“There are more important things we have to worry about, like people becoming the victim of a crime,” a police source told the Post in a December 2, 2013 story. “People are getting thrown onto subway tracks, having their iPhones and iPads snatched. The last thing we’re worried about is a man begging for a nickel on the holidays. It’s common sense.”
via NYPD Crackdown On Subway Panhandlers Defies “Common Sense”: Gothamist.
On Sunday, around 100,000 opposition supporters gathered on Independence Square in defiance of a ban on rallies until Jan. 7. Around double that amount were believed to be in the city center in total. There were violent clashes on the fringes of the demonstration with police reporting roughly 100 officers injured. According to the city authorities, nearly 50 protestors also needed treatment for injuries. Several dozen members of Svoboda occupied a vacant public building and hung a Ukrainian flag from the window.
There were also protests in other parts of the country. In Lviv in western Ukraine, about 50,000 anti-government demonstrators took part in a rally. In Donetsk, in the Russian-speaking region in the east of the country where the president comes from, 250 people defied a ban on demonstrations. For days, supporters of closer ties with the EU have been protesting against Yanukovych.
via Opposition Protestors in Ukraine Erect Tent City in Kiev Overnight – SPIEGEL ONLINE.
A political turning point
Ukrainians are familiar with such abuses by the police through media coverage about Moscow and Minsk. Their own country, however, hasn\’t seen such things since the Orange Revolution. In fact, the capital of Kyiv practically hasn\’t seen a week without some from of demonstration or proclamation. Ukrainians have gotten used to enacting their right to assemble in a creative and colourful manner. And now, of all times, when decisions of national importance like the EU accession are hanging by a thread – decisions that are of everyone\’s concern – out come the police batons.
It could be a political turning point the public is unwilling to accept. This, too, the Kyiv mass demonstrations are a sign of: Ukrainians refuse any orders to stay quiet. Until now, protests in the capital and elsewhere were primarily against the decision to postpone EU accession talks. But after the violence against peaceful demonstrators, the movement has gained new momentum: Calls are not only for a change in foreign policy any more; now it\’s about the government and its president to step down.
via Opinion: Between dream and nightmare | Europe | DW.DE | 02.12.2013.