Rally for Ukraine

Expect to see people with banners, flags and signs standing on the pedestrian overpass on Harvey Ave., across from the Parkinson Recreation Centre, Saturday afternoon.

Kelowna's Ukranian community is holding a public rally, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.,  to show their support for Ukraine and voice their opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea. 

Rally organizer Peter Bihun is a member of the Dolyna Ukrainian Cultural Society, he says it has been an emotional roller coaster watching the events of the past few months unfold.

“We’ve been watching this all winter and watching the events develop… you know we were thinking we are finally going to get a government that is democratic and free, and then to see it all collapse, and then to see Russia come in and invade Ukraine and take Crimea— it’s just a huge blow," he explains. 

Bihun adds the threat from Russia is not going away and he says having such a powerful neighbour means Ukraine could easily be swallowed up whole. He believes that makes speaking out so much more important.

“So Ukraine would go from prospects of finally being a democratic free country where people could live like we do in Canada to going back to the dark old ages… We are just trying to make people aware and raise consciousness."

Bihun was born in Prince George, but his father is from Ukraine and he says they have kept contact with family there.

"I've been there seven or eight times so we’ve met these people, we know them, we feel close to them and in some small way we would like to help."

A number of speakers, including MP Ron Cannon and members of the Ukrainian community, will be addressing those at the rally starting at 1:30 p.m.

The rally is open to the public and Bihun hopes people from all walks of life will come out and show their support.




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