Maidan Update from 16. February

Jennifer Carroll informs on her Facebook page:

–Another Sunday rally. tens of thousands in the streets. This is the tenth weekly rally? Eleventh? I have lost count.

–Riot police on Hrushevskoho (the site of the violent standoff between protesters and police) have retreated back up the street. The barricades made by protesters, made of snow, rocks, torched city buses, snow, then more snow, are being gradually cleared away by bulldozers from the police side. Activists are standing on top of the charred skeletons of buses in the barricades and watched the bulldozers work away.

–The Institutka barricade has been torn down in places. The new gap is large enough to pass a car through (so it seems rather purposeful and deliberate. I asked some people why the change had occured, but they weren’t too helpful. I hope to talk to someone more knowledgable soon.

–Crowds are large. There is a lot of music and art in the streets.

–The self defense brigades have converted themselves into a full-on militia. They are performing basic training in the square, and different brigades have taken responsibility of crowd control and defense of infrastructure in different areas around the square.

–The Open University of Maidan is still operating in full swing. Today, crowds came to see lectures on political philosophy, capitalism, and democratic political structures.

–There is a TON of art happening in the Ukrainian house–for adults and kids alike. Lots of people are happily trying their hand at painting, drawing, etc. with huge encouragement from the crowds (people were literally being showered with compliments…oh my gosh is this your first painting? oh its so marvelous! Lyuda, come see how marvelous this is! so great!)

–City hall is not yet abandoned. Huge units of the Self Defense Brigade are still there protecting the perimeter of the building. I’ll be going back there soon to see what is happening…


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