LOS ANGELES, CA – The Armenian Youth Federation Western Region (AYF-WR) held a protest against denial in front of the Turkish Consulate located at 6300 Wilshire Boulevard. The demonstration that has been taking place annually for decades continues to take place because the government of Turkey continues to deny that what took place in the Ottoman Empire 92 years ago was genocide.
An estimated seven thousand youth were present at the demonstration shouting slogans such as “Turkey Guilty of Genocide” and “We Want Justice”. The Los Angeles Police Department was also present for safety reasons. The demonstration ended peacefully and no arrests were made.
“Ninety percent of demonstrators were youth” said Saro Shirinian, chairperson of the AYF-WR. “The perpetrators of the Armenian genocide thought that nobody would remember what happened ninety-two years ago, yet with such a great showing of youth at this demonstration, we are proving them wrong and we are showing the current Turkish government what a powerful force both truth and justice are” said Shirinian.
The two hour demonstration ended at 6:00 PM with speeches by AYF Fresno Chapter member Arek Santikian and AYF-WR Central Executive member Berj Parseghian. In their speeches they addressed the Turkish and the United States governments, stating that the Armenian-American community will not stand idly by in the face of lies and deceit and will continue the struggle until justice is served.
“Every year more and more people come to the demonstration” said Shogher Aslanian, AYF San Fernando Valley member and organizer of the event. “The Turkish government sees the demonstration through the windows of their consulate and on television and in newspapers and I hope that they understand how powerful the Armenian youth are and I hope they realize that our struggle for justice will not end until the Turkish government comes to terms with its past” said Aslanian.
The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization. With chapters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the AYF actively advances the concerns of Armenian American youth on a broad range of issues.