LOS ANGELES—Thousands of protestors will descend upon the Turkish Consulate of Los Angeles this Saturday to demand recognition and justice for the first genocide of the 20th century. Fueled by Ankara’s ongoing denial, Armenian Americans and anti-genocide activists will take to the streets to call for an end to over 95 years of Turkish impunity.
The demonstration is being organized by the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) and is set to begin at 4:00 p.m. on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and McCarthy Vista. Los Angeles City Council member Paul Krekorian will be one of several community leaders and officials who will address attendees at the protest.
“This protest it is not just about commemorating the Genocide,” said Caspar Jivalegian, one of the lead organizers of the annual protest. “It’s about saying 95 years is long enough. As youth, we want justice and an end to all genocides plaguing humanity.”
This year marks the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which began on April 24, 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government. It comes just over a month after the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House adopted a resolution calling on the President to properly recognize the killings as Genocide. Turkey responded to the measure by recalling its ambassador from Washington.
Meanwhile, despite numerous campaign pledges, President Barrack Obama has backtracked on his earlier promise to speak truthfully about the Armenian Genocide. His administration has come out in opposition to the House resolution, with Secretary Hillary Clinton stating “We do not believe that the full Congress will or should vote on that resolution and we have made that clear to all the parties involved.”
“The Genocide began in 1915 but it did not end there,” said protest organizer and Chair of the AYF Arek Santikian. “We feel it in our bones to this day because of Turkey’s aggressive campaign of distortion and its blackmail of our representatives in the US Congress.”
With chapters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) has grown to become the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization. Inspired by the past and motivated by the needs of the future, the AYF actively strives to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of all Armenian youth.