LOS ANGELES—On Thursday, January 26 California universities will be hosting simultaneous silent protests on their respective campuses. Demonstrations, coordinated by The Confederation of All-Armenian Students Associations, will take place at UCLA, USC, UCSD, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Los Angeles, and Glendale Community College. Members of the Armenian Youth Federation and ARF Shant Student Association will also participate.
The Stain of Denial, as the events is titled, aims at educating the greater campus community about the Armenian Genocide and the ensuing denial campaign by the government of Turkey. The ASA’s have partnered with various on-campus organizations to protest the continuous repression of justice. On the heels of the passage of legislation criminalizing Armenian Genocide denial in the French Senate, we demand that the government of the United States, like France, can stand up to empty political bullying from Turkey and properly condemn the Armenian Genocide. The United States, following the French example, should continue the fight against genocide denial and reject Turkey’s gag rule.
Students, faculty, and community members are invited to commemorate the memories of the millions killed in the Armenian Genocide and to take action for recognition of the atrocities. Please contact the Armenian Student Association nearest you or visit the Web site for information.
Classified as the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide claimed the lives of 1.5 million people and forced the dispersion of Armenians throughout the world. The Republic of Turkey, descendants of the Ottoman Empire, have led a denial campaign in an attempt to stave off responsibility, setting a cyclical precedent for the repression of justice.The United States, under political pressure from Turkey, has refused to acknowledge the events by its rightful classification. As Armenian-Americans, we believe that politics and humanity need to be held in separate realms. Genocide is a punishable crime and ignorance on the part of other countries further encourages the tactics of denialists.
The Confederation of All- Armenian Student Associations is a league of Armenian college student organizations that promote communication and collaboration amongst the constituent organizations. All-ASA provides a forum through which organizations can announce events, publicize activities, and share ideas regarding the Armenian college community. The formulation of All-ASA events and programs are run through a series of committees, hosted by individual constituent organizations.