* ANC activist speaks to Clinton on Genocide Resolution
LOS ANGELES-Activists from the Armenian Youth Federation and the Armenian National Committee on Thursday staged a protest demonstration at a public rally with President Bill Clinton–criticizing the President’s recent heavy-handed activities–which resulted in the withdrawal of H.Res 596-The Armenian Genocide Resolution by House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
The group of ANC and AYF activists–carrying signs and banners–began their protest outside of the Baldwin Hills Plaza–but then gained entry into the rally–and were able to voice their disappointment and condemnation of the Administration’s actions inside the venue.
ANC activist Nayri Messerlian–who was able to make her way to the frontlines of the rally–just below the stage–had a brief encounter with President Clinton at the conclusion of the rally–expressing to him on behalf of the Armenian American community–the deep disappointment at his opposition and personal lobbying against the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
The ANC and AYF protesters were able to interrupt the proceedings of the rally several times with their chants–demanding recognition and proper commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
"I think the ANC and AYF certainly made their point on behalf of the Armenian American community during this rally–which was attended by thousands and thousands of people," explained Messerlian. "As the only Armenian American protesters–were both able to raise awareness on the Genocide issues among the crowds–as well as let President Clinton know that the ANC and AYF–and the entire Armenian American community felt about the Administration’s handling of the Resolution."
The rally–which was held in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles–featured a number of celebrity guests and political figures including California Governor Gray Davis and other local public officials.