LOS ANGELES — On Tuesday, February 5, the All-Armenian Student Association (All-ASA) coordinated the annual “Stain of Denial” silent protest against the continuous denial of the Armenian Genocide. The protests were simultaneously held by ASA chapters and affiliated organizations on their respective college and university campuses. “Stain of Denial” was initiated in 2011 as a silent protest in order to raise awareness of the ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide and the need for recognition and reparations.
The students, faculty, and community members who participated on Tuesday stressed that the Armenian Genocide is not an issue only reserved for the month of April, but it has a profound effect on Armenians every day. Whereas April 24th is traditionally the day that the world commemorates the Armenian Genocide, the memory of the genocide and its ensuing denial continues to be a daily struggle. The All-ASA prioritizes this campaign because Armenian students in college, where the free interchange of ideas and perspectives is encouraged, continuously find that the denial of their history is an injustice that they are blatantly faced with.
The campaign also included an online component, as those who were not able to attend raised awareness through social media, by incorporating the hashtags #StainofDenial, #ArmenianGenocide, and #Armenianschoolstrong into their online posts. While the protests highlighted the history of the Armenian Genocide and the consequences that still continue, it also tied the protest back recent vandalism and hate crimes on Ferrahian and AGBU schools on Jan 29th, 2019. It is clear that aspects of the genocide continue as denial is perpetuated, attacked young Armenian students and primary schools.
This year, Armenian students from various schools in the West coast and East coast organized on their respective campuses. The participating schools in this year’s protests were: UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, University of Southern California, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Northridge, Loyola Marymount University and Columbia University in New York. Members from the following organization also participated: ARF Shant Student Association, Armenian Youth Federation, Alpha Gamma Alpha, and Alpha Epsilon Omega. Schools participated despite the cold and rainy weather.
Thousands of Armenian students, community members, and faculty, both Armenian and non-Armenian, took a stand and reiterated that the Armenian Genocide is not just a “day in April,” but a year-round struggle for justice.
The All-Armenian Student Association (All-ASA) works to unite various Armenian-American college student organizations and serve the greater Armenian-American community through cultural, social, educational, and activist programming. As the largest confederation of ASAs in the nation, All-ASA is dedicated to collaboration among its constituent organizations, leadership development of its members, and community service.