Thousands Join in Protest Calling On Obama To Honor Genocide Pledge

Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region
104 N. Belmont St.
Glendale, CA 91206

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2011
Contact: William Bairamian
Tel: 818-500-1918


— President Obama’s trip to California comes on the eve of April 24, the
international day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide

Los Angeles, CA – Over 1,500 Armenian-American and anti-genocide activists
flooded the streets of Culver City on Thursday, April 21 to protest
President Obama’s failure to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian
Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Western
Region (ANCA-WR).

The protest, which took place in front of Obama’s campaign fundraiser at the
Sony Picture Studios, was organized by the Armenian Genocide Community Task
Force and included Grammy Award-winning artist Serj Tankian along with Armenian
American community leaders and activists young and old from throughout the
Southland. Armenian American TV icon Kim Kardashian alerted her 7.2 million
twitter and blog followers about the demonstration and encouraged them to
participate in Easter Sunday’s National Day of Prayer commemorating this

“As President Obama embarks on his re-election campaign, the Armenian
American community, anti-genocide activists, and people of good conscience
are still waiting for him to demonstrate Presidential leadership to fulfill
his 2008 promise by reaffirming the Armenian Genocide,” stated ANCA Western
Region Chairman Andrew Kzirian.

Serj Tankian led the energized crowd in chants of `As President, I will
recognize the Genocide,’ referencing Obama’s January 18, 2008 statement
pledging to call this evil by its rightful name. With the international day
of commemoration of this crime just days away on April 24th, protesters
called on the President to visit the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Memorial,
located just miles away in Montebello.

One demonstrator made a powerful statement without uttering a word by coming
dressed up as the Statue of Liberty with a Turkish flag covering her mouth
and holding a sign urging President Obama to `End Turkey’s Gag Rule over
America – Recognize the Armenian Genocide’. The costume and the sign
reference the unspoken gag rule Turkey has placed on the United States
Administration, through threats and intimidation, from speaking publicly and
honestly about the Armenian Genocide.

In a series of letters and statements issued as Senator and candidate,
President Obama pledged to clearly and unequivocally end U.S. complicity in
Turkey’s genocide denial and properly recognize this crime against
humanity. He has yet to honor that pledge, resorting to euphemistic
language to describe the murder of over 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman
Turkish government from 1915-1923. The complete set of Senator Obama’s
statements on the Armenian Genocide are can be found at:

The April 21st protest was part of a series of events commemorating the
Armenian Genocide in the Southland. On Saturday, community members will
gather at Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument at Bicknell Park in Montebello
for a commemorative event at 11AM, which will be followed by a candle light
vigil and concert at the same location at 7PM.

On Easter Sunday, Armenian-Americans will gather for a protest at the
Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard at 4PM, after attending Easter
Service where they will participate in a National Day of Prayer in
celebration of Easter and in honor of the Armenian Genocide.

For the first time in 150 years, Easter and April 24 will fall on the same
day, and people of faith all over the world are being asked to pray with
Armenians as a part of `Resurrection and Recognition: National Day of Prayer
on April 24.’ The Conference of European Churches and World Council of
Churches have called on their member churches to pray with Armenians this
Easter for the resurrection of the Armenian people from the ashes of

“We commend the World Council of Churches and Armenian religious leaders in
leading Christian communities across the U.S. in this National Day of
Prayer,” said Rostom Sarkissian, Senior Advisor to the ANCA WR Board of
Directors. “This year’s Easter celebration on April 24th not only marks the
resurrection of Christ but the rebirth of the Armenian Nation from the ashes
of the Genocide.”

For more information regarding the National Day of Prayer, visit

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and
most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the
Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices,
chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated
organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the
Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


From: A. Papazian

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