Government Stands Firm on Kiosk Placement in Mashtots Park, Activists Continue to Fight
Occupy Mashtots Park activists joined other protestors outside the Armenian government building in Republic Square today. Besides holding a banner that reads “Demolish!” and chanting slogans such as “The park is ours!”, the environmental and civic activists also read out loud a statement in which they are demanding those police officers who seized their tent in the central Yerevan park last night to be punished. They said that they have filed a criminal claim with the police.
“Government members whose salaries are paid for by Republic of Armenia citizens, you are obliged to protect the public interest and not the interest of a handful of oligarchs,” said one activist, Apres Zohrabyan.
Speaking to reporters, activists said they won’t have contact with police officers until those guilty for last night’s actions are held accountable. They note that their remarks are directed to government members.
Yerevan Deputy Police Chief Karen Movsisyan said that the environmental activists don’t know the law and if there are people among them who do, well they’re leading their friends astray and confusing them. According to him, even having a noisy rally outside the Armenian government building is itself illegal and he can disperse the crowd.
While activists were protesting outside in solidarity with families of soldiers who died under questionable circumstances during peace time, government members inside the building adopted a law which permits the construction of kiosks in Mashtots Park for a three-year period. The activists, hearing this, say they trust neither the government nor the prime minister, who earlier had said that he is against kiosks being place in Mashtots Park. They say the will continue to fight.
At around 12:30 pm, the Occupy Mashtots Park activists left Republic Square and returned to Mashtots Park to continue their sit-in.
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