Ի՞նչ հիմքերով պայթեցրին DIY-ը

Uploaded by CivilNetTV on 11.05.2012

ARPI MAKHSUDYAN Hi, this is The Angle, and my guests today
are the president of the organization “Hope” Karen Hakobian
and citizen Lala Aslikyan. Thank you for accepting the invitation.
We‚will talk about the issues, consequences and reasons
of the explosion of DIY pub on Parpetsi street on May the 8th.
Karen, let’s start with you. What do you think, why was there an attack
on that pub?
KAREN HAKOBIAN It’s interesting that the owners were very
calm in the beginning since they considered it
to be just a fire there, until the video came up where someone had
recorded from the nearby store what had really happened
at night. And if not for that video, we would just have
a fire and people would take care of the consequences
and it would all be over and forgotten. But due to that video we found ourselves in
a reality that in Yerevan there is a nationalist group
operating currently which has a back up that can celebrate May 9th Shushi liberation by blowing up a bar in Yerevan.
Lala, what is the connection between what happened,
which is an act of hooliganism or a small terrorist act and the patriotism?
LALA ASLIKYAN Those standing behind the detonation find Connection between blowing the bar up and patriotism,
they try to justify their actions by patriotism, a deed devoted to the nation, by celebrating
Shushi’s liberation, that is it’s possible to blow someone’s
property right in the center of Yerevan, so obviously fascism
has knocked on our doors and openly said- I’m here, and shows the attacks.
Another issue we should worry about, and we’ll talk about it more
later is the existence of the Armenian Eagles which tries to spread the same nationalistic
ideas with specific appeals and actions, encouraging people to specific actions. I think this is under the state patronage,
and the state has taken under its protection those nationalistic demonstrations.
Karen, you just spoke of the reality, that reality however did not form itself on May 8th or 9th, that reality existed long ago probably having
intolerance as its most widespread face. What can you say about this? Why did we start
expressing such intolerance towards each other in Armenia, in the center of Yerevan.
Of course it did not form in a day. I had
been telling the same to my friends 5 years ago that we have become a nazi society and
painfully stated that even though we speak of elections and democracy, whoever we choose
will still be a fascist government regardless of which side it is. And it depends not on
a certain program of this or that political party but on our way of thinking. We are a
nation with a fascist mentality. And I’d like to interpret it through these examples:
we still discuss as if the girl should be a virgin before marriage or not, or we live
in a reality where there is this village head who beats the villagers with a leather belt,
and there are villages where it’s an honor for a village girl to clean up in the house
of the village head, and the family sends their daughter to do the clean up. This all
comes in a row, when the society has feudal economic relations, added the nationalist
mentality when the woman is considered a property and her body is considered a property, and
we only now dare to discuss... I watched several programs on TV before the elections, where
we had started to discuss whether the word “sex” is a bad or good word, issues of
virginity etc, and at the same time we try to carry free and fair elections and prove
that we are a free and independent country, this is hilarious at first, and second, it’s
an exclusive thing. This means, we are a nationalist group of people with rigid relations who belong
to the same ethnic genetic background with the same collective mentality. However, there
are many negative elements in it, one of which is being a mostly monoethnic territory we
need to constantly find an enemy: Turks are enemies, Azeris are enemies, but let’s confess
we consider enemies not only them. We call yazidis a name, that’s why we don’t see
a yazidi politician, tv showman or a friend among us. See how we treat or have treated
a Russian, we think that all the Russian women make themselves available easily, and it’s
normal, but the Armenian woman has to be virgin before marriage. All this discriminatory mentality
that we enroot in our next generation brings to a spot where you have a state where there
are no other nationalities, and as you are still inclined to find an enemy, you start
to look for it among your fellow citizen who has different clothing style, thinks differently,
acts differently, not what you expect them to do. Intolerance is a much softer term to
describe today’s Armenia. I think we live in a fascist situation today and the thing
is that in 20 years this is the 1st case when they blow up a property and without a shame
(I don’t know if those statements in facebook belong to the group or they are just supporters)
they say “It’s the least they’ve done, they should have blown that den long ago”,
connecting it to homosexuality, different mentality etc. This is a real reason to scream.
I would like to have people in the streets who would speak of this issue except me and
Lala, our intelligentsia of different generations should start talking about this on all tv
channels. We cannot tolerate such a thing. Doing so today would mean tolerate a murder
the next day, a group rape another day.
Sadly, we have tolerated murders already. This is what I wanted to ask Lala.
We, Armenians are an interesting nation, we are intolerant towards small groups, groups of
different mentality, subcultures and minorities, but at the same time we express a tolerance
bordering with apathy when it comes to civil flaws including cases of violence in the army,
the events and murders of March 1st, and very recently the election frauds that were obvious. How can you explain this?
What concerns the March 1st victims, I heard from many acquaintances that “Oh those were
“Levonakans” (supporters of Levon Ter-Petrosyan), they deserved it, and even the singer, I think
Nune Yesayan also said “What were they doing there?”, so if a person has a different
opinion than you, he can be killed or violated. As to the murders and cases of ongoing violence
in the army, we say - hush about it, don’t take the dirty laundry outside the borders
of the country, doing this you “add water into enemy’s mill”. Thus, it’s ok to
kill them, to subject to violence, as long as we appear good and nice, our silence serves
for the state interests, and other such absurd, non logical judgments. And a large part of
the society tolerates this and lives easily with it. I think that not tolerating the difference
of opinions, any type of difference starting from homosexuals until the political opposition,
inside out country we just find a way of escape to stay together with the opinion of the majority,
it’s safer and calmer, and you’ll be in peace and out of harms way. Currently, the
son of Zvart Kirakosyan is at a hunger strike in Goris penitentiary institution for 35 days
if I’m not mistaken, and only 5 mothers whose soldier sons were killed support that
woman. Other mothers do not stand by that woman and demand justice. And the boy who’s
in the penitentiary, has only one demand - to undergo medical check-up, a complete medical
check up, that’s it. And he’s not being given that treatment. Only several women stand
by his mother’s side. What does it show? That the society members have found a comfortable
and safe place because the society in general is terrorized against the difference of opinions,
people in general are afraid to dress up differently, they are scared to express a viewpoint which
does not fully or partly coincide with the opinion of the majority. And this is a very
dangerous tendency, and it becomes deeper and deeper I think.
As maybe those nationalists watch us right now, I wanted to add.. you know a full map
may be portrayed as to where those nationalists who have so much guts can express their nationalism.
How can a nationalist man who hears that an 18 year old boy is being raped, killed or
subjected to violence or electroshock in the army then the family being threatened, telling
the mother that if she keeps struggling, her daughter will be in danger etc. How can the
so called nationalist young person upon hearing this not go and protest against the General,
not join those mothers on the streets. This shows that the nationalism we have is a pseudo-nationalism
and does not rely on patriotism at all. These are manipulated groups, and I think we have
the same model as in Russia, where during Putin’s government we saw how the neo-fascism
was formed, stood firmly on the ground, formed its camps in the woods and started training
nationalists who in their turn killed many Armenians, and we can see many videos of them
on Youtube. Did out nationalists stand against it? Now the same takes place in Yerevan, Armenia
having a single aim - to terrorize people, me, you, the other one, terrorize this studio,
and all those who strive to convey truthful information, who don’t want to be scared
of their thoughts, who want to go and converse in other countries. I myself am included in
the Armenian-Turkish project, where the students, both Armenian and Turkish try to write the
story of Mshetsis, and naturally it’s a very hard process to bring the Turkish to
Armenia and make them listen the stories of Mshetsis, and I consider it a very patriotic
deed. But the first reaction in the nationalists mind is “Is there a boy among those turks,
let me speak to him”. How are you going to be able to talk to him? I want to answer
your question as what is the reason.. The stupidity is the reason . Our education system
during the past 20 years instead of creating a citizen typical of open, free, democratic
country, who should be able to represent the real history and the future plans of Armenia
to the world in various languages, today has created a stupid 18 year old, plus if we add
the poor economic condition, we have someone who is ready to give in to any power who’ll
help him/her make a career. Now we have Armenian Eagles, tomorrow it might be the Armenian
Falcon, Noah’s Ark, Ararat, and many other such names. Those names have been discredited
for so many times that there can be even jokes around them. So naturally the youth follows
such groups, just like it has been in the nazi Germany - the socialists, neo-nazis came
to power, and all the Lyumpen class and the poor class joined the movement, because they
also wanted to make careers, and look tough, drive Mercedes or maybe some other car back
those days, what I mean is today when the Armenia’s Eagles are given the chance in
all the regions to create their offices even using the public properties, Culture houses
etc, and they have the priest and the village head by their side, and our deputy minister
Khachik Asryan who looks like Hitler speaks of new Holy Trinity which consists of Armenia’s
President, State and the Army, we should all go out for strike after this, but we accept
it calmly, continue watching the stupid soap-operas on our TV channels, and continue to complain
until DIY was blown up the other day. Ok, even if we forget DIY, and the owners leave
the country, tomorrow they’ll blow up another place, and the next day even the Opera House
because Mozart’s music had been playing there, and they would think - wait, Mozart
is not an Armenian, let’s ban him as well and only Armenian music such as “zurna”
and “dhol” should play in the Opera house. We are already on the verge of it. One Nation,
one Culture had been insinuated for 20 years through all systems and today it reached its
highest peak. Today we have nazi youth which does not realise it is nazi, and they think
being Armenian is about stepping on the others, hating Turks, searching for Turks among the
people who surround him. Any boy who has long hair is a Turk or Azeri or whatever, and even
the Diasporan Armenians when come to Armenia, we call an Iraqi Armenian - Arab, a Persian
Armenian - a Persian, we are ready to call names to those who think differently. If we
keep on like this, we’ll just disappear from the map in 21st century because such
countries don’t exist, it’s a manifestation of retardation, and today the state policy,
and I want to mention that after the parliamentary elections this explosion should become a topic
discussed by everyone. I find that all the deputies if they have wits, regardless of
their party, should stand against this phenomenon. It seems impossible that the police arrives
10 hours after the explosion, and the TV and society do not pay attention to this. This
is a dishonorable phenomenon for a democratic country of 21st century.
I think there is no wide discussion within
the society about the explosion because they link the explosion with the gay parade that
took place recently in Turkey, where you, the owner of DIY and Karen also took part
in. This probably invoked the anger of Armenian maybe not so broad-minded youth.
First of all, it took place a year ago, and those gay-parades take place in many other
cities of the world, including those countries where the Armenians run to live in, selling
their houses, everything and giving their passports etc. Difference of opinions is specific
to the democratic countries, every one has its place. This is a reason to be glad when
the minorities have a chance to go out on the streets and say “This is how we are”.
As long as you are a citizen, do not break the Constitution, as long as you pay taxes
then it’s your country, the area where you will live.
I am ready to constantly struggle and throw
it at their faces and I will do whatever I want, because I live once and I want to live
my life as I find it right to live. I found it right to go to Turkey, take part in the
Gay parade, I took a lot from it, I have many friends there now,
And one more very important thing that was
shocking to us in Turkey. Their gay parade was very politicalized. It was my first time
there and I was surprised how progressive they are, at least in Istanbul. Anarchists,
anti-globalists, socialists, Kurdish movement, feminists, gays – everybody were together
out in the streets. They all understood clearly that if they all don’t stand up for their
rights together, they won’t be able to fight the nationalism, and the struggle, first of
all, was political for them. And we learnt, that sexual, physical freedom does not need
to be gay or non-gay, and speaks of our freedom: I control my personal life and I can be who
I want to be. And don’t need to report it to anyone.
Can we do that kind of an action today in
Armenia, to focus not on someone’s sexual interests, but on protecting human rights and freedoms.
Well, in Armenia, a few years ago, a small
feminist group tried to bury the red apple. Even before the action they received many
threats. In the end, they are being criticized even today for daring to bury the red apple.
And you can see this fat women on TV – screaming that the red apple must stay forever.
Here's my question: why does youth leave these
problems for the fat women to solve? Why don’t they stand up for their rights?
Young people prefer to leave. They either
leave, or stay and join the side of the majority, which is supported by the government. I
will add to what Karen said, that if you prevent the diversity in opinions, you stop the development
of the society. There are only a few young people who are ready to stand up, I can count
them on my fingers. But in Turkey, I witnessed how they oppressed a gay customer at Mango
store. Next day, I don’t know how they managed in just 1 day, 300 hundred people gathered
and did such powerful protest against the Mango administration, that I was shocked.
I envied them for being so united.
I want to answer. Where is the youth? Students?
They’e all Republicans. All the student councils are Republican. Today we live in
an even worse reality then in the Soviet Union. I’ve lived in the times of Reconstruction.
We had our own councils at the school. At that time there was no understanding of one
party-one country. I haven’t experienced totalitarianism. But today we live in a totalitar
country where you go to a student council - 18-19 years old kids, you talk to them
about freedom, they can only quote two books ‚Äì The Bible and Njdeh’s ideology. But
I doubt they’ve read either one. When you try to talk to them, all they say is Njdehism
or Christianity. A society has never developed with these two categories only. To develop,
you need liberal economic thinking. To have that, you need liberal youth. But we don’t
have liberal youth, because the government controls the young people, because it doesn’t
want them to go out to the streets to fight for their rights, and wants them to keep thinking
as a slave. Go to elections and vote for some 20.000drams. And if the elections are rigged,
keep living as a deceived citizen. In this situation, you don’t need to have a gay
parade in this country. Because it means to take the gay or not gay some 100 people
to be shot. I think, first of all, women need to fight for their rights. They need to say
that they’re sick and tired of being ruled and used as a labor power, tired of taking
care of family and the state, being deceived and keep paying the taxes. Women must set
themselves free of the patriarchal thinking of men. But, unfortunately, this doesn’t
happen, and I don’t know why.
Lala, can you reply?
I think women are the first to build the patriarchy
in our society. And this fascism that we have is only based on patriarchal relationships
and thinking. A girl must be beautiful and shy, she can not be courageous, she must stay
at home. Must be a “baby”, “cute” as they like to say. A woman is only a part
of the idea of the family. Now we hear from the president Serzh Sargsyan: “You’re
all brothers and sisters”. Which makes you feel that the society is one entire family.
Why is that bad? Because when you look at citizens not like a separate, independent
piece, you exchange the society-citizen relationships with being a family, then you can control
them easily. We’re sisters and brothers, you’re my sister, you stay there and just
trust me. And you need to sit quietly. So I agree with Karen, that the first power that
can destroy the patriarchal structure, is the woman, she needs to start it.
Our youth is used to obey their parents, we
bring the child up and since childhood we tell them “Listen to your mom, listen to
your dad”, but when we look at the evolution in the other countries, the 1960’s movement
totally was about the youth rejecting to obey their parents. They wanted to build their
life and control it themselves. We can’t bring a change to this country only with
the youth who constantly listens to their mom and dad.The news comes when the young person
one day stands up and says “No, I want to live like this”. Taking part
in the Turkey gay parade which sounds horrible to any person here is my No”. When I was going to Turkey, I
couldn’t even think I was doing some kind of heroic act, or that I am accountable to
anyone or that I am starting a new large initiative by doing that. It was an ordinary trip for
me. And a year after you have to give explanations for that trip... this incectual relations
that you are responsible for a whole nation why I did it and for what. I want this to
be clear : we give an example to Armenia to fight, to stand up for another’s pain, another
person's rights, to understand that freedom, democracy and development go on one line together,
and that tolerance should be next to intolerance, that is, we should be intolerant toward murders,
violations and deceit and
be tolerant towards dissidence. If we try to develop further by
another formula, that will
KAREN HAKOBIAN be our doom, and unfortunately, we are pretty close to that doom.
Because we evolve with that formula
We don’t even evolve, we’e come to a stop.
I hope we have at least stopped. Thank you, Lala, thank you, Karen, this was
ARPI MAKHSUDYAN the Angle, stay with Civilnet.