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Thousands of people in Odessa rally against Kiev’s actions

May 01, 2014, 17:49 UTC+3 ODESSA
War veterans clad in parade uniform and carrying flowers led the column
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/VOLODYMYR PETROV

ODESSA, May 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Despite hot weather, thousands of people in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa marched through its central streets on Thursday, May 1, carrying placards that read “Odessa Is a Hero City”, “Referendum” and “Fascism Won’t Pass”.

War veterans clad in parade uniform and carrying flowers led the column. Car owners greeted the veterans with honks, and many people were joining in the march on the way.

The procession stopped in the city’s Kulikovo Field where activists from the public movement People’s Alternative had set up a tent city to collect signatures in support of a referendum on decentralization of power, the official status of the Russian language and the foreign policy vector of the country.

The speakers assured their supporters that “the protesters will not leave the Kulikovo Field until the authorities meet our demands for a referendum and release of our comrades arrested by the Ukrainian security service”.

“We want to build a bright future and take all the best we had in the past. The people who come to our rallies have an ideology unlike those who have likened ideas to the contents of their refrigerators,” Oleg Muzyka, one of the leaders of the Rodina (Motherland) party, said.

The rally went off peacefully, without provocations from the supporters of the new Kiev authorities. Odessa’s city administration leaders appointed by Kiev put local police on high alert ahead of the event, with 1,400 police officers ensuring law and order during the May 1 holidays.

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