Viken Berberian, a writer and essayist, is the author of the novels The Cyclist (2002) and Das Kapital (2007), and of a graphic novel with the French illustrator Yann Kebbi, La structure est pourrie, camarade (2017; a US edition is forthcoming from Fantagraphics). (May 2018)

NYR DAILY

Armenia’s Bad Week for Autocrats

Demonstrators at Republic Square, Yerevan, Armenia, April 20, 2018

My son waved back to the middle-aged metro officer with a defiant smile. Outside, we blended into a group of protesters, many of them in their teens and twenties, blocking an intersection. It had been not quite nine hours since I had dropped him at the bus station, but he had reassessed his view of the situation on the ground. “I wish the government would ban plastic bags,” he said. We bent down and picked up a couple of errant bags. Democracy starts from the ground up.