Monday, December 06, 2004

A friend told me this story a few days ago:

They were standing with the crowd by the presidential administration building, in front of a big screen set up outdoors, around 3 am, watching a Channel 5 interview with the guy who threw an egg at Yanukovych in Ivano-Frankivsk back in October.

Before and after the interview, Channel 5 was showing that famous footage of Yanukovych falling down to the ground, pretending he'd been hit by something heavier/sharper than an egg. Many people watching the interview so late at night lived in the tents nearby and have been spending much of their time facing the riot police, standing in their way - and also, inadvertently, obstructing their view of the TV screen.

When Channel 5 was about to show the Yanukovych footage again, people in the crowd stooped, all at once, so that the riot police guys could watch it, too - and the riot police ended up laughing, both at the opposition's poignant and friendly endeavor, and at one of the most pathetic moments in Yanukovych's career.

I was by the administration building last Thursday (Dec. 2) again, and the riot police looked a lot more relaxed than they did the previous week: photographers almost touched them with their huge lenses but they didn't mind; many were chatting with each other quietly, smiling; a few were so cute that I secretly hoped they were smiling at me. It was a lot warmer, of course, than the first time I was there, so this might have been the reason why it all looked a lot happier. Also, the huge trucks separating the tents from the police were gone, together with some of the initial fear.

Five meters or so away from the flowered and ballooned fence behind which stood the police, there was a sort of an altar: children's drawings, orange being the dominant color; flowers and balloons; Yushchenko's campaign poster with the "Police are with the people" slogan handwritten on it - and a fat snowman, wearing an imitation of a helmet (made of a brown garbage bag), with an imitation of a rubber stick and an imitation of a shield (made of foil) placed in front of it. The snowman was facing its riot police counterparts. (My camera was already dead then.)


1 comment:

  1. Love the way your blog takes us right in with the people manning the barricades. But please get your camera fixed or get a new one,I am a photo fiend! Keep up the good work!

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