A lot has happened in the last two days, and not much of it good. The government survived a vote of no confidence, as expected. The president flew off to China to ask for money, making dialogue impossible. The police chief who ordered the attacks on student protesters was back in office, although he supposedly resigned. My hopes were dim.
But when we emerged from the Metro into the square, we found another world. The entire square was packed. Defensive barricades blocked all street entrances. A stage was set up for speakers and musicians, and the giant screen overlooking the square, normally used for advertisements, was in service to the protesters. Tents colonized the area, some with wood-burning stoves and generators. There was even a makeshift kitchen preparing and serving hot food.
The wooden stalls placed on the square for the holidays had been transformed into donation points for blankets and warm clothes for those brave people who stay on the square all night. Our donation of blankets and sweaters was gratefully received.
The Christmas tree, now covered in flags and banners, has become a symbol of protest. I hope someone sets up spotlights to light it up all night. There are protests all over the world, but none have a symbol like this. The Maidan is a magical place tonight.