Pora! (Ukrainian: Пора!), meaning It's time! in Ukrainian, is a civic youth organization (Black Pora!) and political party in Ukraine (Yellow Pora!) espousing nonviolent resistance and advocating increased national democracy. The group was established in 2004 (as only a civic youth organization) to coordinate young people's opposition to the Kuchma government in opposition to what they claimed was the authoritarian governing style of Ukraine's president Leonid Kuchma. After the Orange Revolution Pora! split up in two different entities, Black Pora! (since 2006 OPORA) and Yellow Pora!
The civic youth organization
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.
Prior to the 2004 presidential election, pro-democracy movements such as Pora! had created political networks throughout Ukraine, including 150 groups responsible for spreading information and coordinating election monitoring, 72 regional centers, and 30,000 registered participants. This allowed Pora! to mobilize protesters after widespread reports of electoral fraud.
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! activists where arrested in October 2004, but the release of many (on what was reported President Leonid Kuchma's personal order) gave growing confidence to the opposition. Pora! was seen as being on the radical wing of the reform movement.
After the success of the Orange Revolution in defeating election fraud, early 2005 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 (Reforms and Order Party).
Yellow Pora stated in January 2005 it focused on spreading its "revolution" to other countries, particularly Belarus and Russia. A Russian wing of Yellow PORA was created in December 2004 in order to harness the experience of successful democratic revolutions in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine (pora.org.ru).
The political party
|Founded||March 23, 2005|
Now Yellow Pora! is a Ukrainian political party registered on March 23, 2005. Yellow Pora was united with Party Reform and Order and founded bloc PRP-PORA for the parliamentary elections 2006. Vitali Klitschko was the head of this political bloc. At the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006, this alliance won 1,47% of the popular vote and no seats. The alliance was disbanded after the election when the parties became members of different electoral alliances.
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. 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. Around the March 2006 Parliamentary elections Black Pora changed its name to OPORA (Foundation) (Ukrainian: ОПОРА).
- Kalil, Thomas. (2008) Harnessing the Mobile Revolution. The New Policy Institute. Pg 14
- Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present edited by Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash, Oxford University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-19-955201-6 (page 345)
- PORA! TAKES TWO DIFFERENT PATHS, The Jamestown Foundation (1 February 2005>
- BEREZOVSKY HOPES TO SELL ORANGE REVOLUTION TO RUSSIA, The Jamestown Foundation (17 March 2005)
- (in Ukrainian) Громадянська партія “Пора”, Database DATA
- (in Ukrainian) Results of the elections, preliminary data, on interactive maps by Ukrayinska Pravda (November 8, 2010)
- (in Ukrainian) Results of voting in single constituencies in 2012 & Nationwide list, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
- Alphabetical Index of parties in 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
- DEMOCRACY IN UKRAINE AFTER THE ORANGE REVOLUTION Archived 2010-07-16 at the Wayback Machine. by Vitaliy Shyyan, University of Minnesota (September 2008)