BRAMA, Nov 29, 2004, 12:00 am ET|
East coast Ukrainians mobilize protest in US capital city
By N. Gawdiak
Washington, DC Recent Ukrainian emigres and Ukrainian Americans converged on the Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, November 24, to protest the falsification of the Ukrainian presidential election results and to support democratic leader Viktor Yushchenko.
Today's protest was the largest, with approximately 1,200 demonstrators, although Ukrainians in smaller numbers have been daily picketing the Embassy since Monday.
The main action began at the Embassy at noon and lasted until about 2 p.m., In addition to local participants, protesters arrived in seven buses from Chicago, two from Philadelphia, three from New York, and two from Detroit.
With little sidewalk space available and only the tiny Francis Scott Key Park across from the Embassy building for crowd overflow, the police were finally forced to cordon off a side street next the Embassy, which the crowd quickly filled.
Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic clergy led the crowd in prayer and invoked the help of Archangel Michael, patron saint of Kyiv, among others.
WTOP interviews Congressman Sandy Levin (left)
Congressman Sandy Levin from Michigan addressed the crowd and strongly criticized the Yanukovich regime.
Although the demonstration was peaceful, it at times was heated and loud and drew dozens of police vehicles and patrolmen. The crowd especially roared when, emerging from the Embassy, several diplomatic staff emerged, several with orange apparel, to show the crowd their support for the Yushchenko campaign.
The protesters continued their demonstration at the Russian embassy on Wisconsin Avenue. The majority of demonstrators marched the considerable distance on foot.
This demonstration was a grassroots event - the combined result of the work of several organizations and many individuals who donated time and resources.