24 November 2005

OR Anniversary, Maidan Clears Out

When Maidan clears out Damyan and I linger to talk to people. The camera is like a magnet. People want to be heard. We try to speak with individuals but inevitably small groups form around us with everyone adding their thoughts to the discourse. It is really difficult to get a “real” interview going. Both Yushchenko supporters and their opponents seem to be throwing out canned arguments.

Victor from Kyiv: "It takes time to fight such deep rooted corruption. It doesn’t happen overnight. We have a lot of work to do and we have to stay together. It’s up to each of us in our sphere of influence to stop bribing and stealing."

Oleh, a Donetsk native, explains what a great economist Yanukovych is and that his platform is the only viable future for Ukraine. He mirrors the Regions Party line almost verbatim – you know the one about the OR being a well-financed theatrical presentation that a minority of the country was behind, etc. It’s interesting how uniform the positions and arguments are: political rhetoric and posturing mimicking the speakers on the stage. I ask several onlookers the question “Do you think Ukraine could slide back to a repressive regime like the one under Kuchma?” The answer is a resounding "NO" in all cases: “If it starts to slide we’ll really come out to Maidan again.”
“You mean you are not on Maidan now?” I ask Franz, a Yushchenko supporter from Donbass.
“No. This is not Maidan. It’s a nice reminder. But it’s not Maidan.”
(more pictures here)

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