BOSTON — Hundreds of people rallied for Artsakh on Saturday, September 30 at Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. The event was organized by the Pan Armenian Council of New England, with the support of Armenian churches of the three major denominations, political parties and charitable organizations of the region, and it received both television and newspaper coverage in the Boston area.
After brief opening prayers in Armenian and English by the assembled clergy, Meghri Der Vartanian, master of ceremonies, recognized dignitaries present and called for all to work for change with strength in unity. She read an Armenian-language poem by Hamo Sahyan, adapted to the Artsakh crisis.
Anthony Barsamian, co-chair of the Armenian Assembly of America, summed up the situation, with over 100,000 refugees already in Armenia at the time as ethnic cleansing. He said, “This is unacceptable. The world failed, the UN failed, the United States failed, Turkey failed, and Azerbaijan is an enemy of the world at this moment. President [Ilham] Aliyev is a war criminal. He is not welcome in the United States. He is not welcome in any free country around the world.”
As a lawyer, he outlined what should be done next: “We are going to charge the president of Azerbaijan with a war crime, because he is a criminal, and we are going to charge those who aided and abetted the war criminal – countries, individuals, lobbyists who have blood on their hands.”
Secondly, the US has offered 11 million dollars humanitarian assistance for the Artsakh tragedy, and the world combined 30 million dollars. This only makes for a downpayment, Barsamian said, compared to the scale of assistance to other countries. Georgia, for example, after being attacked in 2008, received some 3 billion dollars.
Barsamian also declared that as a dictator in need of an external enemy, Aliyev would come for Armenia next, so the Armenian community must be strong and ready to fight back. He concluded that the Armenian Americans are no longer the people of 1915, but a powerful community which must raise its voice and say it will not stand for a second genocide.