Red Remembrance: Bolshevik revolution anniversary kindles nostalgia for diehards

With red flags flapping in the autumn wind and “Long live the Great October” slogans people were congratulating each other on the 89th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution today in Yerevan at the monument to Myasnikyan.

89 years ago today, November 7, (according to the Julian Calendar, it was October 25) the first Marxist communist revolution took place lead by Vladimir Lenin. The revolution put an end to tsarist Russia; and the Soviet Union was established.

Though the party that reigned for 70 years in Armenia is now depleted, nonetheless about 18,000 members of the communist party (mostly elderly) still hope for their past to return.

“We had free education and health care systems then; people were provided with jobs,” says one of the participants of today’s event, putting flowers on the monuments to Myansikyan and Shahumyan. “Socialist ideology and communism were granting people with true freedom.”

The first secretary of the RA Communist party (ACP) Ruben Tovmasyan congratulated people of Armenia wishing them good luck and achievements “only on condition of a re-established socialist ideology”.

“We are now eyewitnesses of how former Soviet Armenia is being robbed and torn apart. Now when the idea of the Great October doesn’t exist, the authorities think their mission is in robbing people and ousting them from their country,” Tovmasyan said.

He believes the reason why the USSR collapsed was not the anti-communist revolution or people’s discontent, but the treason within the party leadership.

Hovhannes Manukyan, the second secretary of the ACP youth committee and one of the few young members of the party, became a communist at the age of 17 out of his own principles.

He is not sure if communists will ever come back to power again, but thinks that something will definitely change in Armenia.

“It is possible to fool people for 5 years, or for 10, but a state based on lies cannot last, something surely will change,” he says.