LOS ANGELES—5,000 Armenian-Americans demanded that Turkey recognize the Armenian Genocide and make reparations during a protest Sunday, organized by the Armenian Youth Federation Western US Central Executive in front of the building housing the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles on Wilshire Boulevard.
The crowd was exponentially growing throughout the two-hour protest, which began at 4 p.m.
Demonstrators were chanting slogans expressing demands for Turkey to recognize the Genocide and expressing disappointment at President Obama for, once again, failing to honor his promise and recognize the Genocide.
Mistress of Ceremonies, Arda Hatspanian welcomed the crowd, thanking them for taking part in the demonstration on Easter Sunday.
She then invited Tro Krikorian who delivered a strongly-worded and eloquent message in Armenian.
“The Armenian Question did not start with the Genocide,” said Krikorian, explaining that the massacres created a new reality for the movement and Armenian demands and presented new challenges for the Armenian nation.
The speaker also criticized Obama, and successive administrations for failing the properly acknowledge the Genocide, saying that “Unfortunately, we live in a country, in whose dictionaries, human justice is viewed only from political interest perspective.”
“The US government is equally guilty, if not more. By denying [the Genocide] it not only tramples upon our just rights, but also encourages other countries to follow suit and ignore the reality of Genocide,” said Krikorian.
AYF member and UCLA student, Razmig Sarkisian followed Krikorian with fiery remarks delivered in English. His message: A new generation of educated, resilient, and united youth will continue the demands of the Armenian people until justice is served.
The event ended with a requiem service conducted by the Western Prelacy’s Father Bartev Gulumian, who also spoke about the unique coincidence of the Easter falling on April 24.
Asbarez will have expanded coverage of the AYF protest.