LOS ANGELES — On the afternoon of April 24, tens of thousands of Los Angeles area Armenians were gathered in front of the Turkish Consulate to protest and to demand justice for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
A large number of young people, students, religious and party representatives, as well as local politicians were present at the event organized by the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee.
In the worm up to the main event, young people were chanting “Turkey guilty of genocide”, ‘Never again, never again” and other slogans.
The program began with the National anthems of the United States and the Republic of Armenia, performed by the students of the Alex Philipos Armenian School. Afterwards, prayers were held and short speeches were delivered by the spiritual leaders.
The event’s MCs were Armen Hovhannesian and Tani Khachaturian, who both condemned the Turkish government’s denial of the Genocide perpetrated against its Armenian population. The first speaker was Los Angeles City Council member Paul Koretz, who spoke about his first introduction to the issue of the Armenian Genocide when he was at UCLA taking a class about the Ottoman Empire. Then, he introduced Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who spoke about his own heritage as a Latino and a Jew,and said that today he is an Armenian. The Mayor took out the Armenian tricolor from his pocket and put it around his neck.
Other keynote speakers were Los Angeles area representatives in the US Congress Brad Sherman and Adam Schiff. Both congressmen spoke about the importance of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Us Congress and the president. “Why is it hard to do so”, asked Rep. Schiff. During the rally, Los Angeles police blocked all roads to the traffic, around the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire boulevard. Meanwhile, airplanes were doing flyovers, with Armenian flag and slogans commemorating the Armenian Genocide.
Local American television stations were broadcasting news reports from the event site and reporters were interviewing politicians and citizens who were present at the event.