Stepan Danielyan, member of the first dismantling group in Mashtots Park, commented on Serzh Sargsyan’s visit to Mashtots Park and his instruction to dismantle the boutiques.
Stepan, after Serzh Sargsyan’s visit to Mashtots Park a lot of oppositionists inquire from you in Facebook whether it was not an action in Serzh Sargsyan’s favor. What is your answer?
For me, Serzh Sargsyan is nothing and I do not care for him. The struggle had very specific purpose and the young people reached this goal. As to how others will benefit from it is another issue. First of all, the people of Yerevan will benefit, at least one of the parks was saved. At least the young people absolutely don’t care who else will benefit. As to Serzh Sargsyan and people around him, it is another issue. One can try to understand what happened, which I think goes beyond the park.
Serzh Sargsyan instructed Taron Margaryan to find a way and dismantle the boutiques. Serzh Sargsyan disliked the boutiques. Is this part of the election campaign? Why did he dislike the boutiques after two and a half months?
I think everything is more serious. What is the philosophy of the struggle? The purpose of this struggle is to have the group of people referred to as government enforce the law. Law enforcement will be the death of the system called the “government of Armenia”. It is not responsibility for illegalities. This government was formed on relationships that are parallel to the law, these relationships are clarified once in five years during the activity called “elections” during which agreements are reached for the next five years. The most dangerous thing is that during this activity subjects of political opposition make deals with the government as well. It is one of the pillars of this system. The environmentalists and intellectuals forming the dismantling brigades see the solution of the problem in the sphere of law on the basis of their rights. If suddenly the police arrested and launched proceedings against environmentalists and dismantlers, the issue would automatically shift to the legal sphere which the ruling group fears so much. Therefore, Serzh Sargsyan thanked the policemen for their ability to resist to “provocations” by dismantlers and did not allow shifting the issue to the legal sphere. When Taron Margaryan said “do not speak law with me”, it was the ruling regime speaking, “don’t speak law with us”, and Serzh Sargsyan is ready to step into every possible field, including the “esthetic field”, which is something alien to him (the boutiques do not look good) to avoid legal relationships. It is not accidental that Sargsyan did not say solve the issue in accordance with the law, he said find a way to solve the issue. This is a struggle between “form” and “law”.
Or maybe they avoided the spread of the movement and involvement of more people?
I think they do not care for people, and they do not care for the growing number of people, they worry about qualitative “growth”. Look, after the “dismantling” attempt of Sunday 7 people were taken to the police station, some people were injured already. Dismantling was growing into mass clashes, the police lost its nerve, and they were about to use their usual ways, violence. Another dismantling, on May 6, 7, 8, and the situation would change, they would not be able to avoid the law where they have no answers to their questions.
Stepan, is it possible that they wanted to show their commitment to change, and their slogan “trust to change” starts working?
One can give a very specific answer to this slogan - “change to change”. As soon as they change, we will also start changing. If Serzh Sargsyan wants us to change, he should begin with Teghut. If Serzh Sargsyan wants us to change, he should begin with Teghut. What is the cause of Teghut? I’m sure that Teghut is also based on their favorite deals rather than the law. Mashtots Park was a compulsory step. It is at least funny to come 80 days late and instruct to dismantle. It was their defeat, and the next victory of the environmentalists. They began this struggle with only several tens of people and nobody believed that they would win. The Republicans have stolen the slogan “believe to change” from the environmentalists, and they cannot use a stolen thing for a long time.
Stepan, after so much silence the TV channels touched upon this issue for the first time. Is it intended to make a lot of layers of the society believe that Serzh Sargsyan is taking steps?
First we need to clarify what society is. I think the society of Armenia is only several thousands of people. I might be optimistic, and exaggerate the number a bit… The society is based on specific values, and the people in Mashtots Park represent the society. And if the people and not the society is concerned, it is easier to deceive people, they have a lot of ways of treating people, they coerce, intimidate people, and the model of the society of several thousands of people may spread and cover the whole country. In successful states everything was achieved in this way. Today a society of several thousands of people is more dangerous for them than two million.
There was an opinion that it is much tougher to let one boutique go than 15 parliamentary seats? Did they overcome this difficulty?
I agree with Manvel Sargsyan. Taking one boutique is easier than 15 parliamentary seats, especially that we know how parliamentary seats are obtained in our country. Our cause can be presented in two bullet points. First, return Mashtots Park to the citizens of Yerevan. Second, return Armenia to the citizens of Armenia. The dismantling brigades must continue to be formed to be able to support young environmentalists.
Stepan, will the continuation of this movement become a political movement?
I hope not in the sense the word “politics” is interpreted in Armenia. According to this logic, Serzh Sargsyan and the Armenian government will be even ready to cede the government in some situation but he will do it only in terms of mutual agreements but not through the elections. This is their system of values – do everything out of law. Our problem is to change government through elections, in accordance with the legislative framework. Armenia needs such political thinking, and I hope that it will thus transform into a political movement if it is not one yet.