Protesters rally outside Turkish consulate in Beverly Hills on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

On Wednesday, April 24, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills to remember the Armenian Genocide and condemn Turkey and Azerbaijan, Beverly Press reports.

“Our message is to break the chains of genocide,” said Tenny Alaverdian, chairperson of the Council Executive for the Armenian Youth Federation. “It’s a call to action for justice, reparations, restitution and recognition for the 1915 genocide.”

“This year is particularly different because these last three years we’ve had increasing aggression from Azerbaijan and Turkey on mainland Armenia but specifically the region of Artsakh,” AYF member Kevork Madenlian said. “This last September, Azerbaijan launched a full scale attack on the civilian population and forcibly displaced over 120,000 Armenians from Artsakh.”

Alaverdian said the recent military action is a result of the 1915 genocide.

“The lack of justice for the 1915 Armenian Genocide is really what enabled and emboldened Azerbaijan – backed by Turkey – to commit genocide against Armenian people once more in an effort to spread pan-Turkism and try to claim the Armenian homeland as their own,” Alaverdian said.

Though protestors expressed appreciation for President Joe Biden’s statement on the genocide, many said it was not enough. Protestors called for the U.S. government to stand with the Armenian people and enact sanctions against Turkey and Azerbaijan.

“We need more than just [acknowledgement of genocide]. What we really need from the United States and from President Biden’s administration is to step up as the so-called ‘protector of justice’ across the western world and to make sure that things like this don’t happen moving forward,” Alaverdian said.

The protest lasted approximately two hours and shut down traffic on a block of Wilshire Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and Le Doux Road.

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