Maidan’s Last Bridgehead
During the weekend, the Maidan was almost entirely removed from Kiev’s centre. Under pressure from the militsiya and order-keeping services, volunteers themselves started to dismantle the stage which, for many months had been the heart and coordination centre of Maidan.
On the night of Saturday to Sunday, it seemed that the symbol so heroically defended in February, would cease to exist within a few hours. However, on Sunday morning, people gathered around what remained – as they had done every week for many months – people who decided not to let the dismantling happen. They took over whatever had not been removed and reconstructed the “stage” or, more accurately, what remained of it.
In the evening, a peculiar roofless structure was erected on the Maidan, loudspeakers were organised and a new moderator was chosen. The area around the stage was fenced off again. Since there are cars on the Khreschatyk again, people started to gather behind the stage.
It is hard to resist the impression that something like “Maidan in miniature” had been created. There a few people there but they represent similar circles to those on the Maidan before – there are some “Self-Defence” members, social activists, volunteers, pensioners, some who shout out and provoke... They are repeating the same slogans – about the need to look at the new government’s hands, do the lustration. They are convinced that the removal of the Maidan equates to an attack on civil freedoms and intend to defend the stage as long as they can – against the new authorities this time.