Monday marks the 108th anniversary of the beginnings of the Armenian Genocide, and in Southern California, protesters took to the streets to commemorate the tragedy and to call for Azerbaijan to unblock the Lachin corridor.
Referred to by some as the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide killed between 664,000 and 1.2 million Armenians “either in massacres and individual killings, or from systematic ill treatment, exposure, and starvation,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Other estimates, including by Israeli historians Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi, put the number of those killed as high as 1.5 million.
Turkey has refused to recognize the killings by the Ottoman Empire, its predecessor, as a genocide.
While the past is still an open wound for many Armenians, the ongoing events in their homeland have many concerned about the welfare and safety of their people.
Armenia and Azerbaijan dispute the ownership of Nagorno-Karabakh or Artsakh, a region that officially belongs to Azerbaijan but is comprised mostly of ethnic Armenians who broke away from Azerbaijan in the 1990s.
Recently, Azerbaijan set up a military checkpoint on the Lachin corridor, which connects Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, which American officials claim will complicate peace talks between the two nations.
“The United States is deeply concerned that Azerbaijan’s establishment of a checkpoint on the Lachin corridor undermines efforts to establish confidence in the peace process,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Sunday, according to Reuters.
On Monday, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, several events were scheduled to commemorate the genocide and call attention to the recent developments in the conflict with Azerbaijan.
Unified Young Armenians are scheduled to host the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Rally for Justice at 10 a.m. at Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue.
At 4:30 p.m. at Glendale City Hall, the Armenian Genocide Committee is hosting a public remembrance event.
KTLA is also airing a special program about Armenian History Month Monday at 7 p.m.