Bringing awareness to the Pier

Guests dining at the Malibu Farm Restaurant and Cafe were invited by a small but distinguished group of protesters chanting, “Stop the war” and waving the Ukrainian flag in hopes of bringing awareness to the Malibu community of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Prior to entering the Malibu Pier gates, a man approached the group of 50 participants and asked if they were allowed to enter, to which Iryna Vasylkova responded, “We are bringing awareness,” through a megaphone. 

“I am a proud Ukrainian, and it’s excruciating to contemplate how my beautiful, beloved, independent… state, the biggest country in Europe, is being invaded and incinerated by Russian, aggressive military troops, and we here to raise our voice and scream on the top of our lungs at every corner that this can no longer go on,” Vasylkovs said. “We demand the world to intervene, and we want to raise awareness. It’s extremely important to the rest of Ukraine to know that the whole world stands with Ukraine.”

Vasylkovs is the Cultural Diplomacy Director of the Ukrainian Arts Center in Los Angeles and was holding a poster that read, “Putin, keep hands off Ukraine,” during the protest.

While the group crossed from the Malibu Pier to the Aviator Nation, honks were heard from vehicles waiting at the red light on PCH.

The participants stretched a banner of Ukraine and carried it through the Malibu Pier and down PCH towards Cross Creek Road; vehicles clapped, cheered, and honked in support.

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Protest organizer and Malibu resident Victoria Frankel led the group from the Malibu Pier to The Malibu Country Mart on Cross Creek Road. 

“I’m protesting against the war in Ukraine; I want my neighborhood to know that this war has to be relevant to everyone,” Frankel said. “He’s attacking peaceful citizens; Ukraine has done nothing to provoke this aggression. I have my mom in Ukraine, I am Ukrainian, I’ve lived in the U.S. for thirteen years, and I couldn’t stay on the side knowing children, elderly—people are going defenseless to war without any gear, so I want to highlight that this is everyone’s business.”

After crossing the intersection of Cross Creek Road near Malibu Lagoon, the group made their way to Malibu Colony near Whole Foods and back to the Malibu Country Mart. 

Woodland Hills resident Hanna Husakova attended the protest to bring awareness to the Malibu community and was waving the flag of Ukraine throughout the whole protest. Husakova said her family is hiding and trying to survive in Ukraine. 

“She [her mother] said, ‘no, I’m staying here, I don’t have a place to run,’” Husakova said. “I think there are not a lot of people who are aware of what is happening right now, it depends which kind of media they are reading, but that’s why we want to spread the word and want everyone to think critically. We really appreciate all the help.”

The protest ended peacefully at the intersection of Cross Creek Road near the Malibu Country Mart.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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