History of Maidan
Maidan – from a website to a networked activists Alliance
Maidan was born in Dec 2000 as a reaction to government’s efforts to block information and to spread the misinformation about the civil protest actions, caused by the disappearance of the journalist Georgiy Gongadze.
The website Maidan was setup by Gongadze’s friends, programmers and the activists of “tents protest action” that had been held at central maidan (“Maidan” means “the Square” in Ukrainian) of Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Communication, coordination and self-organization technology that evolved during the “Ukraine without Kuchma” recorded in the Maidan archives had later been used during the Orange Revolution in 2004. The name “Orange Revolution” and its slogan “Together we are many” had evolved at Maidan.
Since 2001 we have supported political prisoners and helped to provide legal defense and fundraising for their families. We are still doing that now.
Maidan helps citizens to organize in groups to fight against violations of their political and human rights. We connect citizens to local human rights groups and attorneys who volunteer to provide legal help.
Since 2011 we have setup Maidan Monitoring project to monitor several basic human rights – freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, etc.
Fighting totalitarian legacy
In 2002 we performed a successful civic campaign to prevent the rewriting of the history books slanted in favor of Russian state ideology.
In 2006 our activists started an ongoing public campaign for guaranteed access to Ukrainian language in the movie theaters.
In 2010-2011 in coalition with other NGOs and civic groups we had successfully fought against the attempts for introduce the law that endangered the functioning of Ukrainian language.
In 2011 we started monitoring campaign on removing of totalitarian toponymy and commemorating the victims of Holodomor (Great Famine) as per president’s Yushchenko appropriate legislations.
We were the only real-time news source in Ukraine to cover the 2004 year elections in Belorussia and the 2003 year “The Roses Revolution” in Georgia.
In 2004 Maidan had become the main communication hub for the Orange Revolution activists. At the height of the revolution our volunteers published more daily news than any other information agency in the country. Most activists that joined then are still with Maidan.
Civic Journalism and BrainWare
We were the first to introduce the concept of civic journalism in Ukraine. We have hundreds of volunteer news reporters actively participating in the events they report on.
In 10 years volunteers created more than 130.000 publications and more than 1.500.000 forum posts.
There are 5 regional issues of Maidan with its own specific each.
In 2004 we designed the concept of “mobile groups” to prevent election fraud and operated a monitoring network reporting online to implement this concept. In 2005 it was used by the police to monitor some aspects of penitentiary system
We published several books authored collaboratively by maidan activists. Most notable being “Ukrainian Insurgent Army in questions of maidan forum participants and answers of Commander in Chief Vasyl Kuk” (2007)
Our motto is “Marching ahead of revolutions”.
An environment with a networked structure
In 2006 we had evolved into informal activists’ “Maidan Alliance” that is legally registered and operates in all regions of Ukraine.
Our operations are funded mostly through donations of activists and volunteers. We also seek the financial support of institutional sponsors for some projects.
Our movement is non-partisan and non-ideological based on principles of personal contribution, collective leadership, non violent resistance, copyleft, tolerance and diversity.
The copyleft principle and our willingness to abandon branding allow us to work in alliances with any activist groups and civic organizations.
We fight for the government model where the power does not only belongs to people according to the Constitution but the where the people can exercise the power directly.
X-files of Ukrainian Government
In 2005 we started the campaign to declassify the secret documents of high-ranking officials that eventually led to decrease the number of acts unwarrantedly classified.
In 2007 we had succeeded in declassifying some president’s acts that obviously included the corruption activities.
In 2009 due to our efforts State Management Agency revealed it’s budget.
In 2011 after two years of our lobbying campaign and legal efforts Parliament revealed its expenditures.
We are further expanding the project “Realization of the right to access to information on state activities”. We had setup a special website “Right to Know – Informational Rights in Ukraine”
During the Parliamentary elections of 2006 within the project “The rationale of electoral choice: the voters’ expectations or the promises of the politicians” (in Ukrainian) we performed the multi-regional study that revealed the significant differences in the public priorities as seen by voters and by politicians. We used the elections to raise the public awareness about the problems in municipal facilities management throughout the country. The project had busted the plan to build the network of regional bureau for monitoring, defense and lobbying of civic interests.
In the end of 2006 we initiated the civic lobbying campaign of non-partisan candidate for the vacant position of the Human Rights Commissioner. Human rights activist Evgen Zakharov was officially nominated for this position and Ukrainian parliament voted on him. He lost to a candidate of ruling coalition. We had setup the campaign of monitoring of the newly elected Human Rights Commissioner.
Monitoring of Ukrainian Parliament
In 2011 we started civic campaign against non personal voting of Ukrainian Members of Parliament. This is common practice that is expressly forbidden by Constitution and special ruling of Constitutional Court.
We are using legal instruments as well as social dialogue both domestically and internationally. Our goal is to increase the level of citizens’ intolerance against this blatantеt fraud and draw international attention to the fact that any legislation voted fraudulently by Ukrainian parliament can be considered invalid at any moment.