With the initiative of Sksela youth movement and support of Center for Regional Development / Transparency Armenia, a group of 34 journalists and civil society activists, including representatives of Sksela youth movement, CRD / TI, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, Yerevan Press Club, Helsinki Citizens Assembly – Yerevan, PanArmenian Association of Women visited Gyumri today, to take part in the rally staged in support of Gala TV company, which has come under the attack of tax inspection service and Gyumri municipality, after its refusal to comply with the directions of the authorities, not to broadcast the announcement about the first opposition rally on October 26 with the participation of Former President Levon Ter-Petrossian.
Around 1000 people gathered at the rally in support of the small regional TV company, despite the freezing cold. E-channel has more:
Armed with the posters Paws off from Gala, our Favorite Child!; Authorities change, Freedom is eternal; Enemies of Freedom of Speech will be punished by the Law and, Public Ignorance, and that Day will come by the Damnation of God, the gathering organizers and participants left Asparez journalists’ club for the Theater Square in Gyumri.
Levon Barseghyan, the chairman of Asparez club opened the meeting on behalf of the headquarters of freedom of speech and Gala support. He briefly presented the recent events around Gala, repeating that the officials involved in this case will have to answer for it.
“I am glad that here we have everybody that considers himself free, that is not scared to protect his and others’ freedom, that has understood that people closing Gala TC yesterday closed A1+ and Noyan Tapan and tomorrow are going to dictate to them how to live, how to breathe, what to listen to, what to watch, and how to think. We are not going to permit closing of Gala – they will not manage to do it,” Levon Barseghyan said.
At the end of the meeting, Levon Barseghyan congratulated the coming New Year of the gathered people, promising “to bring black New Year over those closing Gala” if that rally and their protests had no influence. The last sentence was also awarded by the encouragement of the gathered people.
I forgot to mention – it was sooooo cold, that I now have an ungly fever and something resembling flue… various combinations of tee with alcohol don’t seem to help so far 🙁
[…] society groups which continue to maintain a close relationship and partnership for the election. According to the blogger and Sksela activist Observer, the action was the initiative of the pro-opposition youth movement with logistical support […]
Sksela balloons, huh? Interesting for me. Is Sksela a registered organization yet, and is it in receipt of any grants or fundings for the production of such things as well as its activities?
Onnik – a lot of things can be done with very little amount of money and lots of dedication.
Transparency provided a bus yesterday – we paid for everything else (drinks, food, etc. during the trip) ourselves. If Transparency didn’t pay for the bus, I would try to pay for it from my own money, and I’m sure many of those with us yesterday, would have gladly contributed.
We frooze to death, and we had a lot of fun – singing, playing games and demonstrating 🙂 We were there, because that was an important message to the Gyumri Mayor and Tax inspection service – all of Armenia is watching the developments around Gala! Why not?
PS: The baloons and stickers were leftovers from one of the Spring events organized by Sksela. I’m guessing also with the support of Transparency.
Ok, I was figuring something like that hence the almost inseparable working relationship between Sksela and CRD/TI Armenia with its financing from OSI, USAID, British Embassy etc for election-related activities. Thanks for the clarification.
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