|Raffi Hovannisian flanked by supporters, photo by Karen Minasyan|
Today marks the tenth day since Raffi Hovannisian started his Fast for Freedom. In place of food, he is essentially being nourished by the positive energy everyone who visits him 15 hours a day gives. Today he admitted to me that his strike has taken on spiritual significance as well, and for him it is also a test of his own faith. He seems so peaceful, stress free.
Just after I arrived a priest came, with a wiry black beard and slight build. He began to recite the Lord's Prayer and others hovering nearby joined in, then he sang some hymns. Someone else was videotaping it all with an amateur camera. Others just stood by and started, some in awe, others not necessarily knowing what to think.
Yesterday in the news there were reports of statements made by Levon Ter-Petrossian about Raffi's character, defending his decision to snub Raffi
last week when he and his entourage entered Liberty Square. Ter-Petrossian made an absurd comparison between Raffi and Satan, which just shows where his head is at. I really can't believe some people in this country want him to be elected president again. I also heard that some members of parliament representing the Republican party had sausages, cheese and bread delivered to Raffi yesterday. It is a disgusting thing to hear, but rather unsurprising since it's clear they have no conception of what personal sacrifice means and certainly not pride. Of all the people in government I have read that only the Minster of Justice went to visit him.
In the afternoon some representatives from local NGOs pitched a tent for him to sleep in nearby his bench. Several attempts to install a tent have failed with the police removing them each time. It's hard to believe that the red berets patrolling the area didn't notice it, so here's hoping they'll let it remain.
What inspires me most about this protest is the power of the will. You have to not only have faith in the cause that you are suffering for, you need to first of all possess faith in yourself, and that same faith has to emanate from you so that it permeates others that you are trying to reach with your message. Raffi's strike has taken on other meanings, it's significance is now much more than politically motivated. Now it's also a show of perseverance of the soul and mind. And based on what we're hearing from his critics, people are beginning to comprehend.
Labels: Politics, Social and Cultural, Thoughts and Musings