|Video streamed courtesy of HairenikTV|
Los Angeles, CA – Over one hundred and fifty human right supporters, led by the Armenian Student Association and the Armenian Graduate Student Association at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) organized a demonstration on Saturday, November 10, 2007 on their campus to highlight the genocide denial being practiced by Los Angeles area Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA-36). Last month it was revealed that Harman had secretly issued a letter in opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution (H. Res. 106), while publicly being listed as a supporter of the measure. Expressing solidarity with the demonstrators were representatives of the Darfur Action Committee and Members of both the UCLA Undergraduate and Graduate Student Governments. A number of media outlets covered the protest, which included a broad cross-section of human rights supporters, young and old, who were united in their belief that Harman’s deceitful actions on the genocide bill fall far beneath even the most basic ethical standards that her constituents have a right to expect.
Harman was at UCLA to be honored by the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars. Sources indicate that Congresswoman Harman and the Dashews have a decades old relationship, as evidenced by Congressional remarks on September 10, 1996 and involved participation in Dashew Center events in 1998 and 2001. At the event, Harman was awarded the Jacoby International Award, though it was not made clear why she was being granted this little known honor. As onlookers watched, a number of Turkish students attended the Dashew event to express their solidarity with the Congresswoman. “Jane Harman should be ashamed of herself,” commented UCLA AGSA Executive Officer Raffi Kassabian. “As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, for her to argue that the ‘time is not right to recognize the Armenian Genocide’ is outrageous. Clearly, Jane believes it is better for Congress to remain silent in the face of Turkish denials and threats. Her failure to speak truth to power is immoral and, quite frankly, an embarrassment,” he added.
Last month, Harman was the focus of a demonstration that shut down a political event in Lakewood, California. The Lakewood event brought together over one hundred activists from the Armenian Youth Federation who hail from in and around the 36th Congressional District represented by Harman. Human rights champions in the Los Angeles area have vowed to highlight Harman’s immoral position on the Armenian Genocide at all public events she attends in California and elsewhere. To date, thousands of emails have been sent to her legislative aides to convey their disgust with the Congresswoman’s denial of the Armenian Genocide and opposition to H. Res. 106. The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots political organization. Working through a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the US and around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo Caption: Demonstrators rally at UCLA to protest Congresswoman Harman’s opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution.