Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pashinian: Let's make them have to continue "tightening the bolts."

This first week after the lifting of the state of emergency in Armenia has seen a resurgence of peaceful protests, and the authorities have, of course, done everything possible to repress them: The police, in riot gear, don't allow people into Liberty Square, in particular, and, generally, are all over key parts of the city of Yerevan. The authorities can "legally" do this because--a day--before the lifting of the state of emergency they were able to get parliament to pass a bill that makes it easier for Kocharian & co. to implement repressive measures against non-violent protesters on the grounds that they are potentially "dangerous." On top of all this, in a gesture made in monumental bad taste, of the kind that only goons can manage, Kocharian & co. are going to hold a military parade in Liberty Square on April 9th--the karasunk (40th day anniversary)--of those who were killed by the government on March 1st. That's how Sarkissian is going to start his presidency, over the dead bodies of peaceful protesters.

The opposition continues to resist. What they have been doing this week has been to hold daily, themed "walks," zbosankner, so, for example, the theme yesterday was chess: everybody brought out their chessboards and started playing chess on the streets, which, come to think of it, would hardly constitute a contrast with daily life in a country like Armenia, but, in any case, today everybody went out with a book and started reading their favorite passages for 15 minutes. Below is the translation of a communique from Nikol Pashinian, Ter-Petrossian's right hand man, laying down the general strategy.

Whenever Robert Kocharian and Serj Sarkissian talk about the repressive measures they've instituted, they characterize the process as "tightening the bolts." In other words, when they want to say that new repressive measures must be taken, they say, "the bolts need to be tightened." When the movement headed by Armenia's first President, Levon Ter-Petrossian, first began, Kocharian and Sarkissian, according to many, remarked to people around them that, "No problem. Later on, we'll tighten the bolts a little more, and that will be the end of the matter."

They used this type of expression to refer to Armenia's first president for the first time on October 26, 2007, in order to calm their disgruntled allies after the assembly (of LTP supporters). And the criminal-ocracy has had to tighten the bolts continuously ever since Levon Ter-Petrossian's first assembly. During this time, tens of thousands of people have received threats, been subjected to arrests, and many have lost their jobs and at least eight people--their lives. The state of emergence was the pinnacle and most outstanding example of "bolt tightening." But they have had to "tighten the bolts" even beyond that, by monitoring people's [protest] walks in the center of Yerevan with baton-wielding, shielded police and by further arrests. In other words, the criminal-ocracy is continuing to tighten the bolts of the government machine [car].

And so, what do we need to do, my fellow citizens of Armenia? We must not allow the pair an exit out of this process of "tightening the bolts," because as long as you are tightening the bolts, you can't drive the car. Moreover, bolts have a tendency to split, to break. That happens when you tighten them beyond the degree to which they can be tightened. The Serjo-Kocharianic bolts have arrived at that point, and in order for them to split, it is necessary to force them to continue the business of tightening. How?

Most Important of all, of course, are the daily walks in the vicinity of Freedom Square. This is a fundamental task that we all need to carry out.

Second, small actions need to be organized. The production of DVDs [these are produced by the LTP camp and distributed to people as a kind of alternative to state TV] must continue, in order to provide the public with objective, visual news and information.

To put it succinctly, the criminal-ocratic pair must be [made to be] obliged to continue with the "bolt tightening" process. In a complimentary fashion, the above-mentioned actions will aid in the preparations for the big assembly, the date and time of which Levon Ter-Petrossian is deciding. And while he is deciding, each of us must keep Kocharian and Serj in a "bolt-tightening" state.

Struggle, struggle until the end.

Nikol Pashinian

[Emphasis in the original]

1 comment:

nazarian said...

Thanks for the translation. I will place a link in the Armenian version.