YEREVAN–As the protests against electricity price hikes in Armenia continued into the 13th day, organizers gave the government a deadline of 9 p.m. Monday to meet at least one of their demands or the trash cans that have been acting as barricades against the police would move closer to the 26 Baghramyan Avenue–the presidential palace.
Davit Sanasaryan, speaking on behalf of the organizers, addressed the crowd at 9 p.m. local time Saturday and laid out the 48-hour deadline, explaining that every day that the protesters’–the people’s–demands aren’t met, the barricades would advance closer to the presidential palace.
The protesters, whose numbers have dwindled during the past several days, listened attentively as Sanasaryan explained that the fight has entered a new phase of urging action for demands that have been laid out from the first day of the protests.
“We are not here to sit in Baghramyan Avenue. Our aim is to make our protests heard at the presidential palace, but we are not being allowed since the police are blocking our way, forcing us to erect barricades. Thus our decision to move forward in order to advance our fight,” Sanasaryan told Azatutyun.am’s Hovhannes Movsisyan during a live interview from the site of the protest.
“We are citizens of this country and we will decide the fate of our country,” said Sanasaryan during his speech before presenting the deadline.
Earlier on Saturday, Yerevan police issued another warning to protesters, urging them to empty Baghramyan Avenue.
Sansaryan made it clear that protest organizers did not want to clash with the police. However, he added that they were not afraid because they believe that their protest is just and the people have the right to demand justice.
On Friday, the group led a protest march through the streets of Yerevan, beginning at the Opera House on Liberty Square all the way to Baghramyan Avenue.
Sanasaryan reiterated the protesters’ demands, which: the immediate reversal of the decision to raise electricity prices; punish those responsible for use of brute force against demonstrators and journalists on June 23; review the current electricity rates with aim of lowering them.