1,000 Join SYSTEM OF A DOWN Rally Urging Turkey To End Armenian Genocide Denial

Yerkir, the online Armenian newspaper, has published the following report:

Armenian Americans from across the United States joined [Monday, April 24] with SYSTEM OF A DOWN's Serj Tankian and John Dolmayan at a Washington, D.C. "Rally for Justice", urging the Turkish Government to end its worldwide campaign of Armenian Genocide denial.

Organized by the Armenian National Committee of Greater Washington (ANC-GW) and the Armenian Youth Federation Washington Chapter, the protest attracted over 1,000 activists to the Turkish Embassy, as Armenians worldwide marked the 91st anniversary of this crime against humanity. Among the participants was DC United star player Alecko Eskandarian, who was MLS Cup Champion and MVP in 2004.

Tankian and Dolmayan are in Washington, D.C. as part of a three-day advocacy tour in support of Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Following participation in the rally on Monday, the band members will be meeting with Members of Congress and the media urging passage of legislation in the Senate and House that would recognize the Armenian Genocide. On Tuesday evening [Aprl 25], Tankian and Dolmayan will host a screening of excerpts of "Screamers", a powerful film by Carla Garapedian about SYSTEM OF A DOWN's international anti-genocide advocacy efforts.

On Wednesday evening, they will be honored for their vocal pursuit of justice for the Armenian Genocide at the annual Armenian Genocide observance on Capitol Hill.

The inter-generational "Rally for Justice" brought together young and old in their call for the Turkish Government to end its campaign of Genocide denial. Activists were met by a smaller group of Turkish and Azerbaijani counter-protesters, who were apparently organized by the Turkish Embassy staff and its paid lobbyists.

Following the demonstration, attendees walked to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia for a short service and wreath-laying ceremony. Members of local Armenian organizations placed wreaths and flowers in front of the Khatchkar (stone cross).

The ceremony was led by Ambassador Tatoul Markarian and featured remarks by Nagorno Karabagh representative Vardan Barseghyan, and the participation of the Washington Homenetmen Armenian Scouting troop.

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