Yegparian: ‘My Faith in Humanity Has Been Restored’

That’s what a friend said when I contacted her after hearing she’d been to the Occupy LA encampment at LA’s City Hall. Hearing her speak was very moving. It was all the more heartening that we as Armenians were a bit of a presence.

She’s been going regularly, no less frequently than every other day, despite the burden on her after taking care of her kids. Also, I learned from her of two other Armenians who were in attendance; I know of another couple who stopped in; and as already reported in the media, the AYF also attended.

Couple this with another compatriot being quoted in a Huffington Post article (“Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Protesters Propose a National Convention, Release Potential Demands” by Tyler Kingkade) and it’s time to start having hope! We are truly among the 99 percent, regardless of how many of us may be too snooty to admit it. Blindness to that reality can only hurt us as humans, citizens of the U.S., and activists in the service of the Armenian cause.

Tuesday morning, I heard a “Democracy Now!” interview with Asmaa Mahfouz , one of the early Egyptian activists who helped mobilize the people of her country. She was at OWS. Her expressions of solidarity were inspiring and moving. I was tearing up as I drove to work. In part, I remembered the mutual expressions of solidarity when Wisconsin moved back in February and I had the honor and privilege of briefly being there.

Of course, the Occupy protests are a result of the fundamental systemic inequity that has slowly been worked into our society and lives over the past three or four decades, and has created a situation that is a throwback to the days just before the Great Depression rocked the U.S. and the world. Elizabeth Warren, the precluded-by-Republican-Senators almost-appointee as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and now Massachusetts Senatorial candidate, has a great presentation included in a video  that explains the situation very tersely, cogently, impactfully, and comprehensively.

In the first minute of the video, the explanation she gives is the answer to those who are making great sport of sneeringly, smugly, or even innocently “wondering” what all the fuss is about. I met such a man on the bus who asked me to be his “interpreter.” That’s when I realized that the analogy, though very unequal in substance but ideal in form, comes from the judge who when asked “What is pornography” replied “I can’t describe it, but I know it when I see it.” Every one of us knows, viscerally, that the movement to represent our 99 percent is on the mark. Have the goals been well and fully formulated? Not yet. But this just started about two months ago.

What is really telling is the right-wing media’s attempts to discredit it by mocking it. Those bankster-loving, people-misleading pundits and hate-radio mouthpieces are desperate to undercut what is truly a people’s movement. I heard one such radio personality claim the Occupy movement was well funded by left-wing-big-money interests! That’s laughable! It is particularly obscene when contrasted with the cover-up-by-silence of the huge sums of money right-wing billionaires have poured into their pet causes. The best example is the Koch brothers.

Let’s engage in what is the future of decent, hard-working people the world over, from Yettem to Yerevan. Go to your local Occupy location and render at least moral support and gratitude.


Garen Yegparian

Asbarez Columnist
Garen Yegparian is a fat, bald guy who has too much to say and do for his own good. So, you know he loves mouthing off weekly about anything he damn well pleases to write about that he can remotely tie in to things Armenian. He's got a checkered past: principal of an Armenian school, project manager on a housing development, ANC-WR Executive Director, AYF Field worker (again on the left coast), Operations Director for a telecom startup, and a City of LA employee most recently (in three different departments so far). Plus, he's got delusions of breaking into electoral politics, meanwhile participating in other aspects of it and making sure to stay in trouble. His is a weekly column that appears originally in Asbarez, but has been republished to the Armenian Weekly for many years.

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  1. Without any question, this is the wrost and the most absurd article I have read in the weekly.

    How can the Occupy Wall Street, or the 99% movement have anything to do with activists in the service of the Armenian Cause. This guy is insulting the Armenian community, because in my opinion, most Armenians are part of the 53% that pay their taxes;  Most of the people in the 99% are in the 43% that pay absolutely no taxes.

    Vart Adjemian      


  2. Vart, I agree with you. This sensitive subject of the Genocide has nothing to do with OWS. Sometimes I think as Armenians we have to do some growing up. It seems as a community we are obsessed with the Genocide and co-mingle it with every issue (obviously not all of us). I’m not advocating forgetting the Genocide by any means but we must also look forward and find our place in the US/World as a giver and participator in our communities. It’s not always all about us!

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