GLENDALE—In the aftermath of the crisis that embroiled not only Armenia but the entire Armenian Nation for the past two weeks, the Armenian Youth Federation Western US Central Executive issued an announcement on Tuesday proclaiming the organization’s solidarity with the youth in Armenia, who have forsaken all else to create a bright and just future for the Armenian homeland.
Below is the text of the announcement.
The past two weeks have been challenging for Armenians across the globe, as we watched events unfold in Erebuni. Armed men stormed a police station, occupying it during a standoff with authorities. The crisis became a catalyst for demonstrations against the government. In the end, two police officers lost their lives, and dozens of civilians were injured. Many unanswered questions remain, including where we go from here.
As a diasporan community, we continually remind ourselves to be educated and engaged in all events taking place in Armenia. However, our engagement with the Armenian nation and homeland is not an ephemeral process that flares or dissipates with any given protest. Nation building is a perpetual and often frustrating process, one that is absolutely dependent on a democratic and solution-oriented approach.
The state is tasked with the essential duty of protecting the wellbeing of its citizenry; a sacred function that cannot be abused. Unanswered grievances and repressive responses have heightened feelings of desperation amongst citizens. This dangerous and untenable situation must be addressed.
From the government of Armenia we demand accountability and transparency in investigating all abuses of power during the past two weeks, and steps be taken to ensure due process is afforded to all detained individuals. In addition to respecting the Armenian people’s right to free speech and assembly, we demand the absolute protection of the press to objectively report developments without any fear of reprisal.
To our sisters and brothers in Armenia, we appeal to you to never give up the tools of nonviolent organizing as the only means of bringing about the social change we struggle for. We must realize the indomitable strength and political capital of an organized populace that is not contingent upon the use of violence.
The movement for a better Armenia can never be frustrated, nor can it recognize any borders. It is a movement that will only be successful with the participation of all segments of our society, through discussion, debate, and protest–held accountable by the vote.
The fate of our Republic does not belong to the corrupt, nor does it belong to the cynical. It belongs to the idealistic, principled, tireless, forward-thinking women and men from Yerevan, to Stepanakert, to Los Angeles and the rest of the diaspora that will work together to build the future our nation deserves.
In Common Cause,
Armenian Youth Federation–Western US