Last month, thousands of activists managed to shut down the country with passive resistance; overthrowing the authoritarian Serzh Sargsyan using peace, love and dance.

Last month, thousands of activists managed to shut down the country with passive resistance; overthrowing the authoritarian Serzh Sargsyan using peace, love and dance.

On April 17 this year, Serzh Sargsyan was declared prime minister of Armenia. He was given the role just one day after stepping down as president – a position which he had held in the country for the maximum limit of 10 years.

The switch in job titles prompted mass demonstrations in the Armenia capital of Yerevan. The protests – which were sparked by the leader of the opposition party, Nikol Pashinyan – saw Armenians unite against the pro-Putin Sargsyan through peaceful marches, street parties and civil disobedience.

From April 17 to April 23, Yerevan was soundtracked by a continual cacophony of drawling vuvuzelas and blaring car hooters. Protesters, many of whom were in their late teens and early 20s, danced in the streets while calling for Sargsyan’s retirement. “This is the sound of revolution!” yelled Hrach, a student and protestor.

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If the sound of revolution emulated a city in post-World Cup victory ecstasy, the sights resembled a flash mob. Protesters perpetually walked back and forth on pedestrian crossings to disrupt traffic – turning Yerevan into a gridlocked maze of marching, dancing and singing.

The demonstrations have proven – at least for the time being – to be a success. On April 23, Sargasyan stepped down from the role. “Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong,” he said in the statement. “The struggle in the streets is against my tenure. I’m fulfilling your demand.”

“The dictatorship is gone!” yelled Gagik Baghramyan, a businessman from Yerevan, as the news broke. “This is a day that every Armenian will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Yerevan_15 Yerevan_17With the announcement of Armenia’s next prime minister on May 8, it’s likely that Nikol Pashinyan – the leader of the colourful and effective protests – will become prime minister. If this happens, the peaceful demonstrations will have resulted in a revolution in the true sense of the word.

“There is still a lot to do – but the most important step has already been made,” added Baghramyan. “We won – with our unity and our open hands raised above our heads. Love won! Kindness won!”

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