Opposition rally: Day 6 (photos, updated)

12:15 • 18.04.18


While separate groups of activists were rallying outside ministries and other government buildings, Nikol Pashinyan said he had to leave for 1.5 hours "to conduct a working meeting".

On Wedenesday morning, the opposition leader said they are scheduling a big demonstration in
central Yerevan at 7:00pm.

Accompanied by several organizers, Pashinyan headed to the headquarters of the Civil Party.


Several activists have been released from the police preccinct. One of them, Narek Sargsyan, did not incur any administrative liability after submitting a written explanation saying that he was 18 years old and not a participant of the protest.

One arrested activist said he was required to pay an administrative fine of 50,000 Armenian Drams (over $100).


Pashinyan is now back to Arshakunyats Avenue, where he is again conducting a sit-in (close to Alexander Myasnikyan statue). Several other members of his team are holding a sit-in protest at the municipality’s entrance.

Relatives of arrested activists have gathered outside the Police Department of Yerevan’s Kentron Administrative District.


After the sit-in protest, the crowd headed to the Yerevan City Hall. 

But their attempt to close the building's entrance wasn't successful as the police immediately halted future actions. Pashinyan called for a respectful attiitude to the police, adding that their campaign "is not against law enforcers." 


The crowd is chanting slogans, urging Mayor Taron Margaryan to leave his office and meet them outside. 




The crowd is now conducting a sit-in protest at the intersection. 

Speaking to reporters covering the developments at the scene, Pashinyan elaborated on his recently announced plan for "setting up a revolutionary committee".

"We are in a period of staging a velvet revolution and intend to also create our branches in the regions - in different towns and viallages - to eventually have an organizational resource in all the corners of Armenia," he said, adding that the team has also established viable network connections.

Asked whether the committee will represent other political forces, Pashinyan said they have already their accomplished format. He also extendedgratitude to the parties which joined their demonstrations and marches over the past days. 



Pashinyan told the crowd that a wave of public protests has mounted also in several other cities and towns across Armenia, with the Gavar State University (Gegharkunik region) keeping its doors shut not to let the students and faculty to join a big demonstration being currently conducted.

“No one can shut the doors in front of an Armenian citizen,” the opposition leader said.

The crowd has now reached the intersection connecting Arshakunyats Avenue with Grigor Lusavorich and Agatangeghos streets.


Led by Nikol Pashinyan, the crowd reached the Armenian State Pedagogical University to urge its students to join them. The demonstrators are now continuing their procession down the Alec Manoogian street. 




Citing police sources, Armenpress reports that 66 protesters were taken to police precincts as of 12:00 Yerevan time. 



The crowd headed to the Yerevan State University in a procession. Pashinyan is calling upon the students to declare a declare a teach-in protest to join their campaign. 

"We will conduct a small assembly outside the Rector's Office for some 15-20 minutes and then continue our procession," he said. 



Policemen armed with clubs and shields have cordoned off France Square. The road section connecting the protest site with Baghramyan Avenue is now blocked. 


After the Tuesday events, opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan again rallied supporters in Yerevan’s France Square, encouraging them to continue the campaign “against ruling regime’s grip on power”.

Early in the morning, the protesters blocked the intersection connecting the square with the Masthots Avenue.

“I don’t think anything will stop us now - after yesterday’s groundbreaking events. So our victory is inevitable,” he said, addressing the crowd.

The National Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly elected Serzh Sargsyan the prime minister of Armenia (amid the continuing opposition rallies in the central streets of Yerevan).

The amended Constitution (adopted after the 2015  referendum) esssentially expands the prime minister's authority, reducing the president's status to a ceremonial role.

The lawmakers of Yelk (of which Pashinyan is the leader) were strongly determined to vote against Sargsyan’s candidacy, a member of the political faction, Edmon Marukyan, told reporters before the parliamentary hearing

The third president's nomination received support by the ruling Republic Party and its coalition partner, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaksutyun (ARF-D), at a joint session on Monday.

At the rally on Tuesday night, Pashinyan said they would step up the campaign to create a "Revolutionary Committee" composed of people standing at the roots of their civic movement.

Pashinyan says they are planning to hold a demonstration also on Wednesday evening.


Armenian News - Tert.am


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