Sunday, 27 April 2008

Armenian Genocide Commemorative March in London

27 April 2008, London, UK

Armenian Genocide Commemorative March - from St Yeghiche Church to The Cenotaph via the Turkish Embassy and Parliament Square.

There were many young people among marchers. People were carrying flowers reminiscent to the way we do it in Yerevan. Overall, the march was better organised than it was last year.

Pouring rain at the beginning was annoying, but it did not affect people’s mood, although it perhaps affected the number of people participating in the march, as well as onlookers in the streets. However, on the whole, march looked impressive and very appropriate for the occasion.

As to the organisational aspects, I do not think Sunday is a particularly good choice for actions aimed also at attracting public attention to the cause. In addition, most of the time along the route which was designated to us we were marching via mainly deserted streets, except when we reached Parliament sq. I understand, it is not just in the hands of organisers, and Metropolitan police perhaps did its main bit for own convenience by allocating us not busy and not traffic heavy (including pedestrian) route. However, during previous years it was possible to get permission for more appropriate route starting at Marble Arch. I think organisers should try getting it back.

We also stopped in front of the Turkish embassy in London for about 15-20 mins or so for a picket action (you can see it in the video too, towards the end). I doubt that there was anyone inside the embassy on a Sunday afternoon, but I am sure they will get the message via CCTVs and other recording devices.

For more photos - see my Picasa Web Album


Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

It has been said that the reason the OSCE was so--insignificant--in dealing with the responsibility that it has toward a member state, namely verifying the legitimacy of its elections, was the EU's interest in using the Armenian genocide as an excuse to keep Turkey out of the EU.

With that in mind, the chant in this video, "Kick Turkey out of Europe," was quite disheartening for me. Who was the person leading the chants? Was that statement necessary? Maybe genocide recognition ought to happen without European intervention.

It is possible to demand recognition of the genocide by the world, without demanding kicking Turkey out of Europe. Those two issues are not directly related. The connection is gratuitous. Turkey's inclusion into Europe might, just as possibly, facilitate its recognition of the genocide.

In any case, ultimately, Europe is unreliable. They look at us as useful tools. Our country gets taken over by a criminal gang, and all that the EU can do is yawn and sharpen a few more pencils. Fuck 'em, who needs them?

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

Why don't we say this to Turkey: You recognize the genocide, and we'll support your entry into the EU?

Let's think outside of the box. No alliances are forever; no enmities are forever. What's good for us, Armenians? With whom do we need to ally to be stronger, Now?

We need to ask these questions. Let's get stronger.

artmika said...

Armen, despite those more extreme chants "Keep Turkey out of Europe", one of the main messages of the march was similar to what you said: "recognize the genocide, and we'll support your entry into the EU". Well, not directly as you put it but in line with "No Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide, No EU membership".

Actually, at least on official level, Armenian government supports Turkey's bid to enter the EU.

I got also this comment from someone in response to my YouTube video: “The chanters should consider that hope of being in Europe is the only hope for Turkey making any sort of reform and coming to terms with this issue. If EU were to reject them tomorrow they'd have no incentive to continue on any sort of human rights or historical issues.”