Beyond Violence is launching a campaign in support of Ukrainian people in their peaceful protests in support of democratic values and human rights in the country
The protests started just before the Vilnius Summit where the country was about to sign agreements about deepening its cooperation with the EU, but resigned from this plan at the last moment. Ukraine became closer than ever to joining the Customs Union created by the Russian Federation, a step it has resisted taking throughout all the years of its independence. In the hope that the agreements with the EU would set basic rules for the government to follow in the economic domain, and remaining pessimistic about signing any kind of cooperation agreements with Russia, people continued to protest against the government acting against the will of the people. Starting from 29 November, the government started using power to suppress the protests; many people have suffered in clashes with police forces in Kyiv.
These unfortunate events made people even more passionate about their protest against the corrupt government which ignores the principles of democracy and human rights. More than 500,000 Ukrainians gathered in the centre of Kyiv, and many more people are coming every day. Till this day, the government uses provocateurs that seemingly take part in the protests using violence – with the aim to discredit the protests and legitimize the use of force. Each night there are some attacks of protesters going on in the city centre; each night more and more people stand fearlessly on the streets.
The history of the protests is now in the making, but it is clear that Euromaidan will have a very important influence on the future of the country.
As a first step of our campaign, we are launching an online roundtable with representatives of the Ukrainian intelligentsia – journalists, writers, social scientists and others – people who are able to reflect on the recent events in Ukraine. The online roundtable is to take place on Wednesday, 18th December 2013, at 7 pm UK time (9 pm Kyiv time) on Google Hangout.
The phenomenon of Euromaidan is yet to be captured – we will not try to explain it in a certain fashion and warmly invite you to discuss it with Ukrainian citizens, who experienced it and are willing to share their perceptions and understandings of what is happening in the country.
The aim of the workshop is to communicate the ideas that are present at Euromaidan to people from abroad, to explain the nature of protests and the peaceful approach to political change that seems to be the choice of Ukrainian protesters.
Do not miss the chance to pose your question about the peaceful protests, the political situation, the demands of the protesters and many other topics you have questions about from those who are witnessing the events themselves!
After the roundtable, we will work on a petition in support of the protests and launch a campaign enabling people to report violence on the streets.
If you would like to attend the meeting, please, send an email to Anna Bilous at firstname.lastname@example.org. The video will be recorded and posted online at www.beyondviolence.org.
Written by Anna Bilous and published on 15-December-2013