The elections were on the 19th, after which there was a ten-day long, round-the-clock sit-in at Liberty Plaza, which was violently broken up on March 1st, with 9 deaths in the surrounding areas. In this installment, Pashinian is talking about that ten-day period of the sit-in, after the elections and before the violent break-up.
Nikol Pashinian's analytical essay: Up to March 1st and beyond. (II)
And so the movement was growing, and Liberty Plaza was all in a storm. Every day from 3 PM to 9 PM--an assembly. Daily processions would take place that were stunning in size. The singing and dancing would begin at 9 PM, although the assembly would have numerous musical interludes throughout the day. And in order for the extent of the action to be comprehend correctly, it is necessary to point something out. One must not measure the round-the-clock actions in the manner of regular assemblies, which have a beginning point and an end point and are attended by people intending to participate from beginning to end. It is not possible to participate in a round-the-clock assembly in this manner because a person can't stay at the assembly for 24 hours a day. That is to say that a round-the-clock assembly has a fluid form: Some would arrive at midnight, intending to stay until morning; some would arrive in the morning and stay until they went to work; some would arrive in the intervening period; some after work; some would go home after work, eat, and participate in the assembly only afterward. With all this, Liberty Plaza was packed from at least 2:30 PM to 10 PM, an unprecedented extent. These assemblies became a singular source of rehabilitation for our people. Many opinions have been expressed in the last years: that our people are not ones to struggle, that our people are broken, and that our people have been sold-out. But during the days of the assemblies, I saw dozens of times how citizens, seeing the plaza packed with people on a daily basis, would say, "I bear our people's pain" [see below *]. This is one of our important successes that we still retain at this hour. The people regained their respect for themselves, and this is what terrified the Kocharian-Sargsyan couple most of all. They thought that they had decisively deprived the people of their self-respect and pride and that it was essential that they quickly contain the progress of the events and their similarly unpredictable course. Kocharian and Sargsyan needed to prove to the people that they are nothing and that they do not have the right to think for themselves, and they began again with the base act of driving [transporting] people to the assemblies.
This time around the citizens were being driven [to Sargsyan's assembly at Republic Plaza] to protect Serj Sargsyan. And there took place in Yerevan's Republic Plaza an assembly that is unprecedented in human history. It was unprecedented, not because people had been driven there and coerced into listening to Serj Sargsyan give a speech, but because they'd strung barbed wire across all the exits in order to keep people from fleeing the assembly--the president "elect's" assembly. But the people overcame this trial as well, and the people left Republic Plaza and came to Freedom Plaza chanting, "Levon! Levon!" At this point, Kocharian and Sargsyan were forced to, literally forced to, reveal their most important "customer," Artur Baghdassarian [head of the Rule of Law party]. But this likewise backfired, and Rule of Law party supporters began joining the hundreds of Republican Party [Kocharian's and Sarkissian's party] and Prosperous Armenia party supporters in Freedom Plaza who had declined to go hear [Baghdassarian] talk. A very important event had taken place. That which we had to laboriously explain to the people was no longer in need of an explanation. Artur Baghdassarian has been the servant of the thievocracy since the beginning--their fifth, spare, tire. But along with the revelation of Artur Baghdassarian was revealed something even more important: there is no opposition in the Republic of Armenia besides that composed of the forces gathered around Levon Ter-Petrossian--all the rest are servants to the government. This determination was made more forceful by the situation of the movement headed by Ter-Petrossian. By appropriating Artur Baghdassarian, the government wanted to prove that the public in Freedom Plaza represented a minority of the population. But people had voted for Little Artur who were opposed to the Serjokocharianic regime and felt betrayed. In any case, this exceedingly vulgar "secret weapon" was necessary for Kocharian to create an environment for the use of force [i.e., it would be acceptable]. The government's hope that the detentions and arrests, the spreading of terror, and the spreading of lies through the Armenian news would break the spirit of those gathered at Liberty Plaza vaporized into thin air. There remained but one distinction--power; otherwise, the use of Baghdassarian as a secret weapon had afforded the people's movement a decisive momentum.
* Or "May I bear our people's pain." tsav tanel is a frequently used (sometimes every other word) expression of endearment that's difficult to translate well. In terms of sentiment, its something like "I feel your pain," except in addition to the empathy expressed by that sentiment is the declaration of the willingness to take on the pain. It also means as many different things in different contexts as the Italian-American "forget about it."