The phrase “Sksel a…” (It has begun) pronounced by Levon Ter-Petrossian, the leader of opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) in one of his recent speeches has forced me to pay closer attention to his lengthy and unusually dull speeches.
As the number of supporters attending opposition rallies has dwindled over the past months, Levon Ter-Petrossian, Armenia’s First President and by far the most charismatic political figure on the scene, has been maneuvering, mixing threats towards the authorities with conformist remarks, citing Wikileaks and giving history lessons of Arab spring… you can just feel the man has nothing to say…
And than he recalled “a youth movement which existed several years ago called “Sksel a…” and announced, that “the forcing of pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections through more frequent rallies and an utmost consolidation or mobilization of the popular masses,” has begun (Sksel a…).
This is the name of the civic youth movement which was rather active back in 2007-2008. I was a member of it for some time and I recall those days with nostalgia. Those were the days of awakening… young people were staging amazingly creative protest actions drawing people’s attention to issues of democracy, freedom of speech, corruption, human rights in Armenia.
Then Levon Ter-Petrossian appeared on the political stage and discord began to grow among the ranks of “Sksel a…” Some of us insisted, that the group should remain strictly apolitical, while others were urging, that it should support the only viable opposition force led by Levon Ter-Petrossian.
“Sksel a…” eventually fell apart and ironically Levon Ter-Petrossian, the man who was, in many ways, the reason why the movement ceased to exist, recalls its name.
Moreover, I saw this graffiti on a sidewalk in Yerevan today. The catch-phrase apparently has assumed a life of its own and I feel somehow jealous and resentful, because a beautiful idea I once believed in will now be kicked around under various political feet, which will wipe their dirt on it and cheerful memories of the past will be tested again with groundless conspiracy theories…