Kiev police fail to make protesters remove tents from streets

Police have been trying to impress upon rally participants since early Friday to remove tents that they set up on Grushevskogo St, blocking traffic in the city center.

The protesters, mostly supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili’s Movement of New Forces, are not going to remove tents and field kitchen from the streets yet and say that the protest organizers should take this decision first.

The demonstrators repeatedly tried to extend the tent camp, but the police confiscated tents and styrofoam used to make them warmer. A few tents are fanned out across the Konstitutsii Square. National Guard and police officers are guarding the area. Police barricades were erected around the parliament’s building.

About one hundred demonstrators gathered outside Rada this morning, and their number is growing.

The mass rally outside Verkhovna Rada started in the early hours of Tuesday. It was organized by several opposition forces: the Self Reliance, Fatherland and Movement of New Forces political parties and the Freedom, National Corps and Right Sector (the Right Sector is outlawed in Russia) far-right organizations, as well as some Verkhovna Rada members from the governing Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc. Several clashes between the demonstrators and the police occurred during the rally.

On late Thursday, the rally organizers announced that the Movement of New Forces supporters will continue protesting outside Rada, whereas the members of other political forces will continue the rally through other means. The activists demand abolishment of parliamentary immunity, introduction of amendments to election laws and establishment of an Anti-Corruption Court.

The parliament sent two draft laws on abolishment of parliamentary immunity to Ukraine’s Constitutional Court: one from Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and the other proposed by a group of MPs.

As for the second demand (to change the election legislation), the MPs did not use any of the suggested draft laws as a basis and rescheduled their study for the next plenary meeting: from November 7 to 10. Overnight, the protesters headed by Self-Reliance MP Yegor Sobolev and independent Yury Levchenko sent a draft law on the Anti-Corruption Court to the presidential administration that Poroshenko should present on his behalf for Verkhovna Rada’s study.

There are no draft laws on Friday’s agenda that the demonstrators are seeking to be adopted.


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