A moral call to end silence and resist

Editor’s Note: The following remarks were delivered during a protest outside Chicago’s Honorary Consulate of Armenia on November 9 as part of the AYF-Eastern Region’s participation in the pan-Armenian youth resistance movement launched by the ARF Bureau Office of Youth Affairs in Armenia.

Aram Brunson, November 9, 2021, Chicago, Ill.

Today, the homeland needs our help. We must resist pan-Turkism and pan-Turkic interests. These pan-Turkic attackers and criminals, their Armenian accomplices and their imperialist protectors want, more than anything, to annihilate us and seize our land. I say all this and call upon you to resist as a representative of the Armenian Youth Federation’s Central Hai Tahd Council, as a member of the Armenian Youth Federation, as a proud Armenian and as a moral person. Even possessing that last quality alone should cause every Armenian to end their silence and stand with us in resistance. If you are truly a moral person, then you have a responsibility to resist. If I must fight [in battle] for our liberation, I am prepared for that. If I must write for our unity, then I am prepared to write until blood flows from my fingers. And if I must speak at a protest like this, I will speak until I lose my voice and I can no longer breathe! I already know what I must do. And you, my fellow Armenians, will you stand with us in resistance?

Is this truly democracy? We see how they are jailing opposition members of parliament and dragging them out of the chambers of the National Assembly because they dared to say that Artsakh is Armenian land and that he who renounces Artsakh is a traitor!

The Armenian Youth Federation-Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has embraced the call to resistance, as have thousands of Armenians across the world. As part of this brave resistance movement, a movement to end the Turkification of Armenia and land concessions to hostile nations, we demand an end to corridors. We demand an end to the usage of the concession of land as a negotiation tool. We demand an end to the inaction by the current Pashinyan regime on the issue of our tortured and kidnapped prisoners of war. We demand the release of all illegally imprisoned opposition members of parliament in violation of the Armenian Constitution.

Above all, we call upon all Armenians across the world to recognize that Artsakh is our land, that Western Armenia is our land, that Nakhichevan is our land, and that Javakhk is our land. We will not stand by as all signs of our presence in these lands are erased. Instead, we call upon our nation to realize that union is our only salvation… complete and full union between Armenia and Artsakh… union between Armenia and all of our historic lands.

Right now, we govern from Yerevan, but on our enchained ancient lands, Sarduri of Urartu has governed… Tigran the Great has governed.. the Bagratunis have governed… the Five Meliqs of Artsakh have governed… the First Republic of Armenia has governed! And on our united lands, Armenian patriots have governed and will soon govern once again!

A government which today says that Shushi is an Azeri city, as the current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has, tomorrow will say Ermenistan, and the next day – Erivan Vilayet. We refuse to accept this even as a possibility – no Armenian land will ever again be a vilayet, oblast, khanate, or guberniya. For hundreds of years, Armenia was stateless, and now it is our holy mission to ensure that this sad reality never occurs again by all means necessary and possible. Armenia is a fortress in a world of hostile enemies who would like nothing more than to wipe us off the map. And now, traitors and backstabbers from inside our nation endeavor to open the gates of our fortress to the Trojan horse of relation normalization and unadulterated and exploitative free market trade with Turkey and Azerbaijan. This they intend to do without justice, without the end of the occupation of our lands or return of our POWs. 

Today, they talk about peace, which I will tell you is a completely false peace. But they do not speak of justice, they do not talk about returning our lands. Without justice, there can be no peace – without justice, there can only be vengeance. And we must show that we do not forgive the murderers of ancestors and forefathers. We do not forgive the murderers who killed 4,000 Armenians last year and are holding 200 or more prisoners. There are those who say: we must forgive Turkey, but not forget the Genocide. But in the name of my forefathers who were beaten and killed by Turkish blades and rifles, whose homes, villages, and graves I do not even know the location of, I say: let us not forget, let us not forgive!

I will not stand by and neither should any Armenian across the world, as backroom dealings occur with the fascist Turkish regime that categorically denies its genocide of our ancestors. A nation that builds shopping centers and supermarkets on Armenian graveyards. Nor should peace negotiations be occurring with the nation that has occupied the native Armenian lands of Artsakh and continues to torture our POWs.

Thus, the anti-national, anti-democratic, anti-Armenian, anti-nationalist, and anti-constitutional authorities of Armenia must end their pan-Turkic plans and negotiations, they must release all of the illegally imprisoned members of parliament, and they must either protect our borders or immediately resign from their posts! And we, as Armenians, must always resist the pan-Turkic campaigns and invasions, demanding that patriotic, nationalist and democratic forces govern in our country!

I want to thank you all again for coming, and standing with our resistance against oppression and tyranny. For standing for a free, independent and united Armenia. Long live the resistance! Glory to our Armenian volunteers and martyrs! And glory to the ideal of a free, independent and united Armenia!

Aram Brunson

Aram Brunson

Aram Brunson is an incoming freshman at the University of Chicago from Newton, MA. He is an avid and active participant in his local Armenian community as a member of the Armenian Youth Federation Greater Boston "Nejdeh" Chapter and an intern at the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).

1 Comment

  1. I admire the passion you have for your country. I just want to state a few things that I am hoping will help solve some issues and offer a different prospective to your article. I will be short and blunt…

    Turks in general do not care about Armenia. It is just Erdogan and his circle. Your problems are with Azerbaycan.

    Why do Armenians always talk about some past Kingdoms? It’s always brought up. Mate nearly every civilization has had some kingdom in the past. I don’t know if its a religious thing but I am just telling you that your not special. No one cares either. Shouting, dancing and showing off BMWs on the streets doesn’t do anything. Just pisses other people off. Take action, put pressure on the clown Pashinyan. Armenia right now needs a strong man, a military man not a journalist. Also can you guys stop with this Western Armenia thing please. It doesn’t help, just pisses more Turks off. First stop losing lands and maybe defeat Azeri’s then you can take on one of the strongest militaries on earth and a NATO member. But if you think you can go straight to step 259 then lay out the procedure of conquering half of Turkey. I would love to read your battle plan.

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