- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 March 21, 2003 

Before the Bombs: Locals and foreigners gather in small war protest

About 100 residents of Yerevan met near the Cascade last Sunday to add their voices to some 136 countries where demonstrations were called to protest war in Iraq.

The event was organized by Stephane Provost of Canada, who works for a French company in Armenia.

"I sent emails to four friends of mine," Provost said. "I expected to see 10 to 15 people. This is my demonstration to the massacre which is called war which soon will take place under the leadership of George W. Bush. Everybody in Armenia knows what war is and I know that no one here wants war here or anywhere else."

Clergyman Ter-Dajad Davtyan said similar events could prevent war.

"The US must realize that most of the world is against that war," he said. "We do not say that Iraq's position is the best one, but we know that the war is not the way to solve the problem. If enough people raise their voices this stupidity will be stopped."

Sixteen year old Karen Shavoyan joined the vigil with classmates from O. Karina private school.

"We came here to be with people who do not want war," Karen said. "I know that the world can not go on without wars, but some meaningless wars are possible to prevent."

Most in the crowd, gathered near Botero's sculpture "Cat", were foreigners. One US citizen said she expected to see more organized protests in Armenia.

"It seems that Armenians are indifferent towards it, while the whole world organized marches against war," she said. "But one of my friends said that it is because of the recent elections, because most of people here were so tired of elections and the rallies and demonstrations that (the Government) did not want to see any meetings where there are more than 10 people."

Karen Balayan, from Ayas Sea investigations club said that more Armenians would take part in the vigil if they learned about it.

"My friends and I wanted to organize such action of protest to the US position," he said. "But then we learned that someone else had already invited people and we joined them with pleasure. All Armenians are against war because we learned what it was.

"If such actions will impact somehow the US position we will organize more and more protests actions."


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Before the Bombs: Locals and foreigners gather in small war protest

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  Photo of the week
  Minor Protest
Click on the photo above to enlarge

Minor Protest

Members of "Mister and Miss Armenia", an organization that produces children's pageants and contests held a beauty protest outside the United States Embassy in Yerevan Thursday. The kids recently were in Iraq, and wanted to demonstrate their feelings to the US presence here.



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