“Civil Feast”: ANC vows seven-day sit-in at Freedom Square

“Civil Feast”: ANC vows seven-day sit-in at Freedom Square


In the latest of its efforts to regain the widespread popularity it enjoyed beginning in the autumn of 2007, the radical opposition Armenian National Congress has called for a seven-day sit-in, or as the party calls it, 24-hour rallies, in Freedom Square. Several tents have been pitched, under the eyes of a token police presence, on the site where an early morning raid by police of an opposition encampment sparked a day of clashes that led to 10 deaths on March 1, 2008.

Supporters of ANC leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan filled the Opera House yard and chanted “It has started”, “Now”, “Struggle, struggle, until the end” under pouring rain while the former president called for discipline during the “civil feast-sit-in rally”.

“I demand iron discipline, excluding any willful acts, no entrance to people who have had alcohol, music stops at 10 p.m. not to disturb the neighborhood, only (party officers) Levon Zurabyan and David Shahnazaryan are authorized to discuss any issues with the police; nobody else should have any communication with them. Those who violate these rules will be considered instigators and will be ousted from Freedom Square,” warned Ter-Petrosyan strictly.

The main demands of the sit-in are snap elections, disclosure of March 1-2 (2008) events, and release of ANC activist detainee Tigran Arakelyan.

ANC member Aram Manukyan, leader of All-Armenian Movement party, stated that “this stage of the movement will be much stronger”.

“We do not want power just to have power, simply those presently holding that power are illiterate and are leading this country to destruction,” he said in his speech.

Ter-Petrosyan told the people to make sure they don’t catch a cold and simply enjoy the “civil feast”.

“I am wishing an unforgettable seven-day feast, since nothing can be achieved by frustration and low spirits,” said the opposition leader.