By Ken Martin
BOSTON – Armenians from throughout New England held a strong protest at the Massachusetts Statehouse and made a big noise on Friday afternoon, October 2, 2020, in downtown Boston, to bring attention to major attacks by the military of Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, against Artsakh and Armenia, that started on Sunday morning, September 27, 2020.
Organized by a quick reaction team of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Boston Nejdeh chapter, nearly 1,000 protestors held signs and shouted slogans stating that Armenians wanted peace while Azerbaijan made war. speakers gave dramatic presentations and the crowd sang the Armenian national anthem, Mer Hairenik [Our Fatherland], and other patriotic songs. Many carried the flags of Armenia and Artsakh as automobiles blaring their horns in support of the demonstration circled Boston Common and demonstrators repeatedly shouted, “Artsakh is Armenia!” Members of sister organizations under the Armenian Revolutionary Federation umbrella of groups included in addition to AYF, several Armenian Relief Society chapters, the Boston Hamazkayin cultural organization, and the Boston HMEM scouts and athletic group. Several members of the clergy were in attendance and blessed the protestors.
Though the AYF organized this action it is to be noted that a large segment of the crowd were non-party affiliated Armenians and friends from throughout New England including many residents and their families who were from the Armenian Republic and Artsakh. Many others were immigrants from past and recent conflicts in the Middle East from Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Iran demonstrating with the older Armenian-American community who are the descendants of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Members of other Armenian political, cultural, and religious groups including the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) , the Tekeyan Cultural Association and chapters of the Armenian Student Association (ASA) were in attendance in a show of unity and solidarity with the Artsakh and Armenian Republics in the continuing war.