Automaidan Car Rally Held in Toronto
By Myroslava Stadnyk
On February 21, about 20 vehicles with Ukrainian flags and ribbons flying on each vehicle, cruised Toronto streets to pay tribute to Kyiv’s anti-government activists who were brutally beaten and killed by Berkut riot police.
“We are watching the news closely, and we are very concerned about the recent events taking place in Ukraine. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all Maidan victims” – said rally-on-wheels organizer Yevgen Denysov. “By holding a car rally in Toronto, we also would like to pay our respects to Dmytro Bulatov – the lead organizers of Auto-Maidan .” – commented co-organizer, Taras Kinash.
Dmytro Bulatov originated Auto-Maidan in Kyiv with a group of car owners to protest against the Yanukovych government last month. Bulatov was abducted, and after a week's time was found beaten, tortured and missing part of an ear that was cut off.
Close to hundred protesters have died since last Thursday during the clashes with police, as gunfire was unleashed. Nearly 600 people have been severely injured – medics report on Kyiv’s Independence Square.
In Toronto, the car rally’s organizers expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people – in Kyiv and around the world – and wanted to let other Canadians know about the events taking place in Ukraine.
In their efforts, the participants of Toronto Auto-Maidan were able to vividly express themselves – according to Taras Kinash. “We made a lot of noise, turned a lot of heads, and even got news coverage on local radio and television stations (which is a first for Auto-Maidan in Toronto)” – Kinash said.