Published April 20, 2018
Among the protests that have shaken Aremenia for the past seven days, there was a very particular one. In a video published by Morgunblaðið, protesters can be seen adopting the Viking clap in front of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Yerevan to protest the newly elected President Serzh Sarkisian.
One of the protesters, Narek Mkrtchyan, filmed the vast crowd clapping in unison to the rhythm of a lone drum. He then sent the video to the Icelandic news outlet, explaining that the current protests are jokingly called by Armenians “the Icelandic revolution.”
This juxtaposition might not be as far-fetched as one might think, since protesters largely object to corruption in public institutions. The demonstrations, in fact, were triggered by the election of the same man who has been president of Armenia for the past 10 years, and who had promised not to fill this position again after constitutional changes were introduced. So far, many protesters have been arrested while others have had to seek medical assistance after clashes with the police.
“We will not stand by and watch Serzh Sarkisian transform Armenia into Azerbaijan,” one protester says in a video published by international news agency Agence France-Presse. “The Velvet Revolution is not a request addressed to the authorities, but an action by the people who want all state authorities to stop obeying Serzh Sarkisian and go to the side of the people, including the police.”