A march in support of Jermuk and defying the prospect of Amulsar Mountain becoming a mine started off from the National Assembly’s park on September 11. The march was summoned by the Armenian Environmental Front.
This march is a reaction to Nikol Pashinyan’s statement of September 9, by which he reaffirmed his position on allowing Lydian Armenia to complete mine construction and if problems arise during this period, the mining project will be suspended. The Prime Minister reinstated that there are (as of that moment at least) legal grounds to terminate the Amulsar Gold Mine Project and called on Jermuk residents to clear the blockades of roads leading to the mining sites. On the same day, during a public assembly in Jermuk, locals and Amulsar protectors announced that they were not going to clear the roads and allow Lydian to continue construction activities.
Participants of the march took the streets to reinstate their commitment to protect Amulsar and declare that they would make all efforts for that aim and would continue their solidarity to those in Jermuk fighting against the mining project.
The march launched from the National Assembly’s park, the gates of which were blocked on August 9 by a police lineup when Jermuk residents attending a meeting with Prime Minister Pashinyan and people supporting them wished to enter the park for a public assembly. This time too, the gates were closed, however after short negotiations they opened. The march launched after Levon Galstyan’s speech, member of Armenian Environmental Front, who gave a short glance at the issue of Amulsar and introduced the goals of the march. The route of the march was discussed, those assembled moved towards Baghramyan Avenue.
At the statue of Aram Khachaturyan, Ani Khachatryan, another member of Armenian Environmental Front read out fragments from an earlier released statement, after which the protesters marched along Mashtots Avenue and continued towards Republic Square from Amiryan st. The march ended in front of the Government building with a statement by Anna Shahnazaryan, member of Armenian Environmental Front.
“On September 20th, we are joining the global environmental action that will take place all over the world and in Armenia, under the umbrella of environmental protection, it will thousands of people to the streets specifically for Amulsar. We declare September 20th as a day of environmental mobilization” – said Anna Shahnazaryan with a call to self-organize, prepare various actions, take the streets and fight for environmental justice.
Rhythms of Resistance collective was participating in the march with percussions, self-made instruments and chants.