March 22, 2008

Large Police Presence Confronts Silent Vigil In Yerevan

Yesterday's silent candlelight vigil and procession to honor those who died during the March 1st civil protests in Yerevan should have been a time of healing and reconciliation.

Rather it appears that the ruling authorities wanted to seize the opportunity to make a show of force for all to see. Detachments of police and security forces, with helmets, rubber batons and stun guns, lined the procession route, in an overt display of power and intimidation.

All along Northern Avenue and down into Republic Square, officers in blue camouflage gear and other nefarious types wearing sunglasses, were brazenly video recording those participating in the event - mothers, teenagers and old men. Welcome to the new "Armenian Order"!!!

It was truly a tragic display of a government gone seemingly psychotic with fear and trepidation of its own citizens. And this is the backdrop against which the regime is calling for dialogue and mutual respect???

Luckily, it appears that the average Armenian wasn't fazed by this massive show of force. People were chastising those filming the crowd and ridiculing their efforts by saying - "Go and videotape everyone!!!" Others were declaring that, "This is where I live and I can go where I please."

All in all it was a hopeful sign, one day after the State of Emergency was lifted, that things will not go back to the bad old - good old days.


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