28 липень 2014
Results of protests, repressions and concessions monitoring by the Centre for Society Research
On July 9th at a press conference in the UNIAN information agency, the Centre for Society Research presented the results of monitoring of protests, repression and concessions, supported by the International Renaissance Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy, that took place during the period of Maidan.
During Maidan sociologists of the Centre for Society Research were documenting all the protest events that took place all over Ukraine as well as repressions organized by the Yanukovych government. They created a unique database consisting of all the protests and repressions at all maidans, antimaidans and outside events, which now allows us to answer a lot of topical questions about the participants of Maidan, its nationwide distribution and the role of violence - still subjects of ongoing heated debates, political manipulations and distortions in the media.
MAIN RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH
· In general, from November 21st to February 23rd, at least 3950 protest events were counted (the data are still being supplemented and updated). This number of protests during three months is larger than the protest activity during all of 2013 before November 20th (3428) and the number of protests for all previous years separately starting from 2010.
· Among 3950 protests, 3235 protests were directly related to Maidan and were held in its support, while 365 protests can be referred to as Antimaidan.
The most notable participants of Maidan
The role of the far right
The importance of regional maidans
Violence and repressions
· The share and the absolute number of confrontational and violent events at Maidan, of course, were higher than they were previously. Twenty-four percent of protests at Maidan were confrontational (compared to 19% of protests in 2013 before Maidan) and 12% were violent protests (compared to 8% of protests in 2013 before Maidan). However, almost two thirds of Maidan protests (64%) were peaceful and conventional, in the form of meetings, pickets and tent camps.
· It is worth noting that the share of confrontations and violence was much higher in Kyiv (49%), in the Centre (39%) and in the West (37%), where the support of Maidan had a mass character, than it was in the Southern and Eastern regions, where the share of radical protest was less than 15% of all Maidan protests. Among individual cities, Kyiv was the leader in the confrontational and violent protests (239 events), while Western Ukrainian cities followed with a considerable margin.
· Our analysis indicates that violence by the protesters was a response to the violence by government, not vice versa. While only 12% of Maidan protests were violent, every third protest suffered from repressions. The agents of the repressions against Maidan protests were not only law enforcement. Besides the police, at least a quarter of repressions were committed by unknowns, often called as ‘titushkas’ – paid pro-government thugs (moreover, in a considerable amount of events they acted with the police). The courts were also activein at least 13% of repressions.
· Despite the fact that the level of violence by protestors before the breaking up of Kyiv Maidan on November 30th was minimal (6%), 40 out of 100 protests have faced a negative reaction from the government. And during the last stage of Maidan (starting from February 18th) when the police were openly using weapons, the rate of repressions to the number of protests has fallen by half. The government generally used different tactics of confrontation with activists with varying degrees of success: ignorance, pacification and suppression. At the beginning of Maidan, attempts to undermine demonstrations and court injunctions prevailed, but, as time went on, the methods became more radical. The government started actively using the courts for direct repressions against activists, and the pressure of police and number of arrests increased. Finally, the government blocked the protestors at Maidan and proceeded to use violence openly.
· There were also regional variations in methods of repressions. In all the regions there was a consistently high instance of physical confrontation between police and protesters. The largest number of repressive judgments was delivered in Kyiv, in the Centre the largest number of barriers for activists who were attempting to get to the central Maidan were created. ‘Titushkas’ were most active in the East. Protestors in the West were more active because they faced smaller resistance from the local authorities.
You can find complete graphs and tables, methodology and classification of events in the “Statistics from Maidan protest event: participants, geography, violence” report (pdf).
Protests, repressions and concessions monitoring has been conducted by the Centre for Society Research since October 2009. It is a unique project for the systematic collection of information about all (regardless of the issue or size) protests as well as negative and positive reactions to the protests taking place in real time all over Ukraine based on the monitoring of more than 190 national, oblast and activist web-media.
The goal of the present project, conducted by the Centre for Society Research and supported by the International Renaissance Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy, is the objective study of protest activity and social movements in Ukraine and providing this information to the general public aiming to defend the right of peaceful assembly and to draw attention to grassroots socioeconomic protest initiatives.
Centre for Society Research was founded in 2009 as an independent non-profit centre for studying social problems and collective protests in Ukraine. The Centre for Society Research unites critically-oriented social researchers: professional sociologists, political experts, economists, culture experts, historians and lawyers. The mission of the Centre is to create methodologically grounded, critical and reflexive knowledge for activists of social movements, journalists, experts, politicians, researchers and the general public. The Centre actively supports an egalitarian and just society, opposes the policies of privatization and commercialization of social sphere and public goods, and condemns any kind of discrimination including discrimination by gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, age. Specific areas of the Centre's work are analysis of education policies, monitoring of protest and repressive activities, analysis of city-planning policies and study of migration processes.
Contact person: Volodymyr Ishchenko (097-396-4499)