Local Ukrainians and supporters rally for peace - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Local Ukrainians and supporters rally for peace

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - In San Diego, members of the Ukrainian community and supporters took to the streets Saturday.

Dozens gathered downtown for a rally appealing to the US government and European allies to take action in support of a peaceful resolution to Ukraine's political crisis.

For many of them, the chants were in their native tongue. They shouted glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes -- an homage to those in Kiev fighting for freedom.

Singing was their country's national anthem -- it was a showing of unity after several months of violence that have been almost unbearable to watch.

"It's been horrible. Very stressful. It's been going on for months. No one really expected what happened last week. The violence wasn't something I saw coming. We were all afraid," Mira Mendoza said. 

Mendoza is from Ukraine, and all of her family is still there. She helped organize the rally and said although it's been tough, the recent impeachment of Viktor Yanukovych and tentative new elections are giving her hope. 

"I'm actually very hopeful and I think this is a good positive future for Ukraine as long as nothing unexpected happens," Mendoza said. 

"Very somber, especially in the last week," Father James Bankston said. 

Many supporters are part of the congregation at Father James Bankston's Ukrainian Catholic Church. He says it hasn't been easy, but they never lost faith. 

"It's really good to see that our situation of the Ukrainian nation is becoming more and more on the minds of people so they can see the brutality that's taking place there. And maybe up their voices and prayers," Father Bankston said. 

And it wasn't just Ukrainians who came. Mike Miller's an American who's married to a Ukrainian but even if he wasn't, he says the mutual love of freedom would have still brought him out. 

"I've become very moved because I can feel the passion and I can feel the pain and suffering are going through," Miller said. 

There has been plenty of pain. But it's their passion for freedom, that will pave the way to a new Ukraine. 

"We want just government, we want corruption to go away, and we want democracy," Mendoza said. 

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