(LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2015) – The Armenian Youth Federation – Western United States staged a demonstration in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles this morning exhibiting posters of Armenian Genocide monuments from around the world and shoes on the sidewalk leading into the Turkish Consulate.
“We want to make it loud and clear to the Turkish government that the Armenian youth will continue working toward justice for the genocide every day,” said Verginie Touloumian, a member of the AYF Central Executive. “The posters we displayed show Armenian Genocide monuments from around the world, and the shoes demonstrate the soles of those who marched into the desert, as well as the soles of those who will march back and demand justice from the Turkish government.”
AYF members arrived to the consulate around 5 a.m. to set up the exhibit, which gained the attention of passersby on their morning commute. Each pair of shoes was accompanied by a note reading “…#TurkeyFailed because…”
“The #TurkeyFailed campaign is something we’ve been doing for the past two years to show the world that Turkey failed in annihilating the Armenian people,” Touloumian said. “We, as a people, have thrived and have contributed to the world in so many ways. The notes on the shoes express specific examples of why Turkey failed.”
The AYF also attempted to deliver a letter to the consulate outlining the Armenian community’s demands from the Turkish government, but members were not allowed into the building. Security guards stopped members from proceeding to the Consulate floor and instructed them to send the letter in the mail.
This attempt follows several such efforts by the AYF in recent months to gain the Turkish Consul General’s attention in regards to the genocide. As part of the 100 Days of Action campaign, AYF members have been delivering demand letters to the consulate every Monday.
In another attempt to deliver these letters this week, AYF members and Pilibos Armenian School students were denied entry, with security guards telling them “nothing Armenian is allowed in the building.”
“All these efforts on the Turkish government’s part simply show their fear and cowardice of the truth,” Touloumian said. “But we aren’t discouraged. In fact, it will only motivate us to keep fighting for justice even more.”
The 100 Days of Action campaign will continue in the coming week, concluding on April 23. The following day, the AYF will take part in the March for Justice from Little Armenia to the Turkish Consulate.
About the AYF
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the world, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian youth.