YEREVAN – On April 25, the opposition of the Armenian National Assembly initiated a nationwide Resistance Movement that launched with different demonstrations and marches from 4 symbolic sites. The next day “Armenia” faction MPs Aspram Krpeyan and Anna Grigoryan began their resistance marches from Ijevan and Tigranashen respectively.
On April 26, sit-in strikes at numerous streets around the city center were organized, the families of fallen soldiers of the 44 day were sparked into protest, Armenian students across multiple universities began an information campaign, and the youth wings of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Armenian Youth Federation of Armenia) and the Republican Party of Armenia orchestrated different acts of civil disobedience including closing Komitas Street with tires. In the meantime, a supporting youth group of the opposition, “Voice of the Youth” also joined the movement.
This first day concluded with a sizable march from the David of Sassoun Statue to the Republic Square. Throughout the day demonstrators were met with excessive force by the police and the Aram Manukyan Youth Center of the ARF was even surrounded at one point. Several demonstrators were detained.
On April 27, the two respective resistance marches continued and were joined by notable figures including Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, Assyrian MP Zemfira Mirzoyeva, and “Armenia” faction MP and former defense minister Seyran Ohanyan who all expressed their solidarity with the movement. The “Voice of the Youth” along with the youth factions of the ARF and RPA continued with the information campaign but also organized several street closures around town. “Armenia” faction MPs Christine Vardanyan and Tadevos Avetisyan led a demonstration in front of the government building in the Republic Square where they spilled red paint on the floor. Avetisyan was detained but later released.
Initiative 5167 also joined the movement and organized a march that began at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex. Dozens of protesters were detained as a result of day two, however, the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia established a rapid response group to provide free legal assistance to those who have been detained. The day concluded with another sizable march that began from Garegin Nzhdeh Square.
On April 28, the third and fourth resistance marches led by “Armenia” faction MPs Arthur Khachatryan and Gegham Manukyan commenced from Aparan and Sardarapat respectively.
On this day, a clash between police and the head of the “I Have Honor” faction Artur Vanetsyan and his supporters took place on Northern Avenue. Meanwhile, numerous student groups organized demonstrations at various educational institutions throughout Yerevan and raised a massive Artsakh flag. They also staged a demonstration with colored smoke near Yerevan State Medical University while chanting “Student, Get Up,” “Artsakh,” and “Nikol is a Traitor.”
The Red Berets detained a 13 year old protester and took him to the Erebuni Police station by force while demonstrators were attempting to block Abovyan Street. Additional clashes took place between demonstrators and policemen took place throughout Yerevan and over 40 demonstrators were detained.
On April 29, different acts of civil disobedience organized by the youth factions of the RPA, the ARF, and the “Voice of the Youth” continued. An anti-government car rally was organized in Yerevan. Families of the fallen soldiers of the 44-Day war blocked the road to the Prosecutor’s office demanding the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan.
Citizens from Gyumri joined in the demonstrations.
The different demonstrations on April 29 culminated at a march that began from the Aram Manukyan Monument where thousands were in attendance.
Following a one day break, the Resistance Movement entered the next phase on May 1, which is also Labor Day in Armenia
On May 1, the Resistance Movement entered its next phase as tens of thousands of people attended at France Square in Yerevan, which launched a week-long series of protests in Yerevan and across the country. The participants of the four symbolic marches that commenced from Ijevan, Tigranashen, Aparan, and Sardarapat all arrived in Yerevan. A massive demonstration took place at Yerevan’s France Square with tens of thousands of people in attendance. At its conclusion, demonstrators set up tens and activists prepared to remain there indefinitely.
On May 2, protestors launched even more acts of civil disobedience throughout the city of Yerevan that began in the morning. Yerevan was at a standstill as over 30 major intersections blocked. ARF Supreme Council Chair stated that 226 civilians were detained that day.
The gates to the National Assembly were welded shut and clashes between protestors and the police continued. Many others were detained and those at the police station were seen singing “Zartir Lao.”
On May 3, the resistance movement began to gain momentum and spread throughout Armenia and its provinces.
The Dean of Yerevan State University Oriental Studies Department Ruben Melkonyan joined the movement as well as Professor Gurgen Melikyan.
There was heavy police presence as reports of an EU-funded bus for Dilijan being used to ensure the movement of police forces in Yerevan were also published. Demonstrators also began closing roads in Armenia’s regions that lead towards Yerevan, including Sevan, Vanadzor, Vardenis, and Ararat.
On May 4, anti-government protests began to gain steam as MPs presented the citizens’ demands to the ruling party and then walked out of the Parliament floor. While this took place, members of the ruling Civil Contract Party applauded their exit. “Armenia” faction MP and ARF Bureau Member Armen Rustamyan, reading from the demand letter, stated that Nikol Pashinyan has been implementing a “‘Karabakh is Azerbaijan” policy that detrimently hurts the status of Artsakh.
A group of activists were arrested in the morning for wearing masks resembling Nikol Pashinyan. Meanwhile, the police continued to use excessive force against the demonstrators and detained dozens.
On May 5, notable figures including Major General Grigory Khachcaturov, Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov’s youngest son, and Ashot “Erkat” Minasyan’s son joined the movement.
News.am journalists spotted snipers on the roof of government buildings.
Rallies and demonstrations remained consistent and continued on March 6 concluding once again at the France Square. Clashes with police continued as well as the heavy presence of policemen on the streets progressed.
On May 7, the Resistance Movement organized a women’s march that was led by the mothers who lost their sons in the 44 day war. These women were surrounded by the support of opposition faction MPs and concerned citizens calling for the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan. On the same day, a car rally to Vanadzor also took place.
Demonstrators concluded their various protests every day since May first with a march that ended at Yerevan’s France Square.
301 has been actively at the forefront covering the resistance movement from its inception and is now covering it LIVE on Youtube and Facebook.