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YEREVAN, July 28. /TASS/. The "Rise up, Armenia!" civic initiative against the hikes in electricity rates has warned that its members will paralyze the traffic in a number of streets in central Yerevan on Tuesday, one of the movement’s leaders David Sanasaryan has said.
"We will paralyze the streets adjacent to Republic Square and some others," the activists said. "We will multiply the number of our members and move towards victory." According to Sanasaryan, it is necessary "to stop all the conversations that the fight has subsided."
The activists - about 12 people - began a sit-in demonstration on Monday evening demanding to cancel the decision to raise electricity prices. They are located on Yerevan’s Republic Square, on the site of the statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin dismantled in 1990.
"The demonstration is illegitimate, but the police are tolerant to the protesters," Deputy Head of the Yerevan Police Valery Osipyan told TASS.
Armenia’s utility services regulator on June 17 made a decision to raise electricity prices by 16% starting from August 1. On the same day the center of Yerevan saw a protest action against such a move. On June 19 similar protests followed in Armenia’s other largest cities. On June 23 police used force to disperse a rally in the capital. Eighteen people, including 11 police were injured, and 237 demonstrators detained only to be released shortly afterwards. The demonstrators at once returned to Baghramyan Avenue for a peaceful sit-in protest.