That thousands of Yerevan residents should take to the streets, as they have done every day this past week, is no real surprise. It is, after all, the fourth summer in a row that mass protests have gripped the Armenian capital. In 2013, demonstrators protested price hikes for public transportation. In 2014 it was pension reform. In 2015, what started as a protest against higher electricity bills became the so-called “Electric Yerevan” movement that Russian state-controlled media hyperbolically compared to Ukraine’s Maidan.
But this summer’s protest is different — not so much in form, but in character. No longer are the demands social and economic; now the ultimatum is regime change. Yerevan residents are rallying to voice their support for an armed militant group that seized a police station in the Erebuni district on July 17. The militants are demanding the release of all political prisoners and the resignation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. They call themselves “The Sassoon Daredevils” after the title of a medieval Armenian epic about the strongmen of Sassoun — a historic region of Armenia — and their struggle against Arab invaders.
Among these latter-day Daredevils are two heroes of the Karabakh War of 1992-1994, Pavlik Manukyan and Araik Khandoyan. Both are renowned throughout Armenia and the international Armenian diaspora.
Most Daredevils members support The Founding Parliament movement, the main non-systemic opposition force in the country. One of their first demands was the release of Jirair Sefilian, leader of The Founding Parliament, who was arrested in June.
The Daredevils released all their hostages on July 23 on the condition that a press center be erected in the compound they control. But the authorities responded in the usual way for a former Soviet republic. State-controlled television made no mention of the takeover of the police station for the first two days. Police dispersed supporters with excessive force. Video cameras captured riot police kicking demonstrators who had fallen to the ground. Road workers suddenly decided to lay new asphalt in front of the presidential palace and all official government spokespeople seemingly disappeared. Only on July 22, five days after the armed conflict began, did a notice appear on President Sargasyan’s website condemning the militants.
On July 27, it was reported that the militants had once again taken in hostages, though this information is disputed and difficult to verify.
The National Security Service is calling the takeover a terrorist attack, but the number of Armenians who disagree with that assessment is growing daily. Armenian society has a deep aversion to all acts of violence. The bloody ethnic conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan and the terrorist attack against the parliament in 1999, when masked gunmen killed eight deputies, is still fresh in people’s minds. Paradoxically, however, it is the very rejection of violence that many Armenians have come round to supporting the Daredevils.
Armenian society is, essentially, too small for corruption and crime to remain hidden. A consensus has formed that the authorities use their monopoly on violence for personal gain. People remember how President Serzh Sargsyan came to power by suppressing mass protests that followed presidential elections in 2008. They remember how police used force to disperse the protesters, causing the deaths of eight demonstrators and one soldier.
The Founding Parliament movement has never advocated the use of force to achieve a regime change, and the seizure of the police station seems to be a gesture of despair from some of their veteran members. For years, Jirair Sefilian and his supporters took to the streets with placards, recorded video messages, traveled around the country in caravans and used every possible peaceful means of protest available. As a result, they were arrested, given hefty prison sentences and beaten by people in civilian clothes.
Armenia celebrates 25 years of independence in 2016, although it is difficult to find a single citizen who would characterize the country as free and independent. According to official statistics, more than 600,000 people emigrated from Armenia during those years; unofficially, it may have been as many as 1 million. Like Ukraine, Armenia was slated to sign an Association Agreement creating a free-trade zone with Europe at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013, but after a closed meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, President Sargsyan announced that he was rejecting integration with Europe in favor of joining the Eurasian Economic Union.
Over the past decade, Armenia has handed Russia control over many of the country’s strategic facilities, including the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, Armsberbank (The Armenian State Savings Bank that later became a branch of Russia’s VTB bank), the Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant, and many other assets. And yet, over the past five years, Russia has sold Azerbaijan — Armenia’s main foreign enemy — offensive weapons worth more than $4 billion. Azerbaijan used those Russian weapons during a four-day clash with Armenia in April 2016 that resulted in the deaths of more than 100 Armenian soldiers.
A consensus has formed in Armenian society that corruption and the authoritarian regime are the main problems facing the country, and that they are destroying the economy and threatening Armenia’s sovereignty. The groundswell of support for the Sassoon Daredevils, taking in everyone from retirees to youth carrying smartphones, is an indication that the ruling elites are not in for an easy ride.
Okay but what if in the recalled Overwatch, Mccree was chosen to form and lead his own version of Blackwatch?
He runs it different to Reyes, who sought out talent and gave them an ultimatum. For some reason, that only seemed to stick with one former Blackwatch member (cough mccree cough)
Instead, Mccree runs it by looking for people like himself who are genuinely seeking redemption for their past. He learns this by doing what he does best; talking to them. Ana mentors him and helps him get his bearings as to where to start.
Hanzo is the first person he chooses for the new roster, assured by Genji that the fact that he came by Overwatch at all was a sure sign of his seeking redemption. That, and the fact he didnt try to fight him again.
They decided to go out on a bit of a limb and try hire Roadhog and Junkrat next, who Overwatch had recently captured after some kind of explosive robbery, Mccree found out about the “going legit” incident and promised the skinnier of the two he was about as far away from being a suit as he possibly could be, and even promised that Junkrat may get to blow things up from time to time. (Plus there would be a hefty paycheck that both the Australians seemed interested in)
If the Vishkar corporation were to be stopped, they might be able to grab Symmetra for their team, promising her that she would be able to help bring order to the world, just in a way that didn’t quite involve the involuntary tearing down of peoples homes.
Eventually Overwatch might capture Reaper, unmasking him to find Gabriel Reyes. Mccree would sit opposite him and smile, commenting about how their meeting here was just like the one he and Reyes had had over 20 years ago, just with them sitting in opposite seats. Jesse would offer Gabe the exact same opportunity that the other man had given him, maybe even use some of the exact same words from all those years ago just to rub some nostalgia in. Widowmaker would be a very long process, but maybe someday she could be brought around to the idea too.
Today in History, World War I begins… Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
On July 28, 1914, one month to the day after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were killed by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, effectively beginning the First World War.
Threatened by Serbian ambition in the tumultuous Balkans region of Europe, Austria-Hungary determined that the proper response to the assassinations was to prepare for a possible military invasion of Serbia. After securing the unconditional support of its powerful ally, Germany, Austria-Hungary presented Serbia with a rigid ultimatum on July 23, 1914, demanding, among other things, that all anti-Austrian propaganda within Serbia be suppressed, and that Austria-Hungary be allowed to conduct its own investigation into the archduke’s killing. Though Serbia effectively accepted all of Austria’s demands except for one, the Austrian government broke diplomatic relations with the other country on July 25 and went ahead with military preparedness measures. Meanwhile, alerted to the impending crisis, Russia—Serbia’s own mighty supporter in the Balkans—began its own initial steps towards military mobilization against Austria.
In the days following the Austrian break in relations with Serbia, the rest of Europe, including Russia’s allies, Britain and France, looked on with trepidation, fearing the imminent outbreak of a Balkans conflict that, if entered into by Russia, threatened to explode into a general European war. The British Foreign Office lobbied its counterparts in Berlin, Paris and Rome with the idea of an international convention aimed at moderating the conflict; the German government, however, was set against this notion, and advised Vienna to go ahead with its plans.
On July 28, 1914, after a decision reached conclusively the day before in response to pressure from Germany for quick action—apart from Kaiser Wilhelm II, who by some accounts still saw the possibility of a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the conflict, but was outmaneuvered by the more hawkish military and governmental leadership of Germany—Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. In response, Russia formally ordered mobilization in the four military districts facing Galicia, its common front with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. That night, Austrian artillery divisions initiated a brief, ineffectual bombardment of Belgrade across the Danube River.
“My darling one and beautiful, everything tends towards catastrophe and collapse,” British naval official Winston Churchill wrote to his wife at midnight on July 29. He was proven right over the next several days. On August 1, after its demands for Russia to halt mobilization met with defiance, Germany declared war on Russia. Russia’s ally, France, ordered its own general mobilization that same day, and on August 3, France and Germany declared war on each other. The German army’s planned invasion of neutral Belgium, announced on August 4, prompted Britain to declare war on Germany. Thus, in the summer of 1914, the major powers in the Western world—with the exception of the United States and Italy, both of which declared their neutrality, at least for the time being—flung themselves headlong into the First World War.
accidental-rambler Oh god but this though. I’m all for asking for feedback and even asking some specific questions you hope to get feedback on but when I see someone issue this kind of “ultimatum”, I peace out with the speed of light. Just no.
I’ve seen writers who have, in author’s notes, talked about their struggle with a certain scene and how it still doesn’t feel quite right to them and asked the readers to let them know their honest thoughts, and I have no problem with something like that. But essentially holding your story hostage until you get the recognition you feel you deserve? Big no no. And a lot of people seem to feel similarly, so I think you’re really shooting yourself in the foot if you do this, because a lot of readers who might have been inclined to comment will probably instead just leave.
In a setting with consensual YashiSato, would Satoru just... not tell anyone that he remembers who tried to kill him? Would Kenya have his suspicions?
B-basically! ( ˘▽˘);;; (One thing about a consensual Yashisato relationship would be an “ultimatum” against killing, and Yashiro hadn’t killed anyone since attempting on Satoru in the anime timeline anyway.)
I don’t think Kenya would be suspicious – it makes sense that Satoru’s memories might never come back, either due to psychological or physical damage – but he would be really curious and worried about Satoru and Yashiro’s relationship. If he found out about it, he’d think it was a horrible idea, of course: in his eyes, Satoru’s basically a kid dating their teacher, maybe as a way to try to adjust. And he’d think it was really creepy that Yashiro would go along with that.