Students from different universities in Yerevan held a demonstration in Liberty Square today, in memory of the victims of Mar. 1, 2008, when mass protests following contested presidential elections were violently dispersed by law enforcement officials, resulting in 10 dead and many more injured.
Demonstrators today had gathered in the area near Republic Square, with posters fastened to them that read “You’re next” and black ribbons around their arms, prior to walking up Northern Ave. to Liberty Square.
The demonstration was the initiative of Yerevan State University (YSU) history department culturology students Anushik and Ani, who told Epress.am that the idea was born on Facebook, on the page “Struggle for Civic Values: March 1, 2008 – March 1, 20******” (number of asterisks from original; organizers intended to leave the date open-ended). About 90 Facebook users (at the time) were members of the group; joining the initiative as well were Armenian National Congress youth activists.
“The aim of our demonstration is to show that if we continue to remain silent, then we could be the next March 1 victim,” said Ani.
While demonstrators walked up Northern Ave. toward Liberty Square, a few passers-by, almost all youth, expressed a wish to wear the posters as well.
Demonstrators entered Liberty Square in a line and stood together in a row for a few minutes so that passers-by could read the posters on their backs.
During the entire demonstration, high-ranking RA Yerevan police division officers were following them, as well as members of Yerevan’s crime unit.