Tens of thousands of Ukrainians, bearing European Union flags and chanting “down with the gang!” marched through Kiev on Sunday in a pro-Europe rally denouncing President Viktor Yanukovich’s U-turn in policy back towards Russia. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
I’m on the Square! Where are you?
You wouldn’t necessarily expect the European Union to be such a rallying cry in Ukraine, but Ukrainians are so enraged by a government decision to suspend trade deal negotiations with the EU that they have been rallying protesters under the hashtag #євромайдан (“European Square”). Opposition demonstrations were held in the cities of Donetsk, Ivano-Frankovsk, Lutsk, Uzhgorod and Lviv. Kiev’s Independence Square is a focal point for protests – just as it was during 2004’s so-called Orange Revolution. Back then, protesters were bolstered not just by their strength in numbers but also by SMS messages: mobile phones were key for organising protests, avoiding police cordons and ordering supplies. Now, the protests are mostly being galvanised by social media. Ukrainian digital marketing expert Maksym Savanevskyy says there has been an explosion of calls-to-arms online since the government’s decision on EU talks.
This video, dated November 22, was taken a day after the Ukrainian government U-turn, saying that it would instead look to revive talks with Moscow. A large crowd turned out at Maidan Nezalezhnosti to protest the decision, and the protests have continued since.
This footage shows the scene near Independence Square on November 25 as thousands took part in demonstrations.
Riot police clashed with students who formed a human chain blockading MPs inside Bulgaria’s National Assembly in Sofia today. Students have led repeated demonstrations demanding the Socialist-led government resign. Students were joined by university lecturers on Sunday who say that successive governments have failed to reform Bulgarian politics and allege corrupt ties with business.
Dimitar Valchev, one of the students “occupying” Sofia University, writes that the “ruling parties.. feel comfortable enough to ignore all this … It is a pleasure for me to be a part of this group, along with others like me, who did not give in to the apathy.”
On Sunday, university lecturers sent an open letter seeking the resignation of Sergei Stanishev, President of the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
Since 9am this morning, Wednesday 22 May 2013, the police have been trying to clear the ZAM community center, one of the liveliest in Milan, against the tenacious resistance of MilanoInMovimento activists who have occupied it for the past 3 years.
Several protesters were injured in clashes with police as the barricade was torn down.