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Bishkek Goes Demonstration!

Well they advised us not to go down, and in honesty this was very good advice. But TEFL teachers are made of stronger stuff than you think! But take a look, it wasn't too bad.
Recent events (2010) have necessitated a context within which to understand this page.
These photos were taken in 2006 and are therefore not representations of the events in either 2005 or 2010, at which I was not present. Nor was I in Kyrgyzstan during either of these years.
Kyrgyzstan is not a rich country, in spite of a few people moderately prospering in the capital. It is also not renowned for political and administrative integrity at every level, and in truth has problems with rising crime and drug abuse.
But I still love it!
So do many other people, I'm sure including their president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Only every few months, those who disagree, come together in the capital to remind me, fortunately not directly, that they disagree. This is what happened...
The yurt were mainly used as places of rest for the protesters, but also as distribution centres for food and water (and maybe other drinks too but this is only heresay and personally I am not saying I believe it just whispering it in your ears).

Yurt City


An attempt at being disgruntled

Early in the protests a few people made their way to government HQ to try their luck. It was a very lame attempt that only lasted minutes. They were soon dissuaded by their own supporters. Not enough people. Let's try later. I think this set the mood a bit, I don't think the appetite was there in the same way as it had been in 2005, when a revolution forced a change of government and president.


Later in the week

This photo is deceptive, but indicative. There were far more people than this, but the BBC's Central Asia correspondent, the excellent Natalia Antelava wrote that, I think, 10,000 people had gathered in the square. What? I estimated about 500. Many of them marched but this was already late in the week and people were getting hungry, and fed up.
And probably aware that the country wasn't about to let the same thing happen again.
A few days later there was a violent clash in the square (I wasn't there) and the police cleared the area.
And it was over once more. I honestly don't know if they ever tried again.

The only Russian I saw there

Without being ostensibly critical of the media, the facts reported about these events did not tally with my own observations. At times this supposedly violent week seemed more like a festival, and the crowds never topped a thousand. This is not to say I was there from start to finish, but I was fascinated enough to get very close to things and it never dropped more than the occasional hint of getting its act together.
The only suggestion that being there was not so wise came when two men asked me for money, but otherwise there was nothing that concerned me or made me feel I had to leave.

Organised not spontaneous


They had a concert later