A group of women intelligentsia has initiated a daily silent sit-in at Yerevan’s central Liberty Square, which according to its organizers, is the logical continuation of Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian’s 15-day hunger strike staged in the same location last month.
The first participants of the five-hour (5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) sit-in were the initiators of the action, lawmaker representing the Heritage Party Larisa Alaverdyan, ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan, Yerevan State Engineering University professor Anahit Tonoyan. They said they were alarmed by the “devaluation of public morality.”
According to Kharatyan, the campaign is “symbolic and it does not aim to influence political processes.”
“It is necessary to show once again that members of intelligentsia in Armenia are concerned about the loss of moral values, which are seriously threatened here. Any wrong step taken in Armenia leads us to disaster,” Kharatyan told ArmeniaNow.
All people who wish and who are concerned over the problems in politics and in the society may participate in the campaign.
Meanwhile, some members of intelligentsia who supported Hovannisian during his hunger strike do not quite agree with the idea of a sit-in, considering it to be a “useless campaign”.
“We need more concrete actions, such symbolic things are a waste of time, and they also devaluate the message,” actor and honored artist of Armenia Yervand Manaryan told ArmeniaNow.
Before the scholars began their sit-in action, the demand of another group had already been met by the Yerevan municipality as the merry-go-rounds and trampolines had been dismantled in Liberty Square.
A Facebook group had demanded on Yerevan mayor Karen Karapetyan’s wall “to rid Liberty Square of the playground which made the square look ugly.” Mayor Karapetyan responded that “the changes would be evident very soon.”
Big trampolines and some game machines were removed from the square on Friday evening.