Los Angeles, CA- The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) has launched a massive community-wide effort to secure support for H.Res.193, legislation marking the fifteenth anniversary of the U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention.
The resolution marks the anniversary of the U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention as a step “toward ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda, among others, will be used to help prevent future genocides.” The resolution also notes that, despite the international community’s consensus against genocide, “denial of past instances of genocide continues and many thousands of innocent people continue to be victims of genocide.” H. Res. 193 was introduced in Congress by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Joe Knollenberg (R- MI) on April 10, 2003.
To date over a dozen ANC Chapters and dozens of community organizations from across the Western United States have mobilized and united in support of H. Res. 193. Taking advantage of the ANCA-WR’s extensive grassroots network during the week of April 24th, local ANC chapters have collected thousands of signatures in support of H.Res.193 from dedicated Armenian-Americans and human rights supporters throughout the Western United States. ANC Action Petitions were circulated at Churches and Community Centers during the Easter Holiday weekend and at University and College campuses.
“We have to remember that April 24 is a day of remembrance,” said ANCA-WR Government Relations Director Ardashes Kassakhian “But the other 364 days are days of activism. Our activism today will ensure justice tomorrow,” he added.
H.Res.193 currently has over 95 cosponsors with more adding their support every day. As the bill continues to draw support from both Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives, local ANCA-WR chapters continue their community-wide petition drives and letter writing campaigns to Members of Congress.
On Friday, May 9, 2003, Ardashes Kassakhian spoke to the Houston Armenian Youth Federation “Dro Chapter” and members of the Texas Armenian community about the importance of securing grassroots support in ensuring the passage of H.Res. 193. Kassakhian urged those assembled to build on the momentum of the commemorative events held the week of April 24th.
As of yesterday, sources in the ANCA Washington DC headquarters confirmed that thousands of Armenian-Americans have used the ANCA WebFax system to contact Members of Congress via the internet urging their representatives to cosponsor H. Res. 193. Individuals who want to write letters to their Member of Congress are urged to go to www.anca.org.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.