Armenia’s Consulate General in Los Angeles on Wednesday called provocations and violence against peaceful protesters “orchestrated,” deeming them “unacceptable.” The Consulate was referring to incidents on Tuesday when a group of Azerbaijanis incited violence against thousands of Armenians who had gathered at the Azerbaijani Consulate to condemn Azerbaijan’s attacks on Armenia.
“The Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles strongly condemns the provocations of the Azerbaijanis in front of the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles on July 21st, 2020. Considering the sequence of events, it is evident that the obstruction of the peaceful protest of the Armenian community was planned in advance and had an orchestrated nature,” said a statement by the Armenian Consulate on Wednesday.
“The Armenian Consulate General in Los Angeles considers the violence against the peaceful demonstrators unacceptable,” added the statement.
Tuesday’s protest at the Azerbaijani Consulate, organized by the Armenian Youth Federation, drew a crowd of more than 3,000, according to Los Angeles Police Department estimates.
As Armenians were arriving at the demonstration site ahead of the 2 p.m. scheduled start time, a group Azerbaijanis, numbering less than 50, were waiting. Los Angeles Police officers escorted them across the street to prevent potential clashes, as has been witnessed in other such demonstrations this week.
However, this did not stop the Azerbaijanis from inciting violence and instigating the Armenians, as they began throwing water bottles at the arriving protesters, promoting them to cross the street. A small scuffle ensued and was quickly broken up by police. This incident forced the closure of eastbound and westbound lanes of the commonly busy Wilshire Boulevard for more than 30 minutes.
As the protest was winding down, one of the Azerbaijanis across the street threw a water bottle, which hit a female Armenian protester, prompting those in her immediate vicinity to charge at the Azerbaijanis. A fight broke out, during which an LAPD sergeant was unwittingly hit in the face.