NEW YORK, NY — The AYF Manhattan “Moush,” New York “Hyortik” and New Jersey “Arsen” chapters hosted the annual March for Justice protest on Monday in commemoration of the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Local community members gathered at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Church in New York City for Divine Liturgy in honor of the 1.5 million martyrs.
After the church service, a sea of red, blue and orange flags started making its way up Manhattan’s East Side toward the Azerbaijani Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Armenian community members shouted “Aliyev has to go,” “End the blockade,” “Genocide ignored is genocide repeated.”
On arrival, Nairi Dirastourian, president of the New Jersey “Arsen” Chapter, delivered powerful remarks to the crowd. “Today, our commemoration has taken on a new definition. Today we acknowledge that the Armenian people face a continual threat of ethnic cleansing and genocide,” she exclaimed. “Amidst a blockade, this is not only an act of remembrance and call for justice, but also an act of resistance and a call for justice.”
The crowd continued on foot toward the Turkish Consulate located across the street from the United Nations Headquarters, where AYF members demanded action on April 14 from the international community to end Azerbaijan’s genocidal blockade of Artsakh. In his opening remarks, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, reminded participants that “there is no challenge higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, or wider than skies in which the Armenian people cannot persevere.” His Eminence recounted the tragic events of 1915 and the strength that our ancestors have instilled within each of us.
“The Armenian Genocide has never ended, which is why we must continue to fight and make sure that the future of our homeland is of utmost priority,” said Alec Soghomonian, president of the Manhattan “Moush” Chapter.
The protest concluded with the singing of “Giligia” and “Zartir Lao.”