Monday, 24 September

Shame on Sandoyan

"Shame on the builder of this garage!" reads the graffiti on the wall of the now half-destroyed garage in the backyard of 2 Mashtots Avenue. The owner of the garage is former Minister of Economy and Finance Edward Sandoyan. For two months now, residents of 2 Mashtots, 4 Mashtots, and 17 Grigor Lusavorich Street have been fighting to keep the garage from being built in their backyard. They have taken their case anywhere they can-to the Yerevan Mayor's Office, the Kenton District Administration (the two offices responsible for allocating the land for the garage), the President's Administration, the Government. But since they lodged their complaints, two Kentron District police officers have shown up in the backyard to keep people from interfering with the construction work. There are also two guards assigned to protect this very important site at night. The people who live here have been unable to meet with Sandoyan, who avoids mixing with his neighbors.

It is the children, who the yard really belongs to, who are most upset about the garage, since it has cost them their playground. Children tried to block construction several times, but in vain. Late on October 8 th , thanks to the night watchmen, the stone walls of the garage went up. But the next morning when the policemen left, children demolished the walls and put up posters. Two of them, which read "Shame on the builder of the garage!" and "Give the yard back to the children!" are still there.

"Neither the mayor's office nor the district administration have asked us whether we agree to have a garage here or not," says a grandmother sitting under the trees in a corner of the yard. "This is our yard, hundreds of people live here, but no one takes our opinion into consideration. Our children did what every one wanted to do. No matter who comes, we won't let them ruin our yard."

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