March and Rally in Little Armenia

By Garen Yegparian

In its fifth year–the march and rally in little Armenia attracted over 6,000 participants.

The cooler–overcast weather made life easier for the vast majority of black-T-shirt clad participants. The serious mood set by the shirts was mirrored by the marchers’ behavior.

They started eastward at the intersection of Hobart and Hollywood–turned south at Normandie–west at Sunset–north at Western–then back to the starting point and the stage erected on Hobart. Along the way–the now traditional slogans chanted supported the relatively few banners and placards in conveying the message of the day to observers. Unfortunately–technical problems intervened with the sound system not functioning. A few hasty commen’s over a bullhorn became the unremarkable end of an otherwise respectable gathering.

The organizers–United Young Armenia’s–were probably unaware that Dean Cain who played Superman–accompanied by producers Ralph Winter and Kevin Matossian–was at the gathering and interviewed by the reporter for Channels 2 and 9. His interest was sparked through his Armenian contacts. Wanting to support efforts for recognition of the Genocide–he participated in the early part of the Little Armenia gathering.

Some of the contentiousness preceding this event spilled over onto the coverage of it. The best example of this related to the numbers in attendance. Despite Los Angeles city staff’s estimates of 4,000 participants–and the number as estimated above by this writer–participation of 100,000 was reported in Armenia–while the marchers were still walking.

Staff also reported a case of Armenian Power (the gang) thugs beating up a Mexican by-stander. A number of cases were observed of Armenian drivers–often in flag-draped cars–cutting police ribbons and moving other obstacles and entering the route of the parade–then driving at breakneck speeds on the empty streets.

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