FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2016
TUESDAY NIGHT @ CITY HALL
LA City Councilmembers, County, State Officials, and Armenian-American Community Groups to Lead Vigil for Peace in Artsakh
Los Angeles, Calif.–In response to the recent shelling of ethnic-Armenian villages in Artsakh (also known Nagorno-Karabakh) by Azerbaijan, Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian and other elected officials are joining with Armenian-American civic and religious leaders to make a call for peace in the Caucasus region, where violence by Azerbaijan’s government has taken dozens of innocent lives in recent days. The vigil comes just days after a protest of 3,000 community members outside Azerbaijan’s consulate in Los Angeles.
The conflict erupted over a week ago after Azerbaijan killed Armenian civilians and soldiers, in violation of a two-decades-old, internationally recognized cease-fire. Among the casualties were young children and elderly grandparents in small, rural villages. The conflict is especially sensitive to stability in the region as any additional escalation in violence could spark a wider regional conflict, pulling neighboring Russia, Iran, and Turkey into the dispute.
WHAT: Community Vigil for Peace in Artsakh
WHEN: Tuesday, April 12, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PT (optimum time to attend is 6:30-7:30 p.m. PT)
WHERE: LA City Hall (South Lawn), 200 N. Main St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90012
WHO: Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian, Herb Wesson Jr., Nury Martinez, Mitch O’Farrell, and David Ryu; LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Mayor Eric Garcetti (invited), Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region, Armenian Assembly Western District; and religious leaders Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Archbishop Mikael Mouradian, Rev. Berdj Djambazian, along with many hundreds of community members, city employees, and others.
VISUALS: Elected officials, religious leaders, and hundreds of community members holding candles at a peace vigil on the steps of LA City Hall at the biggest peace vigil on this issue.
BACKGROUND: Twenty-five years ago, the people of Artsakh declared independence from Azerbaijan. Their demand for self-determination in their historic homeland was met with Azeri pogroms and a devastating war in the Caucasus region. Against all odds, these people defeated the much larger and better armed Azerbaijani forces and established a free, independent, and democratic Republic of Artsakh, following in the tradition of the revolutionary founders of the United States of America.
Since the ceasefire in 1994, Artsakh has flourished, despite constant threats and violent provocations by Azerbaijan. Last week, Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire with unprovoked full-scale military attacks on the people of Artsakh, just days after the U.S. Government emphasized to Azerbaijan’s president the importance of continuing to seek a permanent peace.
The vigil will promote peace in the region and urge the U.S. Government to speak out against Azerbaijan’s military aggression.
QUOTE: “This is a critical human rights issue for the Armenian-American community and anyone who cares about peace and justice,” said LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian. “Our own U.S. Government is a beacon of hope and democracy in the world and must use its influence and ensure stability in this vital region. Elected officials and community organizations are gathering to urge peace and to speak out on behalf of the victims of this inexcusable violence.”
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the first Armenian-American elected to city office, is chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee. He represents Council District 2, which includes North Hollywood, Studio City, Valley Village, and other communities in the East San Fernando Valley. Krekorian’s website is www.paulkrekorian.org, where interested parties can sign up for news updates. Follow him on Twitter (@PaulKrekorian) and/or Facebook: www.facebook.com/paulkrekorian.
Ian Thompson | Communications Director
LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, District 2
Office: 213.473.7002 | Cell: 310.490.8595
Images Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons – Creative Commons License