On Tuesday, April 24th, tens of thousands of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Americans marched together to commemorate the 103rd Anniversary of Red Sunday, which marks the start of the Armenian Genocide.
On April 24, 1915, Ottoman Minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha ordered the arrest of 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals from Constantinople. The Armenian Genocide, which took place alongside the Ottoman Greek and Assyrian Genocides, resulted in the deaths of 3.5 million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians at the hands of two Consecutive Turkish governments.
The annual event, which is organized by the Armenian Genocide Committee – a coalition of Armenian-American community groups, began at Pan Pacific Park shortly after noon and finished in a massive rally outside the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard.
In attendance were various elected officials, most notably Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA City Council Members Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, who all joined in support of protesters demanding International recognition of the Genocide.
“You don’t have to be Armenian to know what a human tragedy looks like,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This was an Armenian tragedy and a human tragedy and all of us will say never again”.
Among the March for Justice’s many coalition partners were the American Hellenic Council, a non-partisan Greek-American advocacy organization, as well as the Assyrian American Association of Southern California, the Assyrian Student Association of Los Angeles, and In Defense of Christians.
“We remember April 24, 1915, to show the Republic of Turkey that we won’t remain silent to the crimes and injustices of Turkish governments, past and present”, said AHC Executive Director Ioannis Fidanakis to the crowd in front of the Turkish Consulate of Los Angeles.
For Greek-Americans, this year’s march holds special significance, as Turkey has increased its aggressive rhetoric towards both Greece and Cyprus, which has led to the accidental death of one Greek pilot. On April 12, 2018, Captain Giorgos Baltadoros, lost his life during a Turkish incursion of Greek National Airspace. According to the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, in the last four months alone Turkey has violated Greek airspace 920 times.
Source: American Hellenic Council