This is not Maidan, this is Marshal Baghramyan (Protests in Yerevan)
New Euromaydan? Caucasian spring? Provocations from West or pressures from the East? Global policy or internal chess play? Maybe everything is simple than we think, maybe Armenian Youth is ready to protect rights and they are not afraid to use all methods of modern democracy. It is more than a week that several thousands of young people gather in Baghramyan avenue to raise their voice and express concern towards unfair social policy of RA Government.
In broadcasts the viewer could guess that the issue is the rising cost for electricity. Well, in part, yes, but that was just the starting point. Worth to mention that during the last 2 years it was raised twice, but that didn’t provoke those massive actions. This time something else happened, this time it was not political, this time protests were organized by young activists who were not political figures and were not connected to any party. Each day several thousands of people come to Baghramyan Avenue(One of the main streets with president’s house and Parliament building across it) and express their indignation and concern towards the rise of the cost for electricity. Youth is not alone standing for the rights of all Armenian citizens. Famous artists, non-partisan policy makers come to support the protestors. Though to fact that the protests have social direction several Medias in Russia and Ukraine want to see the seeds of revolution there. That’s why a motto was created “This is not maidan, this is Marshal Baghramyan (Baghramyan; famous Armenian marshal during World War II)”.Though several anti-Russian slogans appeared in the place of demonstrations (As the Electric networks of Armenia now belongs to Russian company), still the protestors claim, foreigners have nothing to do here, this is a problem in Armenia, and it will solved by Armenians.
Though there are already promises from the RA president Serzh Sargsyan that the additional costs of the electricity will be covered by the government, and Armenian-Russian joint Commission will be created to audit the Electric Networks of Armenia to find out the abuses in the company, the people, standing overnight in Baghramyan avenue, are skeptic about it. They demand the annulations of the decision about the raising of the electricity cost. “The solution proposed by the President is not satisfactory for us, What does it mean, the government will take care about the additional expenses as a result of electricity cost rising? It means that still it will be paid from our taxes”, Vaghinak Shushanyan, active organizer of the protests, commented in interview with Radio Free Europe.
On the parallel to this more and more support sent to Armenian protestors from abroad. Armenians from Diaspora share activities and goals of the ones protesting in Baghramyan street by social medias. Lots of video-photo content support is shared in Facebook. Armenian just-married couple joint the activists immediately after the wedding to support the protestors. Vaghinak Shushanyan, the activist, celebrated his 24 th birthday this week among thousands of fellow protesters fighting rising electricity prices in Armenia.
Worth to mention that the protests are held not only in the capital. The other large cities in Armenia; Gyumri, Vanadzor, Alaverdi and other towns are full of youth to participate in protests. There the protests are not constant ones, people gather in streets randomly to claim their demands. Though Armenian youth is diverse, with different backgrounds, choices and future, now most of them stand to have a common goal, they demand active participation in decision making processes.
Erik Ghazaryan YEU Newsmail editor