frankly, that’s one of the best April 1 jokes I’ve ever heard! Less humorous and more objective observers would have to admit that, at the very least, “we” outnumbered “them” 3 to 1.

The Coalition has promised to take their case to the Constitutional Court in the event the President disbands parliament. (It might also attempt procrastination techniques aimed at probing the staying power of Maidan 2, along with efforts to augment the Counter-Maidan.)

Despite no known incidents of violence or vandalism, “blood” is one of the most frequently used words in the VIP vocabulary of the Counter-Maidan. The message that decorates the stage reads: “A United Ukraine Is Our Future.” This may look a little bizarre considering the typical punch line in the speeches delivered there.
And here’s how it usually happens. A speaker mounts the stage, he or she starts talking stability, and, all of a sudden, there’s blood all over the place — “blood this” and “blood that.”

Dear Coalitionists of National ImpUnity, don’t you “blood” us! If blood is all you got on your mind, get on the plane and get out of the country. Take your scaremongering fantasy with you. We want none of your blood business.

The situation will clear up in the next 72 hours. But even before it does, it’s already clear that settling on the imperative mandate as a compromise measure is a surefire road to disaster. By giving Yanukovych and his con artists another chance, Yushchenko will compromise this country’s future and will automatically qualify for No. 1 target of Maidan 3.

Insofar as he grasps these extreme possibilities, the odds are in our favor. President Yushchenko and NSNU have a unique opportunity to win back some of the support they’ve pissed away since Maidan 1. Maidan 2 reconvenes on Monday.


Anonymous said...

Well we'll see but the Pres. was never a 'gambler'. And dissolving Parliament would lead to the end of NU and his Presidency. But there is really no one who could believe that the opposition rally will get PoR to rollback their juggernaut or even halt it. That was evident when the Pres. convened its last Round Table. No one is listening to him and are focused on getting as much a piece of the pie as they can.

Anonymous said...

I laughed as well when I saw the estimates from the Min. of Internal Affairs. But could not expect any less from PoR (lies.) The sad part is that this is how it will be reported in E. Ukraine.

It is so cool that the people came out ahead of Pres. visit to Moscow (April 3rd) as in the moment he is doing way better than before (but he could blow this - which would not surprise me.)

Anonymous said...

Taras - I did not get the "blood" reference. Do you remember the exact words - is it a reference to the color of Lutsenko's org.? or to WAR? Are they telegraghing that they are willing to engage in conflict by calling it out?

My greatest fear is that all this polarization will lead to a conflict and civil war with Russia stepping in to protect its minority.

Taras said...

Sorry for that awkward, run-on paragraph. (I’ve already clarified it.)

I simply tried to explore some of the public relations inconsistencies emanating from the Counter-Maidan, the one that stands for “stability,” Yanukovych-style.

Did you ever wonder why those Yanukovych supporters keep saying “blood” all the time? Given their crush on “stability,” they’ve shown a surprising penchant for punctuating it with “blood,” political shorthand for civil war. Just who the hell is starting a civil war anyway? I, for one, do not remember bringing a gun to Maidan.

Don’t worry, Russia has a more civilized set of options for helping its friends:)

Anonymous said...

PoR public relations - I know what you are talking about.

PoR people take credit for raising the pension and min. pay (of course they do not mention that the Pres. is the one who fought for this.)

PoR people take credit for good economic indicators (of course they do not mention that Azarov is in charge and as back in 2003, 2004 those numbers can be falsified.)

PoR people take credit for Ukraine being on the verge of entering WTO (of course they do not mention that the Pres. and the Orange command started this process and Yanukovych/govt has delayed this again and again.)

PoR people take credit for stabilnist (but what is going on in Ukraine currently is under their leadership and govt and could not be called "stability" for ex. the Foreign Min. appointee.)

David said...

thanks for the description.

write more when you remember more.


Taras said...

Yushchenko tak, stability sux!

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight's the night! I've been waiting for so long to say these words to you! I swear I haven't seen a face sadder than Yanukovych's in a long time. (Except, of course, Azarov's and Moroz’s;) But ain’t that a boon for Paul Manafort’s public relations business;)?

David, so far, I’ve kept my promise. Human casualties: 0.0:)

David said...

You be careful.

I'm telling everyone I can about what's going on in Ukraine.

Remember, dignified suffering, leave the violence to the professionals who are meant to check lawlessness...


Anonymous said...

I still cannot get over it - I am amazed he dissolved the Parliament. Even though, I know that it will not end in positive for anyone - only a true compromise and round table could est. that I am glad he did it. Not because it is destabilizing or any other nonsense that PoR will put out there, but because it is inevitable.

And I am angered by the words of Solanas --- for mos. Pres. Yushchenko has been stating that PoR has been usurping power. And Europe did nothing. Ignored the looming crisis completely. So now they caution to not take extreme action? All they are worried about is that the "transit state" not have any interruptions in service. And they do not care about the people.

As one Ukrainian put it - how long (meaning Coalition) can they fool/deceive дурити/обманувати people? Ukrainians know full well what is going on in their country so why do the W. Europeans not know?

David said...

Congrads on getting cited by another blog...

Taras said...

I too can't believe he did it:)!

I don’t believe Yushchenko’s decision will bring the demise of NSNU. On the contrary, it’s a sign of life. The President has finally found the courage to do his job.

Of course, we need some sort of balance of power in Ukraine. But it's not the kind they want. When it’s a bunch of con artists you’re trying to reach a compromise with, you only end up compromising your country’s future.

David, on behalf of Maidan 2, I would like to dedicate any increase in my popularity to free and fair elections in Ukraine:)