The myriad Armenians of Los Angeles County took to the streets today -- and to the Internet, brave new frontier for social justice! -- to call for global recognition of the "forgotten holocaust" of 1915.
Thousands of protesters marched down Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards this morning/afternoon, lighting up L.A.'s most famous sidewalks in red, blue and gold.
Their picket signs and T-shirts blasted the nay-sayers with phrases like...
... "NEVER FORGET THE TRUTH" and "PRESIDENT OBAMA, KEEP YOUR PROMISE." In the crowd was Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena), author of a resolution demanding Obama declare the 1915 massacre a "genocide," as the POTUS very clearly promised on his campaign trail.
FYI: L.A. County is home to North America's largest Armenian population, including an entire third of Glendale. Which is probably why Armenian-American princess Kim Kardashian wishes to run for mayor of Glendale, and probably why she kicked off her political campaign today (we're kidding, sort of) with a message to her 14.5 million followers, on behalf of the Glendalians:
Let's get this trending #ArmenianGenocide !!!!!
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) April 24, 2012
Rep. Schiff told Fox11 reporters at the protest that denying genocide is "the final chapter of genocide, it's like a double killing. It's an additional trauma to the victims of genocide to deny that it ever took place. We don't want to be complicit in that.''
On a softer note, the prize for Most Adorable Protester is a three-way tie between this little pack of heartwarmers, captured magnificently by KTLA reporter Elizabeth Espinosa:
However, it appears no headstrong Congressman, reality-TV star nor adorable Armenian child could sway President Obama from neutrality on this 97th anniversary of the killings.
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In a disappointing statement today, Obama used the words "brutal massacre," but never "genocide":
"We honor the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were brutally massacred or marched to their deaths in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests. Moving forward with the future cannot be done without reckoning with the facts of the past."