There's something in the air…

As one year anniversary of March 1, 2008 deadly clashes between the opposition protesters and military police forces looms closer, there’s growing tension in the society. Police and opposition mutually warned each other today not to stir further tension.

Snapshot from RFE/RL website on February 27, 2009
Snapshot from RFE/RL website on February 27, 2009

Major-General Alik Sargsian, chief of the national police, made clear that the police will not try to disperse thousands of people who are expected to rally on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the 2008 post-election clashes in Yerevan. “The police are very calm,” he said. “Nothing [bad] is expected on March 1. Our people understand everything.”
Sargsian said the police will use force only in the event of “any violation of public order.” “But we are convinced that people will calmly gather, pay their respects [to the March 1 victims] and go home,” he said.
The main opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) plans to rally supporters outside the Matenadaran institute of ancient manuscripts and then stage a march through the city despite the municipal authorities’ refusal to authorize the protest.
As the police chief spoke to journalists, the Armenian National Congress (HAK) issued a statement urging law-enforcement bodies to work together with the opposition alliance in making sure that the upcoming rally is peaceful. Levon Zurabian, a senior HAK representative, said the organizers will take “unprecedented measures to maintain order during rally” and warned the police against taking “provocative actions.” “We are urging the police to cooperate, not to create problems, not to provoke the people,” he said.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Here’s hoping it doesn’t pass with problems. Anyway, I’m sure the government know that they will be slammed by the international community if something happens, and while that might be good for the opposition, I don’t think they particularly want it either. Basically, government need to instruct police to not over-react and the opposition needs to keep any hot heads under control. Both have been able to do this before after 1 March so I’m hoping that they’ll do so again on Sunday.

  2. […] to mark the 1 March post-election clashes which left at least 10 dead, The Armenian Observer says tensions are increasing in the capital, Yerevan. Meanwhile, writing for the Frontline Club blog, Global Voices Online's Caucasus Editor […]

  3. So Alik Sargsian is saying that the cops are different than the people? What kind of babboons do they have in the government? There is no our or your victim.
    The restoration of the constitutional order is a pan-Armenian issue as it affects all of us – in Armenia or in Spyurq.

  4. Hey, nice tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a glass of beer to the man from that chat who told me to visit your blog 🙂

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