Friday, March 21, 2008

Pussyfooting around the issue

The American-Armenian organizations have issued a declaration about the March 1 events. They were a little slow in doing this but these are a diverse group of organizations with each one of them pursuing different agendas.

The declaration, as a result, is a weak document that amounts to nothing. These organizations have proven that they do not deserve our support and money. They, instead, support the tyranny that is the current regime in Armenia. For this reason, we need to tighten the screws on them to teach them a lesson. They have a higher responsibility for the American-Armenians. We do not support tyranny, and we do not want these organizations to support the tyranny either. For that reason these organizations need to be boycotted:
the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA);
the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU);
the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA);
the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern/Western), and;
the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America (Eastern/ Western).
“Government is best which governs least” Thomas Jefferson.

In 1849, Henry David Thoreau called for a Civil Disobedience in an essay arguing that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice.

The Armenian people have suffered enough violations of their civil rights since the beginning of the 20th Century, by either foreign rulers, or by their own governments and leaders up until 21 Century and continuing. The Armenian people have been either forcefully or by the policies of their governments left their lands and are presently living abroad, in every corner of the world.

The Armenian has fought throughout history for individual rights to live freely in Armenia with all civil rights being respected without much success because of the fear instigated in them by abusive forces.

Now, the time has come for the “Armenian” to live, experience and demonstrate “civil disobedience” meaning, “disobedience to the state” to achieve freedom of self from fear of the foreign forces and domestic governments.

However, civil disobedience of the Armenian is an individual decision to join the multitudes in a similar action to show the authorities that the power of statehood comes from those who do not wish to be enslaved and used as agents for injustice.

Free Armenians shall be united in spirit and consciousness in this most noble method of feeing themselves from their oppressors and shall change the fate imposed on them.

We call on you to follow the following rules of civil disobedience:
1. “Don’t just wait passively for an opportunity to vote for justice. Voting for justice is as ineffective as wishing for justice; what you need to do is to actually be just. This is not to say that you have an obligation to devote your life to fighting for justice, but you do have an obligation not to commit injustice and not to give injustice your practical support.”

2. When a government becomes destructive of basic human rights, it is the duty of the people to "alter or abolish it."
We call upon all Armenians all over the world to stop paying taxes(dues), gratuities, and donations to all organizations, which direct that money to the ruling government in Armenia. Instead, we direct them to send same amount and more assistance to the Armenian people living in the villages and towns of Armenia.

No money and/or assistance should be directed to political parties, to the Armenia Fund, Org., the Armenian Assembly, the Armenian National Committee and to Armenian Republic and all other organizations you know, which are giving direct assistance to the Republic of Armenia.

We call upon all Armenians to peacefully live and show disobedience to the state authorities without fight, without profanity, curse, objection, retaliation or violence. Withdraw your participation, membership and contribution from all those organizations, and/or state institutions which exercise power and control over the fee people of Armenia.

We call upon all Armenians to unite in creating a civil society whose’ consciousness shall decide and create their own way of life, society and country.


Update: Lara at has similar feelings about this. Unfortunately, my posts get censored/deleted at Cilicia so I can't let her know that I think the same way.


Anonymous said...

Not all Armenian American organizations are pussyfooting around the issue. The Hunchak affiliated Armenian Council of America PAC issued this statement.

Ever since the violent break up of the peaceful protests on Freedom square and the ensuing melee on March 1st that by official accounts left 8 people dead, the current regime in Armenia, instead of seeking ways to diffuse the current crisis, has decided to further escalate the tensions by continuing its unabated persecution and imprisonment of opposition members, severely restricting the capabilities of the independent media and by finally amending Armenia’s law on public gatherings to effectively deny the opposition of any chance for a sanctioned rally.

Unfortunately the Kocharyan regime seems oblivious or ignorant to the fact that the world is closely following their every action and despite their best efforts to control and manipulate the news emanating from Armenia, they have miserably failed in their attempts. On the contrary, the recent vote at the UN General Assembly and the fact that many countries chose to abstain rather than oppose the resolution clearly demonstrates the international community’s negative attitude towards Armenia mainly due to the actions of the current regime.

The Armenian Council of America denounces the continued aggression of the current regime against its own citizens and stands in solidarity with the Armenian people in its struggle against repression, intimidation, corruption and dictatorship.

We strongly believe that democracy, transparency and the rule of law are the only way forward for the Republic of Armenia and join our voice to the thousands of others in demanding from the current regime that they:

1.Immediately lift the state of emergency and restore the constitutional rights of its citizens.

2.Remove the army and allow citizens their freedom of movement, freedom of expression, and freedom to assemble.

3.Cease the political persecutions and release all political prisoners.

4.Annul the results of the illegitimate presidential election and call for new and transparent democratic elections.

Conducting free and transparent elections without coercion and political repercussion along with an independent media and healthy governance is vital to a stable and prosperous Armenia. Any actions taken to the contrary will not only further erode the international standing of Armenia, but also endanger the well being of the Republic.

Anonymous said...

If you are wondering, why Armenian American organisations support such undemocratic actions carried out by Armenian authorities, ask them yourself.

Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny's
office # (202) 393-3434 x 228
Armenian Assembly Western Region (626) 577-0025
Armenian National Committee (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee (818) 500-1918 Glendale office
AGBU Chairman Mr. Vahe Imasdounian (562) 715-3624,
AGBU Office # (626) 794-7942 (212) 319-6383
Western Diocese (818) 558-7474 or direct number to the head of the Western Diocese (818) 640-2797 & (212) 686-0710
Western Prelacy (818) 248-7737 & (212) 689-7810

Anonymous said...

They were pro- govermental/Kocharyan from the beginning and it was not hard to guess which direction they would choose. Sad...

Anonymous said...

Calling them is a good idea, especially the direct numbers, i called and to my surprise they are cell numbers and the direct number as well.

Anonymous said...

They need to be boycotted from the April 24th commemorations.

Bruce Tasker said...

I do not want to comment on the suffering and violations of civil rights since the beginning of the 20th Century, but with respect to the 21st century - together with the Government Accountability Project in Washington, we have been fighting our 'Blowing the World Bank Whistle' ( action, knowing that together with the World Bank and the IMF, Armenia's tyranny of today has been in the making since the start of the century. That is covered in my article Armenia – A Crisis Long in the World Bank Making (

But too many, including ArmeniaNow, who are now publishing 'excellent articles' did not want to listen - or report.

Unfortunately the people of Armenia were too late understanding the full implications of what has been going on around them to be able to stop this latest move by their now fully ensconced dictators, and the majority of the funds referred to are too closely linked to the regime, or to the international institutions.

nazarian said...

Bruce, without your reporting we would not have known about the corruption inside the WB in Armenia. The mainstream media did not touch it but it was spread on the internet.

Hopefully when things calm down a little bit they will publicize the issue.

nazarian said...

Got an email from ANCA saying that their declaration has addressed the issues I am concerned about if I read it carefully.

Needless to say, another and more careful reading shows that it's a much more dangerous text with strong approval of what the state has been doing (rigging elections, censorship, police brutality, etc.).

I communicated it to them and am still waiting for a response from them. I doubt that I ever will.

John said...

We have, as you may have read in our joint statement with other leading Armenian Americans groups, condemned the recent violence and spoken forcefully in support of our shared aim of strengthening an open and democratic Armenian homeland, based upon the rule of law, social and economic justice, freedom of expression and the media, and equal opportunity for all.

Please stay in touch.


Aram Suren Hamparian
Executive Director
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 775-1918
Fax: (202) 775-5648