6 Days Remaining

Tuesday 7th
posted by James Tweedie in World

ANTI-GOVERNMENT protesters moved their sit-in yesterday as the latest Ukraine-style colour revolution appeared to lose momentum.

Police cleared away barricades of rubbish bins that had blocked a central avenue during the so-called Electric Yerevan protests that originally sought to prevent 17 per cent electricity price rise.

Police also peacefully arrested 46 demonstrators who has refused to disperse, but released all of them quickly.

Protest leaders told supporters to gather in to the nearby Freedom Square yesterday evening instead.

Similar rallies had already been held in the square, with no objection from the police since they did not block traffic.

The protest’s original organisers No to Plunder called off the demonstrations on June 28 after President Serzh Sargsyan offered to freeze the price rise.

But the sit-in continued amid suspicions that their real aim is regime change.

Since then numbers attending the sit-in every night have dwindled from 15,000.

Protest leaders had previously given the government a deadline of yesterday to cancel the price rise altogether or they would advance on the presidential residence — a threat that never materialised.

One leading figure in the protest is Nikol Pashinyan, a leader of the shadowy Civic Contract movement who has been convicted of organising riots in the past.

But apart from an attempt to disperse the sit-in at its outset on June 22, the police have given demonstrators no pretext to claim there have been abuses of their rights or to respond violently.