Thursday, 25 July 2013

Armenia: ...when the ‘victory’ against transport fare hikes is good news for the authorities

My first comment about the protest action against transport fare hikes in Yerevan was on Twitter on 20th July:
Re transport price hike in #Yerevan - I wonder if genuine anger was encouraged by #Armenia authorities to distract, solve internal conflicts 
I didn’t comment much afterwards. I could see genuine passion of civic activists and non-activists, ordinary people, who were united for a purpose. What I liked the most re anti-fare-hikes civic action: people stepping up to offer free transportation for those in need.

When you then suddenly see most of pro-regime media, ‘stars’, personalities etc. in support of the action, you realise a relatively safe bet is in place here. The support and encouragement from pro-regime forces was so blatant that at times overwhelming. It was in line with what some high level officials wanted. To deal with their internal conflicts over the control and influences. Presidential administration, PM, government, Taron the mayor, ‘chorni Gago’ the minister, other oligarchs or so called owners of these transport lines...

When I heard today Armenia PM effectively supporting civic protests against transport fare hikes, followed by “suspension” of fare hikes, I could not help myself but go back to my earlier tweet.

I don't want to break the heart of activists, ordinary people who genuinely acted against unreasonable and unjustified increase in transport fare. After all the failures when it comes to bigger, REAL problems, e.g. inability to change the ruling regime via election, these small victories give hope to people and motivate them. This is a good and positive factor in itself, indeed.

Unfortunately, you do not see much similar examples when it comes to politically motivated arrests, dependent courts, corruption, protection of rights and freedom. If only such passion and unity occurs and directed to the root cause of problems...

Unfortunately, the ‘victory’ today was a victory against consequence not the cause... This is exactly what the authorities want. Concentrate on secondary things, get distracted from the root causes of the problem(s). Good news for the authorities, after all.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Sign on the door: "This Is Not A Brothel. There Are No Prostitutes At This Address" (Soho, London)

*7 Meard Street, Soho, London. The sign on the door reads: "This Is Not A Brothel. There Are No Prostitutes At This Address"

This door is now part of London's history - Sebastian Horsley door. [Wikipedia - Sebastian Horsley]