Tuesday, November 22, 2005

One Year Ago, Day 1 of OR: Berezhany Photos

One year ago today, I was in Berezhany, the nearest large town to Pidhajtsi (by comparison; Pidhajtsi area has approx. 7,000, while Berezhany's pop. is approx. 25,000).

You can read what I have written about that day here (scroll down to post, "The Orange Revolution in Rural Ukraine: Part I, Berezhany) and here (post entitled SENT NOV. 22; more photos over there, at the bottom of the post).

Below are stills from my video footage of that day one year ago:

Meeting in the center of town, with 3-5,000 in attendance.

Procession begins from the center of town to the county administration building not far away, where a daily picket took place throughout the OR. Please take note of the mixure of happy and angry faces in these photos. . .

Procession to the county administration building

Speaking out at the County Administration Building

Angry shout of "Shame! Shame!" The whole crowd joined in, and you could feel its collective anger, frustration, and rage resonating in your bones and sinews.

Man happily saying to my camera, "It looks like we won't let them get away with it this time! Shame on them!"

Above and Below: People feeling empowered. The OR, whatever the critics of it say, was the beginning of a sense in Ukraine that the people can put their hands on the levers of power, if they are organized. Whatever reasons the US had to back the pro-democracy movement (there were plenty of self-interested reasons for it to do so), it could all backfire, or not work out for the US. There is now a solid grassroots movement in Ukraine that, having been baptized by fire during the OR, continues to be a thorn in the side of the authorities--who now are those of the YuGov. One year ago was about the Ukrainian people, more so than the Grand Chessboard.

B-t-w,Leopolis, from whom I got the YuGov coinage, has done a good job of pointing all this out, too, in some excellent posts to his blog:

1) here and scroll down to the post whose title begins "american felt boots, drugged oranges, . . .etc."

2) here, the first post at the top

3) And read here (first post again) for general commentary on the matter of what I label Whose Revolution Was It?

In general, most of his posts from the days of the OR last year are quite interesting (I personally didn't know anything about blogging at the time of the OR, so I am myself just now catching up on some homework. . .)

Kids on the stairs to the country administration buildings. . .they called me up to them

The view from the kid's spot on the stairs

There were about 6 or so kids standing there, all holding eggs, all waiting for the head of the county administration, the man responsible for the falsified vote in the Berezhany county, to come out!

Singing "Shche ne vmerla Ukrajina," the national anthem, as the demonstration ended. The plan was to retun the next morning at 7:30 AM, so that the picketers would be there for the start of work day.

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