Armenian Genocide: Thousands march in Hollywood to remember lives lost

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Thursday, April 25, 2019
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Thousands marched through the streets of Hollywood to mark the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Thousands marched through the streets of Hollywood to mark the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The massive event is known as the March for Justice, and it takes place every year. Another major event drew thousands at the Turkish consulate later in the day.

"We almost feel like it is our responsibility to keep protesting and to keep marching until such time that Turkey is at least held morally but especially legally accountable for what they did," said protester Varant Anmahouni.

In the Hollywood march genocide survivors marched in unison through to honor victims and keep the memory of the tragedy alive. Many families took young children, who chanted alongside their parents and grandparents and said they will continue to do so until Turkey stops denying the Armenian genocide took place.

Can Oguz, the consul general of Turkey, explained their side of what happened.

"We have been saying that the final years of the Ottoman Empire were very tragic for all the peoples of the Ottoman Empire including, Turks and Armenians. And all the nations of the empire suffered immensely, however we oppose categorizing, presenting this issue events of 1915 as genocide," Oguz said. "We are convinced that legal and historically, this is not the case."

On Tuesday, hundreds in Glendale gathered on the eve of the commemoration to remember the killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians killed by the Turkish government beginning in 1915. Turkey disputes that the deaths be termed a genocide.

Despite some calls by some legislators, including local Rep. Adam Schiff, for the federal government to formally recognize the genocide, U.S. presidents have long refused to do so.

Also Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board approved a resolution to come up with a plan to better accommodate students and families who honor April 24 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day -- including making it a possible school holiday.

The resolution also asks the district to make sure teachers are teaching about the genocide in classrooms.