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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Goons, Police Clash With Park Defenders in Kharkiv

Reform #6: Barbaric construction? Yes, we can!

From Kyiv to Kharkiv, it’s all the same.

Step 1: Construction company buys whatever land permits it can.

Step 2: Construction company hires goons and police.

Step 3: Goons and police clash with activists.

Gorky Park, Kharkiv, May 28: Chanting “Militsiya z narodom!” (The police are with the people), activists try to appeal to police officers’ better selves.

So much for the Orange Revolution slogan. Unmoved, the police start making arrests. A woman gets hysterical: “What ‘people’ are you talking about? They’re grabbing you!”

2:47: “It’s not a construction site! It’s a park, man,” insists one activist.
8:42: An activist gets quietly robbed by a fast-fingered goon.
9:92: With the bulldozer already running, an activist concludes in dismay: “It’s called ‘Ukraine for the People.’”

Protests resumed amid chopped trees. People
sang, bonded and grieved, sharing ideas, slogans and poetry.

Jun 2: Cops for construction continue arresting peaceful activists, in a blatant violation of their freedom of assembly rights.

Maybe the second edition of The Audacity of Hope will mention Kharkiv, too?

(The first one mentions Donetsk 1 time, Kiev [sic] 2 times and Ukraine 10 times.)



Carlos said...

Taras. I'm familiar with that park and I think it is a shame what they are doing. How long do you think this is going to take before the people in UA stand up to all these thieves???

I ask my father-in-law, who is from Kharkiv and visiting us right now, the same question and his response is that Ukrainians are peaceful people. So, is that it?

lingüista said...

It's sad to see such things happening, Taras. And to wonder if something else would be happening had Yulyachka won the election. (Where is she, by the way? Is she swimming with the tide, or can we expect protests from BYuT about such actions? What's the general reaction in the media? What do the general people say? Sadly, my Russian mother-in-law is just charmed with Yanukovych and his "strong personality" and "commitment to Stabilnist'" (or rather "Stabilnost'"; apparently, that's where this is going...)

Taras said...


We're too peaceful, I guess.

Can you imagine something like this happening in Europe or Northern America, without much resistance?


I think a lot of the same would be happening if Tymoshenko were president.

How old is your mother-in-law? Does she know of his plans to raise the retirement age?

elmer said...

Halya Cornash, a human rights activist in Ukraine, has an excellent and informative article about this whole mess.

Bottom line - where were the public hearings?

Where are the permits for this construction and tree destruction?

Platini is an absolute moron and idiot for picking Ukraine for Euro 2012.

Lingüista said...

Her name is Valentyna Alekseevna (Kochetkova), she's now 65ish (I think), she's a powerhouse, one of those people who seem to be always fighting against a number of problems and constantly solving them (do you know the kind who, if you give her a present, can immediately tell you where in Kiev you could have bought it for half the price? :-)... She's now the dean at some small technical university in Kiev and has already received an award from the government for excellence in her work. This kind of thing. She's also so very fond of cats, it melts my heart to see her talking to one.

At the same time, she's quite pro-Rossian, pro-Putin ('because he's bringing back the USSR!'), thinks Yanukovych is god's gift to Ukraine ('at last someone who doesn't waste time!'), and has spent a considerable amount of time explaining to me how everything was better in the old communist days ('2-3 years of maternity leave, with our job waiting for us! Ah, we didn't know how happy we were!...').