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marketwire: SYSTEM OF A DOWN to Headline `SOULS, 2004´ Benefit Concert

LOS ANGELES, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — 03/04/2004 — Multi-Platinum-selling group SYSTEM OF A DOWN will headline “SOULS, 2004,” a very special benefit concert to be held in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 24 at the Greek Theatre. Tickets for the concert will be priced at $45.00, and will go on sale at 12NOON next Friday, March 12 at all Ticketmaster outlets including Tower Records, Robinsons-May, Wherehouse, Ritmo Latino, and http://www.ticketmaster.com/. Doors, concert start-time and support acts will be announced shortly.

Proceeds from “SOULS, 2004” will benefit organizations that work to eradicate the atrocities of all genocides across the globe, including the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), an organization that supports legislation in the U.S. Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide that was perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during World War 1. During this first genocide of the 20th century, 1.5 million Armenians were annihilated and hundreds of thousands deported from their ancient homeland. April 24th was chosen as the date for the concert as this year, it commemorates the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Despite a February 2000 campaign promise by then candidate George W. Bush to recognize the Armenian Genocide, he and his Administration have instead opposed the measure and are seeking to block its adoption solely on the grounds that it specifically references the Armenian Genocide. Stated System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, “The United States’ omission of the Armenian Genocide from its history books can only be based on strategic geo-political and financial interests in the Middle East. We will not omit our mission to bring about exposure, education and recognition for events that we have been told to forget.

“More than 100 organizations have endorsed the campaign to urge Congress to pass the Genocide Resolution,” Tankian continued. “The Vatican and the European Parliament, as well as the French, Italian, Swiss, Russian, Belgian, and many other governing bodies have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. It’s time for the United States to do the same. We are urging Congress to pass House Resolution 193 and Senate Resolution 164, measures that would reinforce America’s commitment to prevent future genocides and crimes against humanity.”

Members of System of a Down — Tankian/vocals; Daron Malakian/guitars; bassist Shavo Odadjian, and drummer John Dolmayan — are all of Armenian descent, and have been very active in supporting this cause for years. “SOULS, 2004” is the most recent in the band’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide and other global abuses of human rights.

“Because so much of my family history was lost in the Armenian Genocide,” said Malakian, “my grandfather, who was very young at the time, doesn’t know his true age. How many people can say they don’t know how old they are? But, this is not just about the Armenian Genocide,” he continues. “This is about human rights abuse in all parts of the world.”

“If not for my grandfather’s memories, I would know nothing of my family tree before his lifetime,” said Tankian. “Most of my family was obliterated in the Armenian Genocide. What we want is for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation recognizing that the Armenian Genocide took place, and to officially acknowledge the atrocities that were inflicted on the Armenian people during the early part of the 20th century.”

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