By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The local Ukrainian community is watching as a two month long peaceful protest in Kiev has led to violence and at least three deaths. Now, Vice President Joe Biden is calling on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to end the bloodshed.
Gene Luciw, a Philadelphia resident and active member of the Ukrainian-American community, says this is the Ukrainian version of the Arab Spring, “If you mean the Arab Spring being situations where people are genuinely rising up to create democracy in their country, absolutely.”
The peaceful protests in Kiev started in November when the president proposed laws banning mass protests, and restrictions on freedom of speech and civil rights. The opposition groups want President Yanukovych removed from office and new elections held.
Locally, supporters are holding a protest cavalcade on Sunday at 2:30 from the Ukrainian Center in Jenkintown to the Catholic Cathedral on Franklin Street.