Saturday, September 17, 2011

Politics and protests

Walking down the main street (Khreschatik) of Kiev these days, one will find him/herself amid a loud cluster of musical notes blaring from two speakers from opposite sides of the street. The music will follow you for quite some distance, as its volume is overwhelming.

Along with the music, two clashing songs competing to drown out each other, there is consistent shouting, mainly from the side of the street with the fancier, larger protest set-up.

The side of the street (where the Khreschatik metro station is) boasts a small, one-table canvassing of Julia Tymoschenko loyalists, complete with their own large, black speaker.

Opposite these former-prime-minister fans sit/stand at least fifty protesters and twenty tables, decorated with slogans that only the visually impaired passerby has the opportunity to ignore. The message is loud and clear: Julia Tymoschenko is a criminal, an unfit leader to the nation.

I haven't lived in Ukraine long enough to have enough information - much less life experience here living under this government - to have a solidified stance regarding Tymoschenko. (But I do think I have an opinion on the matter due to stories from my co-workers - I'm not really in the mood to get "in trouble" with Peace Corps, so I will refrain from putting it into words on my public blog, even though I want to.)

Ukraine has been in major news media as of late (Wall Street Journal most recently), as many people may take notice of.

Where are these protests stemming from?

December 2010: Julia Tymoschenko reportedly misused over 400 million dollars.
August 5th: Julia Tymoschenko was arrested; she was said to have violated court rulings on multiple occasions.

Read this article.

So, opponents of Tymoschenko are basically like, "Dude, she's whack for doing all this," and pro-Julia citizens are like, "Have you SEEN what shady stuff the president has done during and before his term? HE'S the one who's whack."

And, finally, here is my video of the aforementioned current Khreschatik attractions - a protest against a protest, one might say.

1 comment:

  1. Alia, I would have liked to hear those opinions. Peace corp = freedom of speech right??