First printed within the Nov. 13 print factor of the Glendale Information Press.
A yr in the past this week, a big crowd shaped spontaneously out of doors of the Armenian Consulate, the place individuals of the native Armenian diaspora expressed their surprise, sorrow and anger that the 44-day warfare between their hometown and Azerbaijan had abruptly ended.
On Tuesday, a crowd once more shaped. This time, it was once with a extra arranged and pointed message of disdain towards the Armenian political management seen by way of some individuals of the diaspora as botching the protection effort and leaping on the likelihood to signal a ceasefire that closely appreciated the Azerbaijan govt in Baku’s targets.
The collection ran in conjunction others deliberate by way of the quite a lot of Armenian Formative years Federation chapters right through the arena, with the aim of introducing its newest political marketing campaign: “Resistance,” intended to oust Armenian Top Minister Nikol Pashinyan from energy.
The AYF is the formative years wing of the irredentist Armenian political birthday party Armenian Modern Federation, now an opponent of Pashinyan’s management after first of all supporting him throughout a relaxed revolution in 2018.
“We’re the starting of your regime’s finish,” declared Tsoler Hamamjian, the emcee at Tuesday’s amassing.
Possibly unintentionally, she was once dealing with a big poster of Pashinyan that had a big X spray-painted on it. Different posters defined quite a lot of grievances associated with final yr’s warfare and its ceasefire — that Azerbaijan continues to carry in captivity masses of prisoners of warfare and evaluations of the Pashinyan govt for allegedly jailing newshounds, activists and politicians who’re antagonistic to his rule.
“Pashinyan’s dictatorial powers have stripped Armenian activists in their inalienable rights to freedom of speech by way of criminalizing those that dare discuss out in opposition to him,” Hamamjian charged.
After Azerbaijani forces introduced an offensive final yr to reassert regulate of the Nagorno-Karabakh area — which within the Nineties was once declared the breakaway Artsakh Republic by way of its Armenian inhabitants and reinforced by way of Yerevan — the diaspora right here mobilized to lift and ship donations of cash and provides to give a boost to the protection effort in Artsakh. Many volunteers additionally traveled to enroll in militias within the warzone.
When the ceasefire was once introduced six weeks into the war, it got here as a surprise as a result of Yerevan had triangulated little details about the scenario within the warfare, a lot much less that it was once ready to give up nearly all of Artsakh’s territory again to Baku. Protests in Yerevan that night time disrupted the Armenian parliament and led to quite a lot of arrests. Within the fallout, Panishyan referred to as snap elections after resigning from his birthday party’s govt, best to go back after receiving a majority vote within the June contest.
Phrases of the ceasefire incorporated ceding Azerbaijan’s reclaimed territory, which left the rest of Artsakh as an enclave. A novel freeway was once designated as a hyperlink between Armenia and Artsakh, however the agreed-upon Russian peacekeeping forces have now not materialized. (The ceasefire was once brokered by way of Russia, which maintains shut ties with each former Soviet territories and maintains a mutual protection pact with Armenia.)
Particularly in fresh weeks, Azerbaijani forces have again and again fired upon Armenian defenders alongside borders and feature reportedly even crossed into Armenian territory — an escalation noticed as a affirmation by way of diaspora individuals that Baku, reinforced by way of the Turkish govt, intends to overcome the rest of Armenia.
The AYF’s messaging paints Pashinyan as undermining Armenia’s sovereignty in desire of reconciling a political dating with Turkey — an oft-repeated chant Tuesday was once “Nikol Davajan,” to name him a traitor.
“Imperialists, globalists, superpowers are all pursuing their pursuits on the expense of Armenia and Armenians in Artsakh,” mentioned Vicken Sosikian, who additionally spoke at Tuesday’s rally. “Who will shield the country?”
Along with Pashinyan, Sosikian additionally took goal at Armenian President Armen Sarkissian, who as commander-in-chief, is tasked with protecting the hometown, Sosikian mentioned.
“But, proof displays he engineered the warfare and vowed to lose it,” he claimed, “surrendering 75% of Artsakh, sacrificing a whole era” — greater than 4,000 Armenians have been killed — “and robbing the diaspora of its donations.”
Subsequent steps, Sosikian mentioned, have been to withstand the “home enemy” in Pashinyan, Sarkissian and their governments. He referred to as upon the worldwide diaspora to claim its needs extra forcefully for Armenia’s political long term within the Caucasus area.
“You are going to lick your wounds. You are going to take again your dignity. You are going to repair your pleasure,” he mentioned. “You are going to protest, you’re going to write, you’re going to combat, you’re going to create, you’re going to innovate.
“We will be able to free up.”