-Calls on Congress to pass genocide prevention legislation
-Visit: http://www.anca.org/anca/SOAD to download printable postcards
WASHINGTON–DC–System Of A Down–the alternative-metal band that has been among the sharpest critics of US government complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide–launched a nation-wide campaign today calling on their fans and supporters to ask Congress to pass legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide and reaffirming America’s resolve to prevent future genocides–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
The legislation (H.Res.193 and S.Res.164) commemorates the US implementation of the Genocide Convention and specifically calls for the lessons of the Armenian Genocide–the Holocaust–and Cambodian and Rwandan genocides to be applied by the US government in helping to prevent future genocides. The Bush Administration–despite a February 2000 campaign promise by then candidate George W. Bush that he would recognize the Armenian Genocide–has formally opposed the measure and is seeking to block its adoption solely on the grounds that it specifically references the Armenian Genocide.
In a letter sent today to hundreds of thousands of System fans–band member Serj Tankian noted that–"Whether it’s the Holocaust in Germany–the Killing Fields in Cambodia–or the Armenian Genocide–one thing that all crimes against humanity have in common is the abuse of religion–race–or cultural differences as an excuse to exterminate a whole group or nation of people." He then asked the band’s supporters to "Please join myself along with Daron–Shavo–and John in sending these postcards to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to encourage them both to take a firm stand against the unspeakable horrors of Genocide."
To take part in this Printable Postcard campaign:
1) Visit http://www.anca.org/anca/SOAD
2) Print out two postcards on a home or office printer
3) Sign–stamp–and mail
"System consistently and powerfully reaches a vast American audience–engaging them on human rights issues and inspiring them to demand that their government respect the truth and work for justice," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA. "The band’s outreach has been unprecedented in educating literally millions of their fans about the Armenian Genocide–Turkey’s denial of this crime–and– closest to home–our own government’s ongoing complicity in the Turkish government’s shameful cover-up."
This internet campaign is running parallel to the ANCA’s distribution of "hard-copy" postcards to Armenian American households around the nation. Both programs were made possible through the financial support of System Of A Down.
The Genocide resolution was introduced in the Senate in June by Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ). Its companion House measure–led by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA)–Adam Schiff (D-CA)–and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)–was adopted unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee in May and has 111 cosponsors. Support for these measures has been widespread–with a diverse coalition of over 100 ethnic–religious–civil and human rights organizations calling for their passage–including American Values–National Organization of Women–Sons of Italy–NAACP–Union of Orthodox Rabbis–and the National Council of La Raza.
The text of Serj Tankian’s letter is provided below:
It’s an honor to communicate with you–not just about things having to do with System Of A Down–but also about things that have a deep importance to humanity and the reason for our existence.
Whether it’s the Holocaust in Germany–the Killing Fields in Cambodia or the Armenian Genocide–one thing that all crimes against humanity have in common is the abuse of religion–race–or cultural differences as an excuse to exterminate a whole group or nation of people.
We are at a time in history when we can no longer afford to deny the occurrence of such atrocities or be passive about allowing such crimes to take place again. We need to mobilize our hearts.
Please join myself along with Daron–Shavo–and John in sending these postcards to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to encourage them both to take a firm stand against the unspeakable horrors of Genocide.
Please take a moment to download–print–and mail these postcards to Congress.