all photos by Ken Martin

Armenian Protesters Persist in Boston

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BOSTON – Armenian-American young men and women in Boston haven’t given up demonstrating and fighting for Armenian human rights and against Azerbaijan and Turkey for their invasion of the Artsakh Republic, Nagorno-Karabakh, and a six-week war with the loss of life, property and cultural assets of the Armenian heritage. Organized by the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), members from several organizations formed a 100 Boston-strong unit that displayed informational signs on November 14 to traffic and pedestrians in Boston’s Back Bay Copley Square across from the Boston Public Library. The flags of Artsakh, Armenia, and the United States flew briskly in the wind on Copley Plaza. Later, the youth formed a march around the square and in front of the iconic Trinity Church.

Several grievances were highlighted, including the vandalism, recently shown in photographs and video by Azerbaijani military and their Syrian mercenaries, of grave markers, churches and historic sites, including more attacks and painting of threats to Armenians on the Church of the Holy Savior in Shushi City. Demonstrators were also protesting the silence of many European powers, the United States and the United Nations for not speaking up and acting to prevent these crimes. Additionally protestors pointed to what they consider an illegal document that ended the fighting brokered by Russia that gave away significant lands and rights to Azerbaijan because two signatories of the Minsk Group that has been responsible for negotiations for years in the region, the United States and France, did not take part in negotiations or sign the documents ceasing hostilities between the warring parties.

The protest action, though smaller than recent Armenian protests in Boston and New England, was effective in informing and educating the Greater Boston public since the location allowed its messages to be seen by drivers and pedestrians alike. Passing vehicles often sounded their horns in solidarity. Many of the demonstrators spoke about their feelings of loss and depression one day before the Artsakh Republic was to give significant territory in their homeland to Azerbaijan and likened that to loosing huge areas of the traditional Armenian homeland after the Genocide of 1915 to Turkey. They vowed though to use every opportunity to keep fighting for what is right.

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