Artsakh Conflict Sparks California Protests in Solidarity with Armenians
12/14/2020 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Over the past several months, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the Caucasus region has sparked protests among some California residents, condemning the transgressions of Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey. Protestors have conducted demonstrations outside of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles, expressing their distain towards Turkey’s involvement in the conflict.
The conflict began earlier this year with an Azeri attack against Armenian forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region (referred to as Artsakh by Armenians) controlled by Armenia. The region has long been disputed between the two countries, though it was taken back by Azerbaijan as a result of the most recent cease-fire agreement.
The protests in California began following the break of one of the cease-fire agreements between the two countries back in October. Many expect that the resumption of hostilities over the weekend will cause more protests.
Southern California is home to the largest Armenian population in the United States. Many Armenian families settled there after fleeing their homes as a result of the Armenian genocide, perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire. Based on the aggressive rhetoric used by Turkish and Azeri leaders today, some fear that these two Muslim-majority countries are attempting to intimidate Armenian Christians and reinvigorate anti-Christian sentiment from the genocide.
Many of the Armenian-Americans protesting were both expressing their solidarity with Armenians who remain in danger from Azeri and Turkish transgressions, while also condemning U.S. media companies for their lack of coverage on the conflict. Protestors demonstrated in front of the CNN and LA Times buildings during rallies in October.
In response, Los Angeles’ City Council approved a resolution recognizing the sovereignty of Artsakh and plans to advocate for the US government to follow suit. San Francisco’s government also took similar actions, submitting a petition to Congress calling for an end to the hostilities and reaffirming their condemnation of aggressions of the Azeri military. As more domestic pressure continues to grow, it is expected that this conflict will gain the greater attention both from Congress and the White House.