California Lieutenant Governor issues proclamation on Genocide anniversary

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation commemorating the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region.

In his proclamation, Newsom called for a “fair, just, and comprehensive resolution of this crime against humanity.”

Newsom has had a long track record regarding affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.  As Mayor of San Francisco, he was a leading public advocate calling on Congress and the President numerous times to appropriately remember the Armenian Genocide as genocide.  In his proclamation this year, he referred to the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the world’s leading academic association in the field, which has repeatedly reaffirmed the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide.

Complete text of Newsom’s proclamation:

WHEREAS, April 24, 1915, marked the beginning of the Armenian Genocide which resulted in the death of over two million Armenians as well as Greeks and Assyrians between 1915 and 1923; and

WHEREAS, nearly half million Armenians who survived the horrors of extermination were expelled from their homes and forced to settle in various countries throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide is one of the first modern genocides which resulted in the near annihilation of a people and the dispossession of the survivors from their cultural homeland and heritage; and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Turkey, the successor state to the Ottoman Empire under which the Genocide was committed, unjustifiably and adamantly denies the occurrence of this crime against humanity, and attempts to stifle the voices of truth within Turkish civil society through the laws, such as Article 301, which have led to the prosecution of countless writers and human rights advocates for acknowledging the historical facts of the genocide; and

WHEREAS, the International Association of Genocide Scholars has repeatedly affirmed that the massacres of Armenians initiated in 1915 constitutes genocide; and

WHEREAS, throughout the 20th Century the Armenian Genocide was followed by several other genocides and this pattern continues to this day as seen in the Darfur region of Sudan. If we fail to remember the lessons of the past and remain silent in deference to a campaign of denial we embolden current and future perpetrators of genocide; and

WHEREAS, many survivors of the Genocide settled in states around the country, including California. California has become home to the largest population of Armenians in the United States and those citizens have enriched our state through leadership in the fields of academia, medicine, business, agriculture, government, and the arts and are proud and patriotic practitioners of American citizenship; and

NOW, THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Lieutenant Governor of the State of California, do hereby join Californians in a day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, as we continue to strive for a fair, just, and comprehensive resolution of this crime against humanity.

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