By Garine Abrilian
HOUSTON – On August 1, 2020, the Houston Armenian community held a protest against Azerbaijani aggression. The event was held in the Galleria district, a high traffic area, to spread awareness as effectively as possible. Organizers and supporters from different Armenian political backgrounds and origins worked together to ensure the Houston community was represented as a whole. The protest was a great success as the Houston Armenian community joined collectively to support the Tavush region, Artsakh, and our Armenian soldiers on the frontlines.
Even though the day started off rainy and gloomy, over 40 attendees, mostly under the age of 35, joined the protest, holding signs, waving flags, passing out fliers, and dancing. Numerous cars joined the simultaneous car-rally, honking, waving flags, and encouraging the protestors. Many of the car rally attendees were eventually inspired to attend the demonstration. The event was peaceful and powerful, as Armenian music reverberated in the busy intersection of Post Oak Blvd and Westheimer, in the Galleria.
The Houston Police Department was present to ensure our safety, though no counter-protestors attended as in previous protests. No social media outlets were used, to minimize the possibility of additional aggression from Azerbaijani and Turkish groups. Masks were enforced throughout the entire duration of the protest as well for further safety precautions from COVID-19.
Several of the organizers were interviewed by journalists, who will now be covering the conflict between Armenia, Artsakh and Azerbaijan, as well as the role that we have, both individually and as a community, for this cause. Though we may not see the immediate results from protesting for peace with a small community like ours, when we as Armenians join small movements like on August 1, we add a link to the chain that has grown throughout the years which has become stronger, more resilient, and unbreakable.