February 02, 2013 | 13:36
Armenian American youth – their mouths symbolically covered with red tape – held a silent protest Friday, calling on Congress to reject Turkey’s gag-rule on U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, citing the recent ethnically-motivated attacks against elderly Armenian women in Istanbul as the latest example of the dangerous atmosphere created by Ankara’s denials and ongoing demonization of Armenians, Asbarez reported.
The demonstration, held in front of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, was organized by Armenian Student Association (ASA) members from the across the U.S. along with the Washington, DC “Ani” chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Ani chapter and other local youth, to coincide with the nationwide “Stain of Denial” campus protests organized by the All-ASA and supported by the AYF and ARF Shant Student organizations.
UCLA ASA Public Relations Director Knarik Gasparyan, who co-organized the event, explained that the effort attracted Armenian and non-Armenian youth alike, many in WashingtonDC for Capitol Hill internships or semester programs through their colleges and universities. “I want to highlight the fact that many non-Armenian students participated in today’s protest, standing in solidarity with us and supporting our efforts to shed light on the horrific hate crimes and human rights violations in Turkey,” explained Gasparyan. “This once again comes to prove that the cause we fight for and the recognition of the Genocide is not simply an Armenian issue, but of concern to all humanity.”
Protesters carried photos and spotlighted four widely publicized attacks against elderly Armenian women, one fatal, which have taken place over the past two months, in the historically Armenian-inhabited neighborhood of Samatya, in central Istanbul.