PARIS – Armenians rallied in large numbers on October 18 in Paris in the third rally in recent days concerning Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh and Armenia (see the accompanying article by Jean Eckian in the Mirror). Actor and filmmaker Nora Armani was one of the as many as 20,000 participants in this rally and provided her personal perspective the day after the protest.
She related, “It started at 3 p.m. right outside the exit of the metro at Invalides, one of the major stations. They had set up a stage there were speakers and microphones and people were taking turns. Mourad Papazian, copresident of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) opened.”
He spoke about why people had gathered, to draw attention to the fact that so many countries, including France, were sitting on the fence and stating they need to be neutral. Armani said that the attack was not directed to President Emmanuel Macron of France, who has voiced his concern, but to Minister of Foreign Affairs Yves Le Drian. Armani said that he called for Le Drian to resign, and rallied the crowd to yell slogans in French such as “Artsakh is Armenian” and “Aliyev and Erdogan are terrorists.” Then he gave the mike to Ara Toranian, the other copresident of the CCAF.
There were various local French government officials who spoke of motions which soon would be voted on to recognize Artsakh’s independence.
Pascal Torre of the French Communist Party declared that there could be no such thing as neutrality when people are being massacred. During genocide, he said, neutrality is complicity.
Berivan Firat, from the Kurdish Democratic Council, spoke loudly and forcefully, Armani said. Firat declared that the Kurds had already asked for forgiveness from the Armenians for what they had done to them in 1915. She said that now they should work hand-in-hand because they had one common enemy.