As the announcement of Russian troops in Ukraine reach the media, the city of Boston rushes to protest events beyond its borders. Boston is known for its strong, political atmosphere, and that swift wind does not end at America’s East Coast.
Early Sunday morning, Ukrainian members of Boston reacted to the Russian military presence, ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Ukraine’s Crimea Region. For Alexander Demidenko, a native Russian raised in Ukraine, the news brings fear to his home, now in Newton, MA. Demidenko still has family in Ukraine, whose government threatened war if Russia were to use force in the country.
“I am a [little] scared of this decision,” said Demidenko. “I don’t want war to happen.”
The Boston Ukrainian community has come together during the time of turmoil in their homeland, with support from those simply interested in the cause. Social media groups, like “Ukrainian Boston” have held many events over the past months across the city to spread American awareness of the crisis.
On February 21, the group held a vigil for those wounded and dead in Ukraine. Those who call Ukraine home, and Bostonians who felt the call of service to protect the Ukrainian people’s right to justice and freedom, held hands and prayed for peace at Christ the King Ukrainian Church in Jamaica Plain, just south of Boston.
On March 2, Ukrainian Boston plans to morph demonstrations in effort to bring awareness to crises all around the world. The event “Euromaiden: Boston and Venezuela,” will celebrate the bravery of both Ukrainian and Venezuelan people and pay respects to those who died defending their freedoms. Demonstrations will be held at Faneuil Hall.
Massachusetts and its capital city are home to a number of nationalities and ethnic groups beyond its borders, but when trouble arises around the globe Bostonians unite in solidarity to protest discrimination, oppression and corruption. On February 18 over 100 people joined on two of Boston’s busy downtown streets, Boylston and Charles, to protest the recent corruption and violence in Venezuela.
After anti-government protests have left 50 dead in Venezuela, the natives living in Boston far from crisis carry their protest posters with heavy hearts. “…Venezuelans have made Boston their home because they have to run from…crime and…scarcity,” said protester Christina Aguilera. “We want to show the [people] that have welcomed us that Venezuelans are being killed.”
Many in Boston’s community fight for freedom beyond its borders, but they want that fight to be peaceful. For nearly two weeks last September, protester’s took the streets of the city, denouncing military intervention from the United States in Syria’s civil war. “…We don’t fight violence, claiming peace,” said Heather Mullins, a protester.
The Syrian Civil War has caused turmoil throughout the Middle East, but the U.S. government, with the help of the United Nations, is answering the cry of the Boston people. The aid brought to Syria has been with hands of diplomacy, rather than grenades. For Boston protesters, who celebrate freedom and justice beyond their own borders of safety, this was a victory.
Editorial By Erin P. Friar