By Ken Martin
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
WORCESTER , Mass. – Worcester, the “Mother City” in America for Armenian immigrants seeking sanctuary since the late 19th century from political oppression and Genocide, and a hub for those moving on to other parts of the United States, was the scene on October 16 of one of the many continuing international protests against Turkey and Azerbaijan for launching a war on the Armenian-populated Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and parts of the Republic of Armenia proper on September 27, which continues presently. A daylong autumn rainstorm and dark clouds did not dim the enthusiasm of the approximately 250 participants as they made a great deal of noise in the city known as the Heart of the Commonwealth.
It was a compact yet dynamic group of concerned Armenian-Americans and friends which converged on City Hall plaza to let the people of Worcester know about events taking place in their ancestral – and for many, current — homeland. Organized by the Armenian Youth Federation of America (AYF) the plaza was the covered by the Stars and Stripes, the red, blue, and orange tricolor of Armenia and the equally colorful flag of Artsakh.
Everyone carried personal signs expressing disgust at the leaders of Azerbaijan and its powerful supporter Turkey, for attacking during the Covid-19 pandemic, while the attention of the United States, Europe and Russia were turned away. Many said that Turkey was trying to continue the Genocide of 1915 when 1.5 million Armenian were either killed outright or staved to death during deportation marches through the Syrian Desert, echoing the words recently of current Turkish president Erdogan that they hadn’t finished the job in 1915.
After the singing of three national anthems respectively and a blessing by the Armenian clergy a series of speakers took the stage, including AYF leaders, Mayor of Worcester Joseph M. Petty and Congressman James P. McGovern. The latter two both expressed support for Armenian and Artsakh and condemnation of Turkey and Azerbaijan for the ruthless attack and blitzkrieg style bombardment of Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh and the surrounding villages with artillery and missiles and Turkish and Israeli-made UAV explosive drones and cluster bombs.