The designated area is in front of the Azerbaijani Consulate General in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES—This week, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to name a Westside intersection “Republic of Artsakh Square.” The intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue is also the location of the Los Angeles consulate of Azerbaijan, a dictatorship which has imposed a blockade on Artsakh, threatening 120,000 men, women and children with slow death from starvation and lack of medical care.
The dictator of Azerbaijan has a long and sordid history of violating international norms, including threatening genocide, violating internationally recognized borders with military force, teaching children hatred and racism, committing war crimes and holding hostages, weaponizing terrorist organizations, destroying ancient cultural treasures of global significance, imprisoning journalists, and creating an absolutist kleptocracy of organized crime and corruption.
The Council acted on a motion authored by Council President Paul Krekorian (CD2) and Councilmember Traci Park (CD11), whose district includes the newly designated Artsakh Square.
“Azerbaijan’s dictator has explicitly threatened genocide and called for the expulsion of all Armenians from territories he claims, once again threatening the annihilation of the Armenian people in their ancient homeland,” said Council President Krekorian. “We have taken this action to affirm the solidarity of the people of Los Angeles with the indigenous people of Artsakh who struggle to maintain their tiny democracy in the face of oppression, violence and expansionist threats from Azerbaijan.”
“Our action to create a Republic of Artsakh Square in the Eleventh District reflects our solidarity and commitment to the people of Artsakh,” said Councilmember Traci Park. “This square will stand as a symbol of Artsakh’s self-determination and our unequivocal opposition to the Azerbaijani dictatorship’s unprovoked aggression to erase Armenian history and culture.”
For the last 25 years, the regime of Azerbaijan’s dictator, Ilham Aliyev, has attempted to erase the history of Armenians in their ancestral homeland, destroying churches, cemeteries and cultural monuments. Since his unprovoked invasion and occupation of Artsakh’s territory in 2020, accompanied by documented war crimes and human rights violations, Aliyev’s campaign of destruction and desecration has intensified.
The Council’s motion was seconded by Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield (CD3), Nithya Raman (CD4), Monica Rodriguez (CD7), John Lee (CD12) and Hugo Soto-Martinez (CD13).
“The Republic of Artsakh Square will stand as a permanent reminder of the struggle for peace, and help bring more attention to the continued human right violations happening to the people of Artsakh,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.
“I am proud to join my colleagues today in establishing the Republic of Artsakh Square as a symbol of our ongoing support for the Armenians of Artsakh, who have been subjected to a nearly five-month-long brutal blockade by Azerbaijan,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman.
“Azerbaijan will continue to engage in acts of war against Artsakh and Armenia until the international community holds it responsible for its actions against the only thriving democracy in the region. Along with today’s symbolic action, I continue to urge the Biden Administration to use all available diplomatic tools, including withholding financial support, to end the blockade,” added Raman.
“I am proud to continue my support for the Armenian diaspora in Los Angeles and our continued solidarity with Artsakh,” said Councilmember Monica Rodriguez. “Establishing the ‘Republic of Artsakh Square’ is another example of our continued friendship and kinship with our Armenian community.”
“Los Angeles has repeatedly made it clear that it stands in support of the Armenian people of Artsakh,” said Councilmember John Lee. “Establishing the ‘Republic of Artsakh Square’ is one more example of our city’s unified voice in calling for the end of Azerbaijan aggression and our solidarity with the Armenian people.”
“As Armenians in Artsakh continue to live under an Azeri blockade that is now in its fifth month, it’s so important for us to stand in solidarity with Artsakh and with the Armenian community here in LA,” said Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martínez. “As the councilmember for the Thirteenth District including Little Armenia, I was proud to support this motion that will create the Republic of Artsakh Square.”
The Republic of Artsakh, formerly known as the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, heroically seceded from the Soviet Union, creating a democratic state in the disintegrating Communist bloc. Now virtually surrounded by the territory of Azerbaijan, the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh has access to Armenia and the outside world only through the Lachin Corridor, now cut off by the armed forces of Azerbaijan, with the complicity of Russia.
With passage of this motion, the Department of Transportation has been directed to erect permanent ceremonial signs to identify the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue as Republic of Artsakh Square, a highly public expression of the City’s support for the besieged people of Artsakh.