Tying tricolor ribbons to a tree during the demonstration at Berkeley

UC Berkeley Students Commemorate Genocide with Week of Protests, Events


BERKELEY, Calif. — The Armenian Student Association at the University of California, Berkeley, hosted a Candlelight Vigil on April 24, 2023, to mark the beginning of Armenian Genocide Awareness Week. The event, open to the public, raised awareness about the Armenian Genocide, honored its victims, and educated about Armenian history and culture.

During the Candlelight Vigil, Cal students came together to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. They gathered around a monument built by ASA students, learning about its significance, and imbuing it with their personal touch. “It was beautiful to see our unity, especially when tying red, blue, and orange ribbons to the Apricot tree. The event reminded us of the importance of sharing knowledge and raising awareness about a devastating historical event that is rarely discussed,” shared Julia Sarieva, Vice President of ASA.

Young protestors at UC Berkeley

“Genocide commemoration is more than a history lesson,” continued Nane Petrsoyan, Cultural Chair of ASA. “It’s a powerful way to engage people across generations in understanding the sanctity of human rights, the enormity of crimes, and the importance of preventing future atrocities.”

Following the Candlelight Vigil, ASA hosted a Traditional Armenian Dance Workshop on Tuesday, April 25, led by Zartonk Dance Team Lead Sona Asatryan. On Wednesday, April 26, they held a silent protest where participants blocked the Sather Gate (a prominent UC Berkeley landmark) for 30 minutes with posters and red tape over their mouths. Finally, on Thursday, April 27, the week concluded with a fundraiser featuring pre-ordered Armenian pastries, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund.

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