It’s mostly bullshit that you read about situation in Yerevan. I’m here now and I’m melted. As the city itself. It’s +40 Celsius and it’s not so many conditioned places. People are not making it to be out on the streets and hiding themselves in the shadow. This doesn’t help, since the temperature in the shadow is +39. Conditioned caffees, shops offices and lobbies of the hotels are the most desirable places to stay in. Everyone knows, that the conditioning needs electricity. Imagine the hottest day, you can only think about. You are leaving your conditioner at home and going to working place to earn money for paying the electricity bills (they are high because your conditioner is working non-stop). And all of the sudden you get the news, that from now on you have to earn almost twice more to pay your bills. What would you do?
“Thousands of Armenians rallied on a street leading to President Serzh Sarkisian’s offices on Tuesday evening” – that you would read about the protest in media. And it’s true. The headlines like “Mass youth protests in Armenia target corruption” and “Armenian power protests point to wider discontent” are more or less the imagination of media.
I came to Yerevan Wednesday 1st of July, when the amount of protesters decreased from “thousands” to “hundreds”. On the way from Zvartnost Airport, I got first fresh news update from the taxi driver.
– The protesters divided in two groups. Stupid! Couldn’t they stay together and be strong?
– Why did they separate?
– Some part just wanted the prices for electricity to be the same. The other one went to far and wanted to change the government…they were in the minority.
– Did the government proposed anything?
– Ya, they promised to discussed and bla-bla-bla. But the good thing is that they keep the same price for electricity for 4 months. That’s what we wanted. Will see what they decide after that.
2 of July. I managed to go outside only at 8 on the evening, because of ruthless sun during the day time. The protests were at the Baghramyan street. I heard national music and singing on my way there. It was about hundred people there. Old man, old ladies, mommies with kids, youngsters. They went out to get some fresh air and listen to the outdoor concert. That was the protest in Yerevan.
“It is and it always been like this” – was the answer from Nana young opposition leader, – “Most of the people are coming just to hang out”.
In 10 minutes we noticed a small group of men, holding big European flag. That was something, which reminded us that we were at the protest. Men were shouting something in Armenian. After a while they got surrounded by many protesters. Everyone were yelling at each over. 5 minutes more and I didn’t see flags anymore.
“People got very angry, cause the protest is not about the EU or anything connected to the West. It’s about Armenia only. They are just provocateurs” – explained Nana.
I stayed at Bagramyan for about an hour sitting on the blanket and drawing. It was peaceful, fresh evening. Couple of people gave speeches from the small stage. Some of protesters screamed “Yeeei” to support them. That’s it. Will come there tonight. Who knows, maybe I will see “police violence against protesters“and “the Barricades in Yerevan” which media promise me every day. Most probably not.