Hundreds Attend First West Coast "Armenians And Progressive Politics

11.06.2008 10:46

Glendale became host to a historic forum, as renowned intellectuals
and activists from around the world joined a few hundred socially
conscious activists for a two-day symposium exploring modern issues
of social justice and progressive politics.

The event was the first of its kind on the West Coast and the 5th in
a series organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. One of
California’s progressive radio stations, KPFK 90.7 FM (Radio Pacifica)
and the Armenian Cultural Foundation cosponsored the event, which
brought together renowned progressive artists, intellectuals and
activists from South America, the United States and Armenia for a
critical examination of modern social issues afflicting Armenians
and the wider global community.

The symposium also featured a number of the personalities heard on
Radio Pacifica.

The issues discussed traced the gamut from the war in Iraq and art’s
role in raising social consciousness to women’s rights, socio-economic
conditions in Armenia, the local labor movement and corporate influence
in the media, all the while presenting them inboth an Armenian and
global perspective.

"The point of the conference is to raise social consciousness,"
said organizing committee member Razmig Shirinian during his opening

"Our organization [The ARF] was founded 118 years ago upon
revolutionary and socialist ideas…and we must remind ourselves and
the people that social and critical thinking is necessary–that we
should never give up our ideals…and our fight for basic rights and
social justice."

For two days, individuals from all walks of life–community activists
and business owners to public officials and parents, students and young
professionals–came out to participate in a conference on progressive
politics in the Armenian community. The event was an experiment to
create dialogue regarding concepts and strategies that go beyond the
conventional politics.

The West Coast Armenians and Progressive Politics conference was the
brainchild of a special organizing committee of the ARF Western US. The
committee began organizing the symposium several months ago as a result
of successes in similar conferences organized by the ARF Eastern US and
ARF Argentina. According to the organizers, the goal of the conference
was to create a forum for Southern California’s Armenian American
Community to discuss and debate progressive politics and social issues.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS