Armenian Opposition Announces Timeless Sitting Protests

Opposition supporters are dancing around the tents in the Freedom Square © Photo by Artur Papyan, Yerevan, 2008

Following a rally which lasted several hours, starting at 15:00 which gathered dozens of thousands of supporters, Armenian opposition leaders announced a timeless sit down protest in the Freedom Square, in front of the Opera House. Nikol Pashinyan, making the announcement, demanded, that the mayor of Yerevan Yervand Zakharyan and the head of RA Police Hayk Harutyunyan send police in uniforms to ensure the security of protesters.

Earlier speeches were made by main opposition leaders and Levon Ter-Petrosian, claiming that the vote has been rigged. Interestingly, presidential candidate Artur Baghdasaryan’s campaign manager Heghine Bisharyan also spoke (despite recent mutual offenses exchanged between Levon Ter-Petrossian and Artur Baghdasaryan). In her speech she declared, that Artur Baghdasaryan had always been with the nation and the ballot papers were being re-counted at all election districts, as a result of which “the number of votes of our candidates is increasing”.

Rally attracted around 25,000 people at its peak – at around 4 p.m. During my last visit, when the sitting protest was declared, the amount of people had seriously decreased – there were 5000 people at most. However, the atmosphere was cheerful – tents could be seen here and there, and people were dancing to loud music.

Opposition rally in the Freedom Square © Photo by Artur Papyan, Yerevan, 2008

Opposition rally in the Freedom Square © Photo by Artur Papyan, Yerevan, 2008

Opposition rally in the Freedom Square © Photo by Artur Papyan, Yerevan, 2008

Ter-Petrossian Speaking, Opposition rally in the Freedom Square © Photo by Artur Papyan, Yerevan, 2008

About 10 tents already set up in the Freedom Square © Photo by Artur Papyan, Yerevan, 2008

Opposition supporters clapping and dancing in the Freedom Square © Photo by Artur Papyan, Yerevan, 2008

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. […] The Armenian Observer reports and posts photographs from the start of today’s endless protest action staged by supporters of former president, Levon Ter-Petrossian. E-Channel also reports that Ter-Petrossian and other radical opposition leaders will not endure sub-zero temperatures as long as those currently camped out in Liberty Square as “there are other issues to be solved.” […]

  2. […] Armenian Observer posts photographs from the start of today's “endless protest action” staged by supporters of former […]

  3. In 1988 we kicked the Russians out. In 2008 we’ll kick the banditocracy out.

  4. I’m just really pessimistic about Levon being the one doing it 🙁 I really don’t trust him.

  5. His team’s demand is new free and fair elections. Maybe ARF will it…
    BTW, did you see the result of the recount of votes in district 9/31? VH was reported to have had 3 votes but the recount showed 120! So SS’s patsy was ARF after all.
    I got the tally in my blog here:

  6. Yeah I saw it, just could’t comment from my mobile phone. Seems like wordpress is more mobile friendly (I’m at the freedom square right now).

  7. Levon whants free and fair election ? What a joke ………..

  8. Yeah and General Manvel is the ‘protector of our freedom’. I hope this costs him dear and he ends up behind the bars, that national ‘hero’ who keeps Etjmiatsin in constant state of terror.

  9. What interests me now isn’t the fact that Levon supporters are crying foul, as they were expected to, but that in the pictures above I see new buildings surrounding Opera! And fewer trees! 🙁

  10. thank you, Patrik. 🙂

  11. Archuk probably you prefer the army to come and ride their tanks over the people.

  12. Ok, Guys
    I red all the postings here, and noticed that everybody wants to be smart first, and neutral, second. Why? That is not going to work. You have to take side, even if you do not want. You have to take side even you do not have favorite candidate. Probably you will never have favorite candidate if you have all necessary information about the candidate. This is simple, you cannot like one person forever.
    I do not like Levon, but I am supporting him.
    I am not Levon supporter by default, but I support him now. I even was against him 1996 when I was young student, and I was one of those who attacked the Parliament.
    Why I know support him?
    Before answering I have to say that every smart person understands that during LTP’s campaign and rallies there were a lot of misinformation and exaggerations. So what? What is the problem? In any Western country elections are about misinformation and exaggeration. The only difference is Western countries have open and accessible media (note I am not saying free media, there is no free media anywhere), and they can balance that misinformation.
    People do not try to be smarter more than you are. Everybody is talking about the LTP. This elections are not about LTP. The elections are about Armenia, and Armenian People. If people are naive and follow LTP, or Arthur Baghdasaryan then what is wrong? World Peoples are always naive? REMEMBER, this is about people. and not about the candidates.
    I am glad that people can believe in somebody, or IN THEIR MOVEMENT. I like when people feel that they are force, and can make change. Of course this is a little naive that people can make change, but I like when people themself believe in that.
    Walk on the street of Armenia (I do not mean only now, or during election) and you will see no smile, no cheer, people are dissapointed in everything, people are undefended.
    So, what is wrong when they have hope now. I am saying HOPE. I am not claiming that LTP will do everything fine.
    Take the American Primaries example. This guy, Barack Obama. Who is he? Where this guy came from? What he wants? Nobody understands, but people see hope in OBAMA. I understand that it is very naive to belive that a Kenian-American Barrack Obama can change the bureaucratic isntitutionalized and even corrupt system of American government. But, people have hope.
    Second reason I support LTP, is that I do not believe in evolution (in political and economic terms). I believe in accelerated evolution. Accelerated evolution happens when there is a change in government. When new government comes, at least they try to bring new ideas. I know that new ideas will not realize instantaneously, and the new government members are not going to be angels, but when new people come to power it is already accelerated evolution. One government should not rule more than 10 years. It is absurd, it is even stupid and detrimental. If we have the change of ruling parties in every 10 years, we will have better results, than if the same party or people rule for 20-30 or 40 years. I am talking about the same corrupt governments. It is better to have corrupt governments to change every 10 years, than to have one for more than 10 years. This is my theory of accelerated evolution. This happened in America from the 1800s up to 1940-50s. All governments were corrupt and undemocratic, but they changed. Nowadays the US and European governments are more civilized but again corrupt governments.
    If Serge is president , then Armenia will go back and down. No serious changes can happen. Why? Becuase if Serje stays, we will be in the same situation that we were in 1980s, when Brejnev came to power.
    So, this is about change and hope of people. Although many will argue that LTP is not change, becuase he was in power, but I do not agree with it.
    Third reason I support Levon.
    Now he has new people. I do not talk about Demirtchyan, or Aram Sargsyan. I am talking about those young educated supporters that he has. He has many of them, although people see only couple of them (Nikol, Miqael). He has at least 200 new young activists that he relies on them, when he comes to power. This young guys are not blind followers of LTP and they are also not angels, but
    I think still there will be some people who will argue with my reasons for supporting LTP. It is your right, but try to be objective. Do not exaggerate your expectations from new president and try not to be perfectionists.
    More importantly, those who do not agree with me, and they still do not take side and try to be neutral, then guys you have problem.
    Take side, and after presidential elections again become neutral and even oppose the new president. But do not try to be neutral NOW, when you have to take side. Support either one, I do not care LTP or Serje, but bring arguments why you are supporting one or another.
    This is all, I will be glad to reply to your postings.

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