“Impeachment alliance organized yet another rally at the Freedom Square. After political speeches, people started a rally in Baghramyan Street. Plastic bottles in their hands symbolized the events happened 3 years ago when after the clash with the opposition in Baghramyan Street Edgar Arakelyan was convicted for hitting a policeman with a plastic bottle.”
[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/v/n7nZLWNa3pY”] 2007-04-14 12:09 Via E-channel
Interestingly Armenian bloggers had no reaction to this event, which was only marked by an announcement from Aramazd on Bekaisa’s blog.
The events in Moscow, on the other hand, received widespread response, Sassna Dzer writes:
Kasparov (see photo), along with scores of other protesters, were rounded up by the thousands of riot police and Interior Ministry camouflaged soldiers that locked down the city to prevent a march by the “Other Russia” coalition of groups that accuse President Vladimir Putin of dismantling democracy in Russia.
More comments come from Bekaisa, Dilanyan, the Journal of “Hayk and Life“, JLiving Notes.
While JLiving Notes is analyzing the reasons, why the Putin government decided to use force under these circumstances, mentioning demonstration of power, misinformation and simple paranoia among Russian authorities, Bekaisa comments with disgust:
…and this is the state, which our government is trying to align with in everything, and more importantly, in ideology and methods. Less rights, more economy – this idea has already been voiced by the new varchapet [prime minister], so wait for the continuation of april 12th…
I’m still particularly interested why I first heard about this event not from Aylentrank/Impeachment, but from one of Sksel a’s organizers in the CRD-TI Armenia office about 3 weeks ago. Maybe both had the same idea, but one carried it through.
Anyway, I attended the rally in Liberty Square, but left after 15 minutes as it was pretty much the same as it always is. Lots of speeches to very few people and I’ve already documented that and had to go make contact with MIAK.
On the way, RFE/RL’s Emil Danielyan rang to tell me about the march with the bottles, and not least because he remembered I had told him about such plans by another group before. However, the light was failing, I had a meeting, and I was too tired to run up to Baghramian.
Should have tried, but regarding blogs, we have an interesting situation here. Firstly, blogs don’t usually reports news unless the media otherwise ignores it and in Armenia, the pro-opposition press does exist in the print media, and E-channel seems to be doing a good job of covering non-government linked parties.
What we need is more discussion and opinion about the issues involved, but unfortunately, the blogging and LJ community are based around friends who know each other and as a result, all the opinion is predictable and the same. Plus, there is no real discussion. Just lots of people taking one particular political line and all their friends agreeing with them.
As I’ve said, we might have many blogs here in Armenia and the Diaspora, but numbers alone doesn’t make for a good or active blogosphere. And as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, when many of those who were there on that night 12-13 April 2004 weren’t part of that procession, is it any wonder that the only ones to report it are those with pro-Aylentrank/Impeachment sympathies?
This is the problem with the Armenian blogosphere. Everything has become polarized. Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised as everything is in Armenian circles. However, it doesn’t make for a mature or conventional blogosphere. We just carry on the political “clan” mentality into cyberspace.
I would start with the fact, that there are Armenian blogs based on: WordPress, Blogger, etc. and there is the Armenian blogging community at the LJ. These are two completely different categories, and it is important not to mix one with another.
The LJ community or communities indeed are operating on a group bases, i.e. like minded people getting together type of stuff, which is perfectly normal and I’d even call it the strength of the LJ.
The blogs based on all other blogging platforms and related to Armenia, offer such diversity of content and opinion (ranging from the format of a regular newspaper – Oneworld Multimedia, to Armenian Genocide advocacy and Anarchism), that I would avoid qualifying them under any single label or adjective.
The question to ask is not whether we have a quality blogosphere, but rather: what should we expect from the Armenian blogosphere.
Onnik, I think your expectations from the Armenian blogosphere were too high, just as mine. For one thing, I expected blogs to become more serious media, then the traditional media and I really hoped, that the elections would become a catalyst in this process.
However, now I have a more pragmatic view: these are people, and the only thing that matters is the process of blogging itself, rather then the quality of individual blogs.
We can’t demand everybody to have diverse opinions, be great professionals, etc. I just want to see a lot of people blogging, and hope, that one day blogs will indeed become a real voice in Armenia. For now, I’m really happy to see cases, when blogs report stuff, that is neglected by the traditional media, or see how the topics that bloggers are interested in are different from those that the media is talking about, and make conclusions as to what media should really be talking about to appeal to a greater number of people.
On a related note, I am proud to see, that even newspapers like the Guardian (although in this case it is not the newspaper, but rather the Guardian Blog) are starting to look into the Armenian blogs to find answers and opinions about the country, as you can see in this official Guardian Blog this article at the Guardian, which refers to Uzogh’s blog several times. Good job Uzogh!
I hope more and more blogs will start getting as much media attention as Oneworld Multimedia is often getting, and as Uzogh has just made it.
For some of us abroad, it’s really hard ot keep track of what’s going on in Armenia. Reporting on interesting events in Los Angeles is one thing, but on protests half way around the world is quite another! 🙂
Rhyne – you are doing a fantastic job all the time. I wish we had more bloggers like you! 🙂
Nazarian and Armenia blog also have posts on the Blottle Protest.
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