ROSEMONT–Ill.- Thousands of fans attending the System Of A Down (SOAD) concert on September 30 were met by ANC and AYF activists from Chicago–Karine Birazian–Sona Birazian–and Nairee Hagopian–working to collect petitions addressed to Speaker of the House–Rep. Dennis Hastert urging him to "do the right thing" and bring the Genocide resolution to the House floor for a vote.
Many fans are already aware of the resolution thanks to System Of A Down’s Website and the September 27 rally held in front of Rep. Hastert’s office. Fans commented that "Armenia’s deserve justice and genocide recognition." Several came up to the table looking for more information on the Genocide–while others stated that they already sent a Web fax to Rep. Hastert through System Of A Down’s Website.
Within three hours–over 700 petitions were signed and collected in support of the resolution. The activists–however–did not work alone. Armenia’s from the community and several SOAD fans dedicated time that evening to help collect signatures as well.
"Being a part of this event was incredible. I was shocked that so many people are already aware about the resolution," said Chicago AYF member Karine Birazian. "We are so grateful that System Of A Down has given us and other Armenia’s the opportunity to volunteer at their concerts and promote genocide recognition. I truly believe that recognition of the Armenian genocide is in our reach and will be achieved in our lifetime," she said.
At the end of the concert–lead singer Serj Tankian announced on stage that he promised his 97-year-old grandfather that he will continue working for genocide recognition. Loud cheers came from the crowd as Armenian flags were waving high in the air.
Many of the Armenian activists and SOAD fans present at the concert were also at the successful rally held in front of Rep. Hastert’s office in Batavia–Ill.–on September 27. The two hour rally–led by band members Tankian and John Dolmayan–called upon Hastert to bring the Genocide resolution to a vote.