City of Los Angeles

April 26, 2011

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WHEREAS, the Armenian people, living in their 3,000-year historic homeland in eastem Asia Minor and throughout the Ottoman Empire, were subjected to severe persecution and brutal injustice by the rulers of the Ottoman Empire before and after the tum of the Twentieth Century, including widespread massacres, usurpation ofland and property, and acts of wanton destruction during the period from 1894 to 1896, inclusive, and again in 1909; and

WHEREAS, the horrible experience of the Armenians at the hands oftheir oppressors culminated in the Armenian Genocide, beginning in 1915, in what is known by historians as the "First Genocide of the Twentieth Century," and as the prototype of modern day mass killing; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide commenced on April 24, 1915 with the arrest, exile, and murder of hundreds of Armenian intellectuals, and business, political, and religious leaders, and thereafter rapidly spread throughout Anatolia; and

WHEREAS, the regime then in control of the Ottoman Empire, known as the "Young Turks," planned and executed the unspeakable atrocities committed against the Armenian people from 1915 to 1923, inclusive, which included the torture, starvation, and murder of 1,500,000 Armenians, death marches into the Syrian Desert, the forced exile of more than 500,000 innocent people, and the loss of the traditional Armenian homelands; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide tragically established a pattern that has been repeated over and over again in the Holocaust, in Cambodia, in Rwanda, in southern Sudan and in other genocides committed by regimes that have been encouraged in their evil acts by the precedent set by the Armenian Genocide and by the world's failure to hold its perpetrators accountable; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide is documented with overwhelming proof in the national archives of the United States, Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Turkey, the Vatican and many other countries, and is well-recognized by historians as the first genocide of the Twentieth Century; and

WHEREAS, despite the clear and unambiguous facts of history, the govemment of the Republic of Turkey continues to deny the occurrence of the Armenian Genocide and continues to deny culpability for it; and

WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles is the home of the largest population of survivors of the Armenian Genocide and their descendants of any city in the world outside of Armenia, and those residents of Los Angeles reasonably demand justice and appropriate recognition of the crimes committed against the Armenian people; and

WHEREAS, it is vital that the Government of the United States properly reaffirm the Armenian Genocide, not just because of the moral implications, but because such recognition can help to prevent future atrocities from occurring;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, with the concurrence of the Mayor, that by the adoption of this Resolution, the City of Los Angeles calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide, and URGES the Republic of Turkey to end its decades-long campaign of Genocide denial.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that by the adoption of this Resolution the Council of the City of Los Angeles hereby declares April 24, 2011 as a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Presented by:
Councilmember, 2nd District

Presented by:
Councilmember, 13th District

Seconded by: