#ElectricYerevan: The Barricade Comes Down

3_2 Police dismantle barricade on Baghramyan Avenue.

Today at approximately 11:00 AM, Deputy Police Chief Valeri Osipyan announced that the barricade on Baghramyan Avenue would be dismantled.

In a statement made to the public, Osipyan said that the police has been urging the organizers and the protesters to clear off Baghramyan Avenue for the past few days, but their request has been ignored as the protesters continued to block the street for nearly two weeks.

“For the last time, we urge the organizers and the protesters to clear off Baghramyan Avenue by 12:30. If not, then the police will intervene and dismantle the barricades and clear the street off by force,” Osipyan said.

He added that their aim is not to put an end to the protests, but it is merely to open up the street and allow traffic to resume. “If people want to protest they can continue to do so as long as it doesn’t obstruct traffic,” he said.

The protesters once again ignored Osipyan’s statement and refused to clear off the street.

At 12:15 a number of policemen gathered to form a blockade on Baghramyan Avenue, and the garbage bins used to form the barricade were dismantled and taken away. The protesters remained peaceful while chanting “free, independent Armenia,” and “shame, shame.”

Osipyan reaffirmed to the public that the police does not intend to stop the protest activities, and he suggested that the sit-in continue in a different location such as Liberty Square. He then urged the protesters to clean the rubbish off the streets to restore its original appearance, to which the protesters responded by chanting “go away.”

At approximately 13:20, the barricades were completely dismantled and the police carried the handful of protesters who refused to disperse off the street and into police vans. Osipyan said that they will be taken to the police station and released in about 3 hours.

After 14 days of protests and blockades, traffic resumes on Baghramyan Avenue.