Activists Take Capitol Hill By Storm During Grass Roots Advocacy Days

 

ANCA and Genocide Intervention Network Team up for Third “End the Cycle of Genocide” Grassroots Outreach Campaign

Activists Call for Armenian Genocide Recognition, Immediate Action on Darfur During

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with Glendale ANC activists

 

WASHINGTON–Over 100 anti-genocide activists from across the nation joined the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) for the third annual “End the Cycle of Genocide” campaign held in Washington, DC from April 22nd through 24th.The three-day program put community human rights advocates directly in touch with over 400 Congressional offices in support of practical legislative initiatives to stop the genocide in Darfur and end Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide.

“Once again, ANCA and GI-Net activists brought the crucial message of genocide recognition and prevention directly to the halls of Congress ‘s stressing that genocide must be condemned whenever and wherever it occurs,” commented ANCA Eastern Region Executive Director Karine Birazian. “With Pres. Obama’s decision to break his pledge to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide, our nationwide campaign to ensure America speaks with unstinting resolve against genocide takes even greater meaning.”

Birazian teamed up with her Washington DC and Western U.S. counterparts and activists from states including, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, distributing informational folders on the Armenian Genocide and the genocide taking place in Darfur, and highlighting legislation pertaining to these matters. Activists urged passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.252) and support for a $50 million allocation for Darfur peacekeeping efforts in the 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill.

In the days following the ANCA/GI-Net Capitol Hill advocacy campaign, support for the Armenian Genocide resolution increased to 116 cosponsors, with the addition of Representatives Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Sam Farr (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Walter Minnick (D-ID), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Thomas Perriello (D-VA), and John Salazar (D-CO).

“Capitol Hill advocacy days bring together activists of all ages ‘s some who have walked the halls of Congress for many years and others for whom this is a new experience ‘s all for the cause of genocide recognition and prevention,” said Glendale, CA ANCA activist Elen Asatryan.  “This interaction ‘s between activists and
Members of Congress and staff ‘s speaks to the fundamental role of citizen advocacy in the shaping of U.S. policy on genocide and a broad range of human rights concerns.”

Those in attendance took part in the April 22nd Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide commemorative program, organized by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.  The program included remarks by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) as well as Armenian Genocide Resolution lead sponsors Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), House Members of Armenian descent Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), as well as Reps. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV)
and Tim Walz (D-MN).

Members in attendance at the Observance also included Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), David Dreier (R-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Martin Heinrich (D-MN), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), James Langevin (D-RI), Richard Neal (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Diane Watson (D-CA).

On April 24th, activists joined with the Greater Washington DC area Armenian Youth Federation in protesting Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide at a demonstration in front of the Turkish Embassy.

 

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