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ANCA: 1000 Join System Of A Down Rally Urging Genocide Recognition

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  • ANCA: 1000 Join System Of A Down Rally Urging Genocide Recognition

    Armenian National Committee of America
    1711 N Street NW
    Washington, DC 20036
    Tel: (202) 775-1918
    Fax: (202) 775-5648
    E-mail: [email protected]

    April 24, 2006
    Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
    Tel: (202) 775-1918


    -- Rally at Turkish Embassy Features Calls for Justice

    Washington, DC - Armenian Americans from across the United States
    joined today with System Of A Down's Serj Tankian and John Dolmayan
    at a Washington, DC "Rally for Justice," urging the Turkish
    Government to end its worldwide campaign of Armenian Genocide

    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, DC 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. The measures in both houses
    enjoy strong bipartisan support, but are being blocked from
    reaching a vote by the leadership - Speaker Hastert in the House
    and Majority Leader Frist in the Senate.

    On Tuesday evening, 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.

    Having debuted two #1 Billboard albums in 2005 and having sold over
    16 million records around the world, System of A Down has a
    tremendous nationwide following and loyal fan base, who have heeded
    their call to action on social justice issues, including support of
    legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide. All band members
    lost family in the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey and are
    deeply committed to ensuring proper U.S. recognition of this crime
    against humanity. The band's efforts have gained national press
    attention in hundreds of articles appearing in the New York Times,
    Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, MTV,
    BBC, VH1, ABC, FOX, WB, and Rolling Stone.

    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.

    Armenian Youth Federation Washington Chapter chairman Serouj
    Aprahamian noted that genocide recognition efforts are ongoing. "We
    will continue our efforts not just on April 24th but all year
    round. Through education, organization and activism we will move
    our cause forward and ensure justice for Armenians and all
    humanity," noted Aprahamian.

    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. The program
    came to a close with a brief religious service led by Soorp Khatch
    Armenian Church Pastor, Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian and Deacon Kalaydjian
    from St. Mary's Armenian Church.


    Photo Captions: (Photos availble upon request.)

    1) System Of A Down's Serj Tankian and John Dolmayan
    at the "Rally for Justice" in Washington, DC urging the Turkish Government
    to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

    2) DC United star player Alecko Eskandarian (right) with Washington
    DC area community activist Samig Jarian at the April 24th "Rally for