Report, 29 April 2018
A delegation of eighty people, concerned Armenians from Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere crossed hundreds of kilometers to meet in front of the lawn at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Ottawa on Sunday, April 29th, 2018. Local compatriots joined the gathering to express solidarity with the struggle of people in Armenia to establish democracy.
The rally was planned for this particular date ahead of the May 1st extraordinary session of the National Assembly (parliament) of Armenia to elect a new Prime Minister. The Participants carried flags of Canada and Armenia. They chanted “merjir hhk-in”, “reject ARP” which is the oligarchic party in control of the present parliament and the state. They demanded change in power holding “we stand by Armenian people” banners. They also chanted “Nikol Varchapet” (Nikol prime minister) referring to Nikol Pashinyan who is recognized as the “People’s Choice” by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Armenia.
Speakers demanded free and fair elections. They expressed commitment to continue these rallies in future, if the ARP tries to prevent peaceful transition of power to Nikol Pashinyan as the true leader of Armenia by aborting the crucial vote on May 1st.
No ambassadorial staff was present to meet the delegation. The ambassador was rebuked in sharp terms for his absence. It was revealed that the organizers planned to have a similar gathering at the Armenian Centre in Toronto, but after many hours exceeding a whole day the board of the Centre had not conveyed an answer to the request. Hence it was canceled.
Towards the end the organizers thanked the police for their cheerful and friendly presence to maintain law and order, and they urged the participants to collect debris left on the lawn before departure. The yard was left in a cleaner shape than at the beginning of the gathering. The rally concluded with singing the national anthem of Armenia.