Sunday, November 23, 2008

Myasnikyan statue events ...

Pashinyan wrote a piece about a week ago now, addressing Afyan's focus on a certain set of Pashinyan's word..."We are not moving away from the Myasnikyan statue, we're staying here." The original is on, below is my translation...

Of all the announcements I made on March 1st, the one that Sashik Afyan, Deputy Chief of Police of the Republic of Armenia dislikes the most is the one where I said: we are not moving away from the Myasnikyan statue, we're staying here. This may sound strange to the reader, since, among all the things I said that day, there were much better, more dislikeable, statements – but Afyan is talks about that one. Why?

The answer is very simple: this announcement disappointed not only him, but his criminal bosses, too. When I arrived near the Myasnikyan statue on March 1, there already were no police there. Only about 50 helmeted [individuals] were left at the entrance to Yerevan's City Hall. And, as Vahagn Hovakimyan (1) has uncovered, these were the "Yepremyan unit" of the police force, and they were waiting for the "other Yepremyan unit" also of the police, but dressed in civilian clothing. This other unit was supposed to come and stage a fight with the police standing in front of City Hall. Their fight, however, was not at all impressive, since those doing the beating and those being "beaten," all knew that they were putting on a show, as did we. And, just between us, there were people who were naïve enough to try to separate Yepremyanite from Yepremyanite, that is, the staged fight, and who are now sitting in jail. So, Yepremyan’s police similarly very quickly vanished through the back door of City Hall, leaving the building defenseless.
Naturally, Yepremyan's second unit, those in civilian clothing, tried to attack the building, but the opposition leaders took control of the situation, and so the provocative Yepremyan's group's short-lived experience was over. But the absence of any police in the areas around the Myasnikyan statue was strange. Maybe they were nearby? No, there were no police, not by the fish market, not by "Metropol" hotel, not by the Circus, not by the Shahumyan statue. In short, there were no police—anywhere. And when it was announced that we were staying there, a strange thing took place: a movement of forces was noticed from the direction of Baghramyan Boulevard, via Proshyan and Mashtots Streets. They were moving towards roads accessing the Myasnikyan statue.

Now, let's try to figure out the situation. Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered near the Myasnikyan statue. Not only the police leave the area where people are gathering, all the while using every possible means to increase the tension, but they leave all visible areas. In effect, they free up all the roads before the demonstrators, giving them the impression that there is no longer any force resisting them. Why? To make it seem obvious that the only logical move would be to continue towards the "Hrazdan-1" complex and the presidential building, where by now, not only Internal and military forces, but more than one thousand [individuals] carrying automatic machine guns are waiting for a valid and justifiable opportunity to open fire; who lust for blood; and so that their criminal chief can declare a state of emergency.

Both the presidential building and the "Hrazdan-1" complex appeared unchanged from the outside since the forces that were concentrated there were not visible from the outside. But the Opposition was not going to play along the government's scenario. The government until this point was suggesting that the demonstrators move to the square near Yerevan's railway station. It is understandable that this suggestion was not going to be accepted, and the suggestion to go to the station via the Matenadaran had to seem like manna from the sky. The government needed the Matenadaran for another reason: during the march, stores needed to be looted and destroyed. And more, "Yepremyan's units" had to try to veer the march past opera toward Bagramyan boulevard. But, as you know, the decision was clear; we were staying by the Myasnikyan statue, and that was final.
And then, when it became obvious that this decision was not subject to change, the armed gangs and forces started to move toward the Myasnikyan statue. Now, many may ask, in that case, how was the Opposition going to win, if they were not going to attack the presidential building, or the government, or the "Hrazdan-1" complex? The Opposition was going to win the way it had been up until March 1: by dancing, by holding demonstrations. And on March 1, our right to protest, our rights as citizens, should have been upheld—and that’s all. If anyone doubted that it was possible to win in this way, the ‘kocharyanaserjakan’ regime did not; that regime could already see its defeat.
The government hyenas needed blood, because it was obvious even to a child, that the regime's situation could only be maintained by the use of tanks, that is, by the announcement of a State of Emergency. And a State of Emergency could not be proclaimed without blood. If on that day the opposition had acted according to the government’s plan, Afyan would have no reason to blush now; no questions would arise in public circles now; everything would be simple and clear now.

Now, too, everything is simple and clear—but from the other side.

(1) Pashinyan is referring to an article written by Vahagn Hovakimyan in HZH newpaper, the last paragraph of which describes a videotape by two people of the some of these events around the statue.

1 comment:

garen said...

Thanks for translating this, Tzitzernak!

Would be nice to add this to Khosq.