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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Dec 1, 2004, 1:00 am ET

    Ukrainians color London blue, yellow - and orange
    By Tony Leliw

    Bishop Paul Chomnycky

    More than 3,000 Ukrainians from around Britain attended a mass rally on Sunday in support of opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.

    The demonstration by the statue of Prince Volodymyr, close to the Ukrainian Embassy in west London's leafy Holland Park, was the culmination of a week-long campaign by the For Fair Elections Group.

    Amidst the sea of blue and yellow flags and orange scarves, and protesters shouting "Yushchenko!" almost continously, was Taras Chaban, one of the demonstrations organisers, who vowed that this action would continue until the protest ended in Kyiv.

    Cheers went up as the rain poured onto the crowds when it was announced on a megaphone that Yushchenko's office were aware of the demonstration and had sent a big thanks - to which the crowd responded with a chant of "molodtsi, molodtsi."

    The group had earlier in the week sent a delegation to 10 Downing Street, where they handed in a petition signed by nearly 2,000 people, calling for the British Government to support Ukraine's democratic struggle.

    One of the delegation was Bishop Paul Chomnycky, spiritual leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Great Britain, who said: "I wanted to show the support of the church. It was not the result we wanted - which was a Yushcehnko victory - but in the past week Ukraine has become a true nation united in a cause."

    Fedir Kurlak, general secretary of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, said: "We're having a mass rally to give moral support to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine who have turned out on the streets of Kyiv since the rigged election results were announced.

    "The rally is not just about Yushchenko, but about freedom, democracy and justice in Ukraine. The Ukrainian people feel they have been robbed of that."

    Father Bohdan Matwijczuk, of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in London, said his church was supporting the Ukrainian independent nation. "It is super to see so many Ukrainians here both those born in Britain and from Ukraine standing for their nation - it is spiritually uplifting."

    Jaroslav Mukan, 53, an engineer, living in London, said: "I came here to support Viktor Yushchenko who I know personally because my brother works for the Ministry of Agriculture in Kyiv. I am 100 per cent sure he will be president."

    Roman Panas, 43, a British-born Ukrainian, from the Manningham area of Bradford, but now living in London, said: "It is important that we make a stand and not allow these false elections to be pushed through."

    Some of the 60 people who came to the rally from Nottingham.

    Mr Panas, who works for a computer company, said there were two coaches from Bradford, covering West Yorkshire, organised by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain.

    During the rally numerous speakers spoke about the "rigged vote" and a letter of support was read out on behalf of Conservative MP John Wilkinson, who could not attend.

    The founder and vice chairman of the British-Ukrainian All-Party Parliamentary Group, Mr Wilkinson served the constituents of Bradford West in the early seventies, when the area had a large Ukrainian population.

    * * * * *

    Tony Leliw is a London-based journalist whose articles have appeared in respected publications such as the London Evening Standard and The Times, as well as news services in Ukraine and the U.S.

    Feature stories by Mr. Leliw that have been published on Brama include :

  • Oct 13 05 - From War to Westminster by Stefan Terlezki CBE. Book review by Tony Leliw
  • Dec 1 04 - Ukrainians color London blue, yellow - and orange
  • Nov 24 04 - Villanous Viktor un-Vanted in UK
  • Nov 2 04 - Britain votes for Yushchenko
  • Oct 11 04 - Polling station coordinator works to simplify constitutional obstacles for voters abroad
  • Jul 16 04 - 'Madam Hooch' rides her broomstick in from Odesa: Actress Zoë Wanamaker offers a glimpse into her family history
  • Jun 7 04 - British 'heavyweight' weighs in on Ukraine elections
  • Mar 22 04 - If you were an oligarch ...
  • Mar 7 04 - Why you'll never find all the eggs in one basket
  • Dec 3 03 - On His Majesty's Secret Service
  • Oct 1 03 - Vilified, slandered and abused for telling the truth about Communism
  • Jul 30 03 - Malcolm Muggeridge Centenary: the journalist who reported that more than 7 million starved to death in Ukraine
  • Mar 24 03 - Christian fundamentalism and corruption: a member of the British House of Lords offers her views on the Iraq war and Ukraine
  • May 27 03 - Voting, for a song
  • Jan 1 03 - The road from Ukraine to Westminster and back

    Email: tony@youwhat.fsnet.co.uk

    Copyright © 1997-2011 BRAMA, Inc. All rights reserved.
    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on Brama.com do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.


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