System of A Down Joins Growing Campaign for US Recognition of Genocide

* Popular LA band’s website–systemofadown.com–generates widespread support for ANCA "Million Postcard Campaign" to presidential candidates.

WASHINGTON–The growing popularity of the Los Angeles based band System of a Down has generated dramatically increased interest in the Armenian Genocide–educating audiences about Turkey’s ongoing denials and generating powerful support from previously untapped sources for the national drive to secure official US recognition of this crime against humanity.

"System of a Down has been a key to the success of our national presidential candidate postcard campaign in reaching out beyond the Armenian American community to a vast and diverse group of new supporters for official US recognition of the Armenian Genocide," said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "They have really connected with their large base of fans through their website–concerts and interviews–generating an incredible number of offers of assistance and internet requests for postcards."

Last month–the ANCA launched a national million postcard campaign urging the five leading presidential candidates to support official US recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The campaign has attracted widespread support within the Armenian American community–with requests for postcards coming in as well from Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh and as far away as Mexico–Kazakhstan–and Switzerland. Each set of five postcards includes messages to Vice President Al Gore (D)–Arizona Senator John McCain (R)–former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley (D)–Texas Governor George Bush (R)–and businessman Steve Forbes (R).

"We are very proud of System and value the critical role they have played in reaching out to our own community’s youth and in educating the non-Armenian world about our history and our drive to secure justice for the crime of genocide committed against our nation," said Vicken Sonentz-Papazian–Executive Director of the ANCA-Western Region. "It is very encouraging to see a new generation reinvigorating the Armenian Cause and demonstrating not only determination but also effectiveness."

"Our local chapters have been extremely gratified by the tremendous response to our postcard campaign–from nearly every state–from recent immigran’s to long-standing compatriotic unions–from days schools to nursing homes–professional societies to charitable groups," said ANCA-Eastern Region Executive Director Grace Kehetian Kulegian.

System of a Down is composed of bassist Shavo Odadjian–vocalist Serge Tankian–guitarist Daron Malakian–and drummer John Dolmayan. Their website is: systemofadown.com (click "road notes" for information on postcard campaign).

According to a December 5 report by Turkey’s Anatolia News Agency–a Turkish American organization–"Turkish Forum," is organizing a national letter-writing campaign to counter the "Armenian National Committee [which] is sending free postcards to Armenia’s living in the US and collecting signatures through various churches and the internet." Turkish Forum will–according to this article–call on Turkish citizens in the United States to ask the presidential candidates "not to believe [Armenian] lies and not to disregard historical facts."

In an article on System of a Down in the December 2 issue of the Los Angeles weekly publication New Times–writer Sabrina Kaleta wrote that "The band has been outspoken on many issues–most notably–the need for recognition and reparations for the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Turks in 1915." She noted that "the first item currently on their site is an item about the Armenian National Committee of America’s million-postcard campaign for recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The organization wants to secure official US recognition of the nearly eight-decade-old slaughter–something that – as allies of Turkey–the US government has been unwilling to address."

For more information about the ANCA’s Million Postcard campaign or to request sets of postcards visit www.anca.org.

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