Opposition takes long-awaited decisive steps

Opposition supporters call for sitting protests

The leader of Armenia’s largest opposition group Armenian National Congress Levon Ter-Petrossian announced the start of one-week long non-stop rallies today,  in a long awaited decisive move, following days of speculation as to what exactly the opposition will do when they see that the authorities have no intention of returning to dialogue.
The tone of the opposition rally was elevated today despite rain which never stopped throughout Ter-Petrossian’s speech.
It seemed, that after months of uncertainty, the opposition finally knows exactly what they’re doing.
The decision to start non-stop rallies was made after ‘consulting’ with opposition supporters, although I’m under the impression, that everything was pretty much decided and planned beforehand.
The opposition supporters have put out tents in the Liberty square at this point and are planning to stay there all night. Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian is reportedly also there.
As he announced about the non-stop rallies, Ter-Petrossian made it clear that his supporters must remain peaceful and highly disciplined. He had a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” which seemed to indicate, that all mistakes of the past had been taken into consideration.
Even though I have déjà vus of 2008, I feel somewhat relieved to finally see something clear come out. Sure, nobody wants the repeat of violence that happened in March 2008, but at least “Alea iacta est” and we know that at least one political force in the country is prepared to really “Fight! Fight till the end!” and not just keep sounding same old threats rally after rally after rally…
PS: With Kocharian’s announcement earlier today and Ter-Petrossian’s non-stop rally announcement, this day has become the most important political turning point since March 2008. As an Armenian, I’m cautious, as a blogger, I’m intrigued and excited as hell!

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Artur! What will happen!? Can this opposition force early elections? Might Levon and Robert form an alliance? Or will this week of protests just come and go uneventfully?? You are right. It is exciting!!

    1. @R.Davidian
      Robert, why did you privatize your YT video of the very beautiful almost Caucasian exotic looking ARmenian girl crying her soul out to you about how our country has become and not belonging to the ppl anymore??
      you know which video I’m referring to, you made it private and I am very curious to know why you did that? I wanted to share that video with many whom are subscribed to me on youtube, as well as, email it out to over 10,000 ARmenians who are on my email address book, which in turn would be forwarded to 10’s of thousands of other ARmenians and well most likely would go viral for ARmenian youtub’ers
      That video of her crying and showing how ARmenia has become really touched me, but of course made me more angry and sad as I want to console her and show her that those of us outside of Hayastan and whom are very HAYaser are NOT turning blind eyes to her and rest of the homeland. we are paying very close attention and we acknowledge what has happened, is happening, and will happen if we dont unite and put a stop to it
      Also, liked your JEW lovin’ video you made and uploaded on youtube
      Let me guess, now that I mentioned this video, you’ll make it pvt as well?

    2. Of all the people, Levon and Robert are the least likely to ever form an alliance.
      If there’s any force which can force early elections, that would be Levon-led HAK.
      Depending on what’s the dynamic of the rallies starting from tomorrow, anything can happen. Today’s rally was not as big as some of the spring rallies HAK held, but it was raining, so that might have been one of the reasons.

  2. What is their demand? I mean when and upon what condition will they leave the Liberty square?

  3. Ter-Petrossian said the non-stop rally puts forward the same 8 demands that he had outlined at the previous rally, which are (via A1plus)
    1. Hold snap presidential and parliamentary elections by the end of this year.
    2. Make essential amendments in the RA Electoral Code before the elections by including in them our suggestions.
    3. Reveal the ten murders of March 1 and start criminal persecution against those responsible within three months.
    4. Release political prisoner Tigran Arakelyan and quash the cases instigated against the seven ANC youth activists.
    5. Lift the illegitimate ban on street trade in Yerevan.
    6. Declare as invalid the decision on demolishing kiosks in Yerevan.
    7. Terminate the perversion of the architectural image of Yerevan and ban the construction of tall buildings in the capital.
    8. Prohibit by law the practice of the persecution of high-ranking officials, National Assembly deputies and local self-government body heads against the media and journalists.
    See the Armenian version here.

    1. …and we all know this is not serious.
      and we all know they will leave the square having no single demand satisfied, or simply given a lousy promise to continue dialogue.
      this all gradually “kills” the last hopes of those who blindly believe the Congress.
      it is pity to realize, that releasing their friend from prison is only the 4-rth demand.
      I remember earlier this year, Levon Ter-Petrosyan had 10 demands and among those he demanded financial compensation for the families of March 1 victims, $ 1 mln. for each killed and $ 200,000 for each injured. Don’t these people need money anymore?
      I remember again among those 10 demands earlier this year Levon Ter-Petrosyan demanded to include Artsakh in the international negotiations as a separate party. They do not demand this anymore, but they rather included kiosks and street trade in their demands.
      what can I say, these guys keep their agenda updated. I am just really sorry to see all this.

  4. Dear Observer,
    You are excited that LTP might come back to power? You are not scared? What makes you think his policies will be any different than the 1st time around? Have you forgotten all the terrible damage he did to the country? How he subjected the population to the terror of his henchmen, to hunger and to cold? And dont tell me it was because of the blocade — price of bread literaly across the border in Georgia was 1/5th of what it was on this side of the border. Did you forget how he himself admited that closing some of the largest enterprised in Armenia was simply a “trampoline” to come to power? And I am not paraphrasing. Nairit and NPP are simply the 2 we know of. (FYI, Nairit’s profit, had it not been sabotaged, today would be larger than the entire budget of ROA). You are not scared that he will bring the same black clouds with him? You not scared that he will again OVER TV ask the intelligent people to leave the country?
    I am simply amazed that ANYBODY would follow his footsteps. If we are demanding justice, why not start with reinvestigating all the killings that happened on his watch? Why not investigate all the theft that happened on his watch? Why this ridiculous double standard?
    And please stop all the nonsense of his victories in Karabagh. LTP was not even aware of the preparations/execution of liberation of Shushi. On the other hand, the person you fear might come to power (and even current minister of defense) directly participated in fightings.
    If he comes to power, I highly doubt Armenia as a country will survive another round of repressions.

    1. I’m excited, because as a blogger (and even more as a journalist), I see the big news story unfolding before my eyes, because anything can happen and politics (and life) has just become interesting.
      I’m not scared, but I’m cautious, because there is some very small chance, that the events of March 1, 2008 might be repeated.
      I don’t think LTP has a chance of returning to power, but if he does, why not? I think, that the more frequently the regime changes in Armenia, the better, because power corrupts and whoever comes to power in Armenia digs so deep into presidential chair, that it becomes hard to tear them away from it. I’d say, let’s change the president every two year and parliament every three year, just to make the rulers understand, that this is not their divine right, but the rule of the people and they’re only there to carry out people’s will.

  5. Observer jan,
    You did not answer any of my questions.
    As far as your new points:
    1) March 8 events are murky to everyone — so not sure what you are referring to.
    Do you want a repeat of this?
    Do you want these thugs as your leaders?
    2) There is no proof in politics that change is good. If anything, probably the opposite is true.
    If you are trying to be an observer, I think you are failing. Your postings seem to be more propaganda than an observation. 🙂

    1. Maybe I’m spreading propaganda without having such an intention. I have to admit, that I’ve always felt sympathetic with people on the streets, wherever they are.
      However, I’d like to find out, if its propaganda, what exactly is my message? I mean, propaganda is supposed to urge people to do something for this or that political purpose, right?

  6. Here’s another video – this is how everything happened yesterday:

    1. the brainwashed and brainless of Hayastan
      when will my ppl wake the f*** up and realize ltp is the devil in sheeps skin
      >>>but if he does, why not?<<<
      also, @Observer
      aper, I think mike is correct about you
      I have noticed too it seems strongly you are a closeted/covert levonaser
      if you are, then come out with it already and stop hiding behind bushes about it
      I am sympathetic to my ppl on the streets too
      I would be there with them sleeping in the tents & dancing too
      but not because I'm brainwash/brainless idiot who is duped by ltp to do what he wants and give in to him & his cronies
      but because I want to support my ppl's struggle in regime change, but more or less to support change for the better in Hayastan

  7. Dear Observer I am surprised with your thought about 2 years long presidency. Do you believe anyone can reach tangible results or can bring change in 2 years?
    Obama was shouting “yes, we can” meaning 4 years and yet he couldn’t. Having not only his nation’s support but the whole world’s support. And being the president of the richest country on this planet.
    Do you really think negative things happening in 4-5 years term will lessen if the term is 2 years? You sure they will not increase, deepen, progress and accelerate? Because time is short.
    Do you really think it is good for the country to change the  president every 2 years?
    If this is the formula you come out, I just want to hope you appreciate all the consequences of this approach.

    1. This is not a formula, I’m just throwing out ideas to provoke discussion. The fact is, I don’t believe in the existing system we have in Armenia and in most of the countries which call themselves advanced democracies.
      If we really get into my formula of organization of human communities, we will be in dangerous waters.
      To put it shortly, the system I believe in doesn’t allow room for power verticals and centralized executive branches.
      For years I’ve been thinking about a system, where humans organize themselves on the level of local communities and networks of communities. In this Utopia, which I haven’t been able to fully elaborate yet (and perhaps I’m not smart enough to do so fully), there would be political parties for solving nationwide problems and people wouldn’t pay taxes to government, but would pay money directly to the party they like based on what that party promises to give them back in return.
      Police would be a 3-level service. On the community level it would be a system of elected sheriff. On municipal level there would be several police companies, which would provide policing services and get paid each month based on their efficiency. On the nationwide scale the political parties I mentioned above would each contribute to the police budget and have a say on how nationwide policing issues are solved.
      I have important roles reserved for NGOs, religious groups and civil movements as well… …and there are many other strange ideas like those above which I’m thinking of, but I don’t want to write them out here, so you people don’t take me for a complete nut-case 😉
      What I wrote all of this for is to say – in reality I absolutely don’t care who’s the president and which party rules, because I don’t believe that the current system would allow anybody to govern this country properly.

      1. Thanks for explaining.
        Not sure if you know, what you described is called [with minor deviations] Jamahiriya. So called direct democracy, employed by Libyans after revolution in 1970s. This arguably is more effective than many other accepted systems.
        You are right, the current system we have in Armenia is not working. It never worked and will never work, whoever is the president.
        Therefore I strongly believe that one should start with changing what we currently have by not demanding extra elections and swapping one greedy dictator with another self-super-confident douchebag. 
        But one should start with being socially active, having an opinion and airing it. Criticizing what’s bad, praising what’s good. Offering solutions. Evaluating options, etc.. 
        Today’s government and opposition is as rotten as cheese you recently bought from Moskvichka. There is no political movement that can lead masses today. Therefore masses should lead.
        But that will take another 50 years of self-exploration, knowledge generation, failures and disappointments. And we can accelerate the process by only doing what I described above.

  8. I just hope the regime will not do another March 1. Their Modus Operandi seems to be the same – the cafes are closed, the police regularly send agent-provocateurs, etc.

  9. just as i was predicting above, they left the square having no single demand satisfied.
    why do they treat their followers and true believers as toys to play with? why not to frankly say “we are going to stay here during one week”, but not to list 8 demands knowing that no one gives a s*** and they will still leave the square in any case.
    now imagine the same tigran arakelyan, who learned in the prison, that his friends are at the liberty square and demand his freedom. and then the next thing he learns they left the square and went home …

    1. You might be surprised to know that a lot of people care about those demands.
      Specifically, I am unable to visualize a mental picture of a person who would be against finding justice for those who were killed on March 1, 2008.

  10. why should I be surprised to learn that a lot of people care about those demands? especially if I am the one who also cares?
    are you sure you meant to address this to me or you just wanted to address the general audience but just erroneously clicked reply button?

  11. And yes, those whom these demands were addressed did not give a s***. As we all witnessed very clearly. Demanders left the square getting nothing. Because they knew no one would give a s…
    Maybe another set of demands will be aired next time they want to overnights on the Liberty Square. As they change their demands based on their current agenda, but not based on the needs of the families of victims.

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