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Ukraine a Glimpse of what is to come?

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The protests in Ukraine demonstrate how all governments respond. Even England went after kids trying to organize on Twitter. The governments monitor everything now to head-off protests. A 12-year old in England found that out the hard way. The US arrested a man for using Twitter to help protesters evade police.

In Ukraine, after weeks of student protests over the government corruption and its failure to sign a European integration and association treaty, the police violently cracked down on protesters, and politicians passed a series of new laws in the middle of the night. Among them:

  • Criminal extremist activity is now redefined, broadly and loosely, that effectively criminalized protests, press reports, or social media that is anti-government.
  • Insulting a policeman or judge is now a criminal offense. This includes behavior that “patently offends” or “shows insolent disrespect”.
  • Blocking of administrative buildings is now criminalized with a 5-year prison sentence.
  • Anyone who organizes an assembly in violation of ‘established procedures’ can be arrested.
  • The government has streamlined its ability to force Internet Service Providers to block certain websites it deems harmful in its sole discretion.
  • New amendments to the criminal code allow pre-trial and trial proceedings to be conducted, even if the defendant is not physically present to defend himself.

Clearly, Ukraine is suppressing everything and the youth, who have no future, are fighting for more than the right to simply speak. This is what we can expect from more and more governments that see themselves as all-powerful and the people as simply the class to be ruled.