By Vlad Lavrov, Correspondent
The Action Ukraine Report
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 1, 2004
KYIV - The Communists and Socialist Parties of Ukraine held a mass meeting
in Kyiv on May Day. There were around 15-20 thousand people at the event.
The rally was held despite an April 30 ruling by the Shevchenkivsky District
Court in Kyiv limiting the rights of citizens' to hold peaceful gatherings
marches on May 1 in Kyiv.
Because of the District Court Ruling the Viktor Yushchenko 'Our Ukraine'
bloc changed its plans to hold a 100 thousand person meeting "Yes - to
Prosperity! No - to Dictatorship!" and instead organized a non-political
karaoke competition held in Independence square where all those wishing
to take part could sing Ukrainian songs.
"Join the Communist party of Ukraine, Save Your Family and Ukraine!" (Portraits of Lenin and Symonenko, Leader of the Party
(Click on images to enlarge them)
On the European square where the leftist political parties had a far larger
crowd, there were people representing all age groups, but with the elderly
being in the majority. The people who came from all over Ukraine were
entertained with a variety of Soviet propaganda and revolutionary songs
glorifying Lenin, the Communist Party, the Komsomol (the branch of the
Communists Party for Younger people) and life in the Soviet Union.
The officials at the meeting included the leaders of the Communist Party of
Ukraine, Petro Symonenko and Adam Martyniuk, members of the Communist
Party faction in the Parliament Oleksandr Tkachenko, Yuriy Solomatin, as well
representatives of the Party from the regions. The Socialists were
represented by Josyp Vinsky, the deputy of Oleksandr Moroz.
The prevalent rhetoric of all the speakers included accusations about the
Kuchma and Yanukovych regime and their inhuman politics towards people of
Ukraine. The speakers also said that Yushchenko's politics would be exactly
the same. The only hope for a better life, therefore, would be if Petro
Symonenko was elected president of Ukraine on October 31.
Another major theme at the meeting was the demand that Ukrainian troops be
withdrawn from Iraq immediately. The speakers said this needed to be done
especially after April 28 when two Ukrainian soldiers Kostyantyn Mykhaliov
and Yaroslav Zlochevsky were killed during an attack of the Iraqi rebels on
the Ukrainian patrol. A resolution demanding that President Kuchma withdraw
the Ukrainian troops immediately from Iraq was passed at the end of the
Young Pioneer and War Veteran During the Rally
An Elderly Protester Holding Portraits of Symonenko and Lenin
Young Pioneers Saluting to the Soviet Anthem
Leaders of the Communist Party of Ukraine Holding Carnations, L-R Oleksandr Tkachenko, Adam Martyniuk and Petro Symonenko
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