Guest Post: On Different Styles of Struggle

Armenia - Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian is greeted by supporters in Gyumri's Theatre Square, 23Feb2013 | via Tzitzernak
Armenia – Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian is greeted by supporters in Gyumri’s Theatre Square, 23Feb2013 | via Tzitzernak

Preface: I haven’t got a clue as to what’s the right way to lead political struggle, nor do you, neither does Levon…

Barev. I can’t help comparing current situation with the developments of 2008. And mixed ideas spring to mind. Why do we think, that the only correct way is to get stuck in the square day and night and serve as body-count. The opposition was trying to bring as many people as possible from the regions, to boost our numbers at the square, but perhaps it would make sense to hold rallies in the regions? I really like the idea of holding a rally in Gyumri.

When your struggle isn’t attached to a certain location from the onset, you can be more flexible.

What Levon did is counter the Liberty square to the Presidential palace and as a result, he became a captive of the square.

Unlike him, Raffi is using a ‘cloud technology’ approach to the struggle. He has splashed it all over the streets of Yerevan and now he has taken it out from the capital to Ashtarak, Vanadzor, Gyumri. If he continues along those lines, it my turn out in the end, that all of Armenia is Raffi’s space, while Serzh will become constrained to the Presidential palace. This will create a cardinally different situation than in 2008.

I also like the fact, that Raffi is not turning up his nose, but instead is running around, walking, organizing things, meeting people. He is operating in a much more flexible and interactive manner. In a sense, he is employing a Struggle 2.0 approach.

I consider that his meeting with Serzh, for example, gave him an advantage. If the tensions grow now, everyone will see that this is Serzh’s fault, who is not taking any constructive steps and is running away from dialogue.

In the end, all that matters is the result. Who knows, maybe it is indeed possible this way… iconAbout the Author

Mikayel Ghazarian aka is a web developer, allergic to dictators.
The original post is here.  Translated by A.P.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Mika jan, thank you for the guest post. However, I want to share my impression about Raffi’s struggle.
    I think, that unlike Levon, who had a certain logical action plan (turning the square into his stronghold, concentrating all of Armenia in one location and pressuring the authorities), Raffi has no action plan at all.
    This may be a strength, but in the long run, ppl have no idea what the hell is going on. At some point supporters are going to start to get impatient. What will be Raffi’s answer to them? Come tomorrow 17:00 and I’ll tell you?

  2. I generally agree with Ditord here. Though in the interim, having learned from so many road blocks, etc, there are numerous advantages to having the leader go to the people, rather than vice versa. In the end, however, the same questions re mechanisms and plan remain.

  3. As far as I’m not the Raffi I can’t tell you his plans. And I’m sharing your concerns here. However I’ve liked what I’ve seen yet.

  4. […] friend Mika wrote a beautiful piece in Armenian on why he supports Hovannisian yesterday and Artur reposted it in English. In this Mika reflects on how Hovannisian is operating different from the struggles in 2008 — […]

  5. […] in 2008, Raffi is not calling for violence. (For another comparison of now to 2008, here is a nice blog post.) The government is allegedly still trying to impede his actions (e.g. they closed the road to […]

  6. Hi guys, Not having a plan is a plan itself. When Sir Alex Ferguson prepares Man Utd for a match out, he says “We have got plan A, B & C” but just in case none of them works just give your outmost and play against the rival’s plan”. Now we have got Raffi and we have got people really backing him up. Common guys this can be Armenia`s last chance, we have to grab it!!!
    These elections were so shambolic that none of the western media paid any attention, I live in Spain & the UK none of the News channels even mentioned about Armenia’s elections at all.
    God Bless you & Armenia.

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