January 9, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lerna Kayserian
tel: (818) 500-1918

PRESS CONFERENCE DRAWS MEDIA ATTENTION TO THE GLOBAL CYCLE OF GENOCIDE

LOS ANGELES, CA – California State Assembly member Paul Krekorian joined the participants of the Fast for Remembrance for a press conference in front of the Turkish Consulate on Saturday, January 6, 2007 to draw media attention to the aim of ending the global cycle of genocide.

Participants of the press conference included Assemblymember Paul Krekorian, ANCA-WR Executive Director Antranig Kzirian, Armenian Genocide survivor Ghazaros Kademian, and Vache Thomassian, faster and representative of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Central Executive and United Human Rights Council (UHRC). Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s Field Representative Bill Hacket was also present to express support to the participants of the Fast.

Assemblymember Krekorian offered his words of encouragement to the fasters, “I stand in solidarity with these young activists in recognizing the evils of genocide and recognize their great sacrifice in bringing much needed attention and awareness to this issue.”

“The ANCA-WR supports these young activists and their efforts in bringing recognition to the universal horrors of genocide. We must all acknowledge that the cycle of genocide will continue unless culpable parties recognize the harms of their actions,” stated ANCA-WR Executive Director Antranig Kzirian in closing the press conference. “All of these fasters remind us of the part we, as members of the community, can play in educating others about the destructive evil of genocide. Their sacrifice sets an example for us here in the community, and allows us to reflect upon the reality that as genocide victims and survivors, it is our responsibility to bring attention to the perpetrators of genocide. The upcoming Armenian Genocide Resolution expected in Congress helps in furthering that cause.”

California Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) also expressed his support for the Fast for Remembrance by issuing a statement and tied the youth’s efforts with those currently taking place in Congress with respect to the introduction of a new genocide recognition resolution in the House of Representatives. “I stand with the Armenian Youth Federation and the United Human Rights Council’s efforts to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide through a fast in front of the Los Angeles Turkish Consulate. Turkey must acknowledge the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire nine decades ago. We as a nation must also acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and I will soon introduce a resolution in the House that will honor the victims and put the Congress on the record. I am hopeful that with new leadership in Congress we can finally get it passed.”

The ANCA-WR is working alongside with members of Congress to ensure that a new resolution will pass to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide. The passage of such a resolution in both the House of Representatives and Senate will serve as a steppingstone in advancing the pursuit of justice for the Armenian Genocide.

California State Legislators Lloyd Levine and Anthony Portantino were also among a number of elected officials standing in solidarity with Armenian Youth Federation and United Human Rights Council members fasting in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles. Below are their statements in support of their sacrifice:

California State Assembly member Lloyd Levine: “I am proud to support the Armenian Youth Federation and the United Human Rights Council’s efforts to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide through a fast in front of the Los Angeles Turkish Consulate. Turkey must acknowledge the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire nine decades ago, and it is of the utmost importance that we as a people do all we can to educate others about the Armenian Genocide, and all genocides. That is why, this past session, I was honored to author legislation creating a California International Genocide Memorial in Sacramento. We must remind people of the atrocities that have occurred in our nation’s history so they will never be repeated.”

California State Assembly member Anthony Portantino: “It is important that we not only condemn the genocides of the twenty first century, but also to support the recognition of the first genocide on the twentieth century. I applaud the members of the Armenian Youth for focusing attention on these important issues.”

The AYF and UHRC launched the “Fast for Remembrance” last week in front of the Turkish Consulate to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide and the ongoing Genocide in Darfur. The fast began on January 2, 2007 with 19 youth fasting for justice and came to a symbolic end on January 6, 2007 – Armenian Christmas. A rally in front of the Turkish Consulate, with hundreds of supporters from all over California, marked the end of five-day fast at 5:00 p.m. on January 6th.

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.

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