The current Ukrainian resistance movement has changed its face: its features have sharpened, and the flashes of the police petards have shone light on the deep scars of our political reality.
It is evident that the authorities are to blame for the escalation of the tension – and who knows whether this escalation was part of a planned of “crisis management.” Law 3879 was too absurd – as if it was designed specifically to push people over the edge.
The authorities did not notice the major warning from the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
The opposition leaders’ blame derives from their troubles: they can only respond to the actions of the government and cannot be proactive, forcing their agenda on the authorities. We can assume that yesterday marked the beginning of the end of the Maidan’s two months of loyalty to the opposition triumvirate.
It seems that now in Ukraine there will be new barricades and new leaders. And there is still a chance to regroup and unite around a leader who will be able to save the situation from spiraling out of control.
Unfortunately, yesterday’s vote of no confidence in the opposition leaders was some of the protesters’ vote of no confidence in non-violent resistance. People have lost their patience and now clashes with the police in the eyes of the insurgents is a “normal, healthy reaction to the introduction of a dictatorship.”
Let’s pray to God that in this matter Murphy's Law doesn’t come into effect, so that the shortest pathdoesn’t turn out to be the longest.
Mahatma Gandhi at this defining moment would have declared a hunger strike, calling his people to curb their emotions and return to the path of non-violent resistance. So should be the spiritual leadership’s logic.
Whilst there is still a chance to find understanding – or, rather, a truce – between the government and the protest movement, let us pray that both parties will not ruin this chance. Let all who have even a minimal impact on the authories understand that the green light to negotiate will flash only for a brief moment.
Neither the authorities nor the opposition wanted to – each in their own way – heed the many warnings that resounded everywhere. That is why the birth of a new Ukraine will take place in pain and agony. However, the people must not abandon hope.
Non-violent resistance does not mean to wait desperately and passively for it all to come to an end. Let us not resemble the confused disciples who at the time of the Passion of Christ in despair roamed the fields or the streets of Jerusalem. Rather we must listen to what Jesus said, “Behold I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
Only in pain and agony does something new arise in our sinful world. And as we see, this also applies to the transformation of Ukraine. It is possible that some of us will have to bear our own crosses. But there is no excuse before God for those who will hide in safety and not hear Christ’s, “Come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21).
Among the heroic impulses as well as the doubts and fears we will be able to discern the voice of our conscience and act in accordance with it.
God does not want our destruction – with faith and prayer we will help him prevail!
January 20, 2014