Monday, November 20, 2006

Links and Thoughts about the Protest on November 17th

I actually will not write to tell about the protest action which took place, as others have already reported about the event, much better than I ever would have…

I will refer you to the following links:
Onnik at One World Multimedia has a good summary of the day’s events, pictures and links to news articles. (He commented in the last post with the link but I wanted it to appear in the article so it would be more obvious to the eye)

He refers us to Armenia Liberty for one of the media releases about the events, as that is his preferred news source. It’s also my preference as well… so here is that link:YOUTHS CALL FOR ACTION TO STOP KILLINGS OF ETHNIC ARMENIANS IN RUSSIA

One of the youth activists in the event, Isabella Sargsyan is also keeping a blog of her own and here is the link Свет в августе.
And finally, Julius who has just joined as a contributor on this blog, is posting his own pictures on a newly established blog All Folks blog

Please let me know if there are other Blogs who reported this event – if I missed any.

On another note, during the protest action I approached those who were passing by and asked if they were in agreement with us, to sign the letter we would present to Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian. (I will get the translation of that ASAP!!!!) I just wanted to share with you some remarks and sociological observations I made that day regarding Armenians and protest actions:

- There were many people who agreed with us, that it was wrong that such barbaric murders of ethnic Armenians were happening in Moscow. (For such a proud ethnic group, it would be difficult for them not to agree!) And even though they agreed, many people were hesitant to sign their name on the letter to the Foreign Minister. Others refused to have their pictures taken while they were signing. On top of that, after they signed their name, one of them asked “so will they now come after me?”

COMMENT: a bit of the “Soviet hangover” shall we call this?

- There was an older man who approached me and said in Armenian (approximately these words) “this is great and all, but it’s not going to get you anywhere. I agree with you but I won’t sign.” And then continued to tell me how the Foreign Minister really could care less about this all, he would not come down to say anything and that in the end none of this would make a difference.

COMMENT: I tend to disagree.

- There was an older woman who was walking by and as I asked her to sign the letter against the fact that Armenians were being murdered in Moscow she told me, “they are doing a good job!” Surprised, I responded and asked, “why do you say that?” and she said, “Because Armenians shouldn’t be living in foreign countries. Let them come and live in their own homeland. What are they doing living on foreign soil….”

COMMENT: Another fascist in the making…

- We went inside to present the petition with over seven pages of signatures added onto the original letter. I will not name people, but say that one of the representatives at the Foreign Ministry asked me– so what is all this for? Can’t you see that we are doing all we can already?... What is Oskanian supposed to do in response to these murders? When Kocharian went to Moscow, he was not very welcome. This will only “sharpen” (aka increase the tension in) the relations between Armenia and Russia.

COMMENT: So shall we ask for permission from the Skinheads who are committing these murders to please stop “sharpening” this tension between Armenia and Russia?

And just an overall comment…

It seems as though there is SOME hope after all in regards to the youth and trying to make some changes in Armenia. While I had received some indifferent attitudes from youth who were simply passersby and refused to sign the letter, there were these young activists who stayed up until 5am the day before to make these posters.

There are times when I think that the young Armenian population is so cynical and they feel as though they do not belong to this society. “Ahh, what does it matter if I litter this bag, it’s not MY street anyway.” Or “this country has no future, the only thing I can do is leave” – these are things I hear practically everyday from so many young people. And this is a rather prevalent attitude throughout the country.

Yet there is a flipside to this as well. A small, warm and increasing movement of interested young people is seeking to take their future into their own hands. These are some of the activists you see in these photos. They see that what is happening in their country is not right and they want to do something about it.

This IS the hope for Armenia.

Thanks to Julius, EVS Volunteer in Armenia, for taking the photos in this article


At 01 January, 2007, Anonymous Rose said...

Thank you for posting this information. The more people who post these things the better it will be for Armenia. The more people power comes about in Armenia, the better the country will get and more (young) people will stay and more Diaspora will come to live. Thank you. From an ABC (Armenian By Choice)


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