Rallies in support of the Pavlychenko family have been held in Dnipropetrovsk, Chernihiv, Zaporizhia after similar ones in Kyiv, Odesa, and Kharkiv. The Dnipropetrovsk rally gathered over 1,000 protesters. They marched the Mound of Glory overlooking the Dnipro, then through the city main thoroughfare, reaching European Square.
What made the Dnipropetrovsk rally different was the involvement of soccer fans and relatives, friends, and citizens concerned about another matter, the explosions in last April. In both cases they refused to accept the court rulings and tried to support them as best as they could. No party slogans were allowed and the protesters carried blue-and-yellow flags and a huge banner reading “Free the Pavlychenkos!” The protesters abided by a self-imposed dry law, a fact confirmed by the militia [police] officers who watched the rally and followed the protest march.
The whole project organized by the local organization of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda.” According to Herman Nazarenko, head of the local organization, the protesters believe that the Pavlychenko case is obviously rigged, that “the purpose of this project is to demonstrate that there are people who are sick and tired of arbitrary rule and corruption that are thriving in existing judicial system.
Today’s political slogans should be something like “Don’t Sit at Home!”, “Don’t Keep Mum!” “Walk Out on the Street And Say Your NO! to the Judiciary!” People should say their NO! to the uncontrollable lawless madness that’s taking place in our courts of law. The marching protesters chanted: “Freedom For Honest Ones!”, “Free Pavlychenkos!”, “Pavlychenko Today, You Will Be Next Tomorrow!”, “All For One, One For All!”
The latter two slogans are proof that Ukrainian society is becoming increasingly aware that the judicial system and the existing administration that supports it are inherently aimed against most of the Ukrainian nationals. Judicial corruption is beyond description, with an increasing number of citizens refusing to put up with it. Above all, a court of law no longer symbolizes justice. It has become the epitome of lawlessness and corruption.
A very dangerous domestic political situation, considering that the Ukrainian parliament has long lost its lawmaking reputation in the public eye, and that people no longer trust any courts of law, let alone the executive branch. The result is a broadening gap between society and all those “upstairs.” The latter are doomed because our Constitution reads that they can only exist when trusted by the people.
As it is, those “upstairs” remain deaf and mute in regard to whatever ideas they dislike. Of course, ranking bureaucrats are making statements and going through the motions of listening to what the man in the street has to say.
The Ukrainian man in the street has long been shouting about his problems while being fed official propaganda that says everything’s OK, that Ukraine is showing remarkable progress.
What about GDP growth rate dropping threefold past year? Oh yes, the world crisis is to blame, not the current administration. Also, the references to what is happening in Italy, Greece, and Spain. In other words, Ukraine’s political leadership isn’t to blame.
Who is to blame for the current disastrous status of the Ukrainian economy, save for the administration? Those who did this in Spain, Italy, and Greece have long been made to step down, with entirely new people running these countries – and their status is gradually improving. In Ukraine, the crisis keeps on an upward curve, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Most believe that all our problems aren’t economic but political ones, that domestic rather than foreign factors should be considered in the first place.
Those “upstairs” are unwilling and apparently unable to make any changes. The snow-balling problems remain unresolved. Sometimes, solutions are offered that serve to cover hostile takeovers of certain businesses by people acting hand in glove with the executive branch.
Meanwhile, the protest movement is spreading, as evidenced by the past elections. The recent vote at the Verkhovna Rada was proof that even the ruling class is unsteady.
What has the Ukrainian electorate received from parliament and president, both constitutionally designed to protect this nation’s interests? Nothing except for an increased influence on the part of the government machine.
Media reports say that those “upstairs,” have started dealing with the organizers of rallies of protest, instead of analyzing this nationwide public distrust of authorities.
In the Pavlychenko case, rallies of protest have taken place in a number of cities, even if small and separate ones. Today it is soccer fans, tomorrow it will be coal miners or residents of apartment houses being thrown out of their homes, all this happening under appropriate court rulings.
Danger number one for the proverbial powers that be is that there are separate causes for such rallies of protest, and that the idea of solidarity is germinating. Not coincidentally, student societies and a number of NGOs demonstrated support of the coal miners’ strike.
Danger number two is the absence of dialog between the government and society. This gives rise to radical moods that are promoted by authorities, by the unlawful attitude of law-enforcement agencies toward such protesters. Those in the corridors of power who believe that police brutality and organized brawls at polling stations can yield the desired results should think twice.
People in Ukraine are convinced that those “upstairs” can only understand the language of strength; that they can be influenced only by rallies of protest and the threat of a nationwide strike. One is reminded of the ill-famed libel and slander bill when a combined effort of the media editors-in-chief – primarily the threat of a strike – made the lawmakers back up, perhaps for the time being. In other words, only aggressive public acts make them listen to what the man in the street has to say.
The Pavlychenko case will be revised. This is clearly apparent. What remains to be explained is the deaf-and-mute condition of our administration, their paranoid confidence that they will be able to keep the masses under control by using law-enforcement agencies.