Manvel Sargsyan: Time for Self-Constituted Citizens

Manvel Sargsyan: Time for Self-Constituted Citizens

Diana Sahakyan for EcoLur

A new phenomenon has generated in Armenian confrontations and struggles – time for self-constituted citizen. Director in Science of Armenian Center for Strategic and National Studies Manvel Sargsyan expressed such an opinion. Manvel Sargsyan was the member of dismantling brigade of illegal pavilions in Mashtots Park, took part in the process of returning public territory. “The struggle in Mashtots Park had very general nature. It was launched by young activists, who posed a certain question. There is a territory, which was illegally seized by certain people, and it’s not permissible. Ideological idea was not formed, i.e. all this was launched with demonstrations. Ideas are formed in the course of this fight. The first interesting idea was time for self-constituted citizen. This was a new phenomenon in Armenian confrontations and struggle. Secondly, the idea of political-civic confrontation discourse started working, i.e. ideological certainty launched. And there was a moment when the construction was suspended, but a new stage started accompanied by confrontations between activists and police which turned into legal surface. Activists put forward very important slogan “Park is Ours”, i.e. they began tabling the problem of public property.”

Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan’s Position

“Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan stated, “Let’s respect property, if we don’t respect property, we won’t become a state.” As a result, the legal issue was set into frames, i.e. the police protected not the order, but private property.”

Response of Authorities

“It matters haw the authorities will respond to all these matters. They didn’t know what to do, as they had never faced such kind of struggle and didn’t realize, what we, as a matter of fact, want to achieve, what this fight is directed against. Though all what was going on was not broadcast by TV, but it had rather wide-scale dissemination. People also couldn’t understand what was going on or whether or not it was a showing off. The role of Facebook social network was very important, as very large groups were created with more than 5000 members.”

Attitude of Political Parties

“Many people showed indifference, as moral support was accepted and not political one. Parties didn’t interfere in these affairs, as one of the main theses was we didn’t want to make this issue political. For their part, the parties said, let’s get united, but unless we change the authorities, nothing can be changed. As a result, tension arose between parties and activists.”

Photo by Diana Sahakyan

12:32 July 23, 2012

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