The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) – the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian-American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western U.S. – condemns in the strongest possible terms the racially-motivated Armenophobic vandalism that took place on July 24th against the Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan bilingual Armenian School in San Francisco.
This hate crime follows a pattern of racially-motivated attacks against Armenians, including the mob attacks against Armenians by Azerbaijanis in Russia, an arson attack on an Armenian embassy vehicle in Germany, and the deliberate burning down of an Armenian business in Ukraine. A similar incident involving racially charged anti-Armenian vandalism of Armenian schools in Los Angeles took place last year, forcing these schools to be on high alert to closely monitor the situation.
We call on the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey to immediately cease their state-sponsored and instigated campaigns of toxic Armenophobia. We further call on the international community – ranging from national governments to nonprofits alike – to decry this global assault campaign against Armenians and call for an immediate cessation of provocations. Finally, we call upon our community to stay vigilant against any suspicious activity, immediately report such activity to law enforcement, and refrain from giving in to any provocation.
This latest attack targeting an institution of learning comes days after a protest against Azerbaijan’s aggression in Los Angeles saw Azerbaijani counter-protesters instigate violence against Armenian protesters; physically assaulting peaceful Armenian protesters, and using hate symbols including the salute of the Grey Wolves – a Turkish hate-group that openly espouses the eradication of the Armenian people and incites violence against Armenians internationally, with their salute seen by Armenians worldwide as the equivalent of the Nazi salute.
Anti-Armenian attacks follow the recent instigation of fighting by Azerbaijan against Armenia which began on July 12th when Azerbaijani forces attacked Armenia’s northern province of Tavush on multiple occasions, targeting civilian and military targets alike with heavy artillery, combat drones and tanks.
Demonstrations erupted in Baku after the instigation of fighting, with thousands of Azerbaijanis calling for war against Armenia. Protestors can be heard chanting, “End the quarantine, start the war. Order us to (go to) war. Death to Armenians.” Just days later, the government of Azerbaijan threatened to destroy Armenia’s atomic energy plant so as to inflict catastrophic losses on the Armenian people.
ANCA-WR will continue to engage all tools at its disposal to protect the interests and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community and its institutions.