Environmentalists who for four days straight have been protesting the construction of kiosks in the park next to the maternity hospital on Mashtots Ave. in Yerevan this morning were disappointed to see work carried out by construction workers.
“We heard construction noises; we came to see what was happening,” one protestor, Yeghia Nersisyan, told Epress.am.
Several activists had blocked the entrance to the kiosk, prohibiting contractors from entering. Their supervisor for a long time tried to persuade activists to allow his workers to go inside and install a few water pipes. In his opinion, what are the contractors, who are assigned to come and continue their partially finished work, guilty of?
“These men have come from Hoktemberyan [the present-day city of Armavir] and Abovyan — they’ve come such a long way to earn a few wages. The other one has come to get paid for work — he has a patient [most likely a family member] in the hospital and several issues for which these people need money,” said the supervisor.
Despite the various arguments, the environmentalists spoke with the workers and expressed fear that anyone could come and present such arguments.
“If every day, someone comes and gets permission to do one or two jobs, then what’s the point of our struggle of these past few days? Let them wait till evening, until we see what the mayor decides, then it will be clear what we’ll do,” said activist Arman Yaralyan.
The supervisor urged activists to allow the contractors to work today, then after the meeting with the mayor, if necessary, he personally will come and remove the water pipes.
“We will allow it, but only today. If they violate this condition, I personally will come and break this kiosk’s glass; I myself will dismantle those pipes,” said Yeghia Nersisyan.
Contractors then began installing the water pipes, while activists continued their protest on the grounds, hoping that by this evening, the issue will be resolved.
“The mayor’s position will be clear from our meeting with him (though it’s already obvious that he’s in favor of the kiosks remaining here; he’s already said so). In any case, we will stay until this issue is resolved. I personally am not preparing to surrender and leave,” said Arman Yaralyan.
According to him, many of the activists are bed ridden after standing outside in freezing temperatures, since police didn’t allow them to light a fire to keep warm.
“All of us know very well if they allow us to have a means of heating here, none of us would leave. This is one of the authorities’ shrewd moves, which aims to break us and expel us from the park,” said Yaralyan.