PORA! (ПОРА!), meaning IT'S TIME! in Ukrainian, is a civic youth organizations in Ukraine espousing nonviolent resistance and advocating increased national democracy, in opposition to what they claimed was the authoritarian governing style of Ukraine's president Leonid Kuchma. The group was established in 2004 to coordinate young people's opposition to the Kuchma government.
Pora! was inspired and partly trained by members of the Serbian Otpor movement which helped bring down President Slobodan Milošević, and is also allied to related movements throughout Eastern Europe, including Kmara in the republic of Georgia (itself partly responsible for the downfall of President Eduard Shevardnadze), Zubr in Belarus (opposing President Alexander Lukashenko), Oborona in Russia, and MJAFT! in Albania.
According to Pora! has never received U.S. funding and that while 10 members traveled to Serbia in the spring of 2004 and met with Otpor leaders at a seminar in the city of Novi Sad, they paid for themselves.
Pora! supported Viktor Yushchenko in protests following the disputed 2004 presidential election. It claimed to have about 10,000 members. Its methods have apparently been influenced by Gene Sharp's manual From Dictatorship to Democracy. Apart from the mass demonstrations of the "Orange Revolution", the group's tactics have included the use of visually striking posters showing confrontational images such as a giant boot crushing a cockroach, and stickers with "revolutionary" slogans such as "Time to Arise!". Not surprisingly, this has aroused the ire of the Ukrainian authorities and Pora! activists have often been harassed and arrested. Pora! was seen as being on the radical wing of the reform movement.
Since the success of the Orange Revolution in defeating election fraud, Pora has formally split into two branches with different goals for the future. The difference, however, always existed without being publicly known, between the original Black Pora! - a student movement associated with civic resistance and anti-Kuchma campaigns and the Yellow Pora! - organized by a group of politicians more closely connected to oppositional parties in the Parliament - such as Nasha Ukraina (Our Ukraine) of Viktor Yuschenko and PRP (Reform and Order Party). Yellow Pora, is focused on spreading its "revolution" to other countries, particularly Belarus and Russia. Black Pora, functions mainly as a pro-democracy watchdog trying to clean Ukraine of 'Kuchmizm' (i.e. the legacy of the former authoritarian President Leonid Kuchma) and does not see the possibility of exporting its experience to other countries.
Now Yellow Pora! is a Ukrainian political party. Yellow Pora united with Party Reform and Order and founded bloc PRP-PORA. Vitali Klitschko is the head of this political bloc. Black Pora! remains a non-partizan movement and has formally registered as an NGO - All-Ukrainian Civic Organization Pora! Part of its public campaigns - such as the one aimed at pressuring major political parties to clean their electoral lists of notorious personalities - connected to the old regime or having criminal background - at the March 26, 2006 Parliamentary elections - go under a different title 'Opora'(Foundation). At the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006, it won in an alliance with the Reforms and Order Party 1,47 % of the popular vote and no seats.
Interview: Anastasia Bezverkha discusses the role of the youth democracy group Pora in the Ukraine political crisis
Nov 29, 2004; MICHELE NORRIS All Things Considered (NPR) 11-29-2004 Interview: Anastasia Bezverkha discusses the role of the youth democracy...