In the Armenian capital of Yerevan, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to demand a reversal of a nationwide hike of electricity rates planned to take effect on August 1, 2015. Continuous demonstrations began on June 22, and though Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced a suspension of the future price increase on June 28, the blockade of the city's main thoroughfare has continued. Participants were forcefully dispersed by police on July 6, yet activists remain undeterred. The Armenian government says it will absorb the price increase on Russian-supplied energy until an audit of the decision takes place. Opponents of the rate-hike have expressed concern that the government is simply delaying the burden to tax payers, and maintain that the rise in energy costs will result in skyrocketing prices in the country, where one-third of residents live below the poverty line.