Around 100 Vancouver Armenian community members showed up in downtown Vancouver on July 25 to confront a smaller number of Azeris who came out chanting anti-Armenian slogans and holding posters, per Toronto Hye.
Armenian community members were joined by St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church pastor Very Rev. Karekin Shekherdemian and St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic church priest Rev. Father Keghart Garabedian. The standoff in the heart of downtown in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery started off with singing of the Armenian National anthem followed by speeches and Armenian shoorjbar and lasted over two hours.
ANCC Western Region representatives Hagop Agopian and Palig Kochkarian read speeches condemning Azerbaijan’s recent attack against Tavush province and called on the dictatorship in Baku to stop its continued aggression against Armenia and Artsakh. All the while, the Armenian protestors were chanting “Armenia wants peace, Azerbaijan wants war,” “Artsakh belongs to Armenia” and other pro-peace and anti hate slogans.
Meanwhile, around 50 counter protesters holding up Azerbaijani and Turkish flags kept shouting “Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan.” The demonstration wrapped up with Hayr Karekin Shkherdemian leading the protestors in Lord’s Prayer and the singing of ‘Giligia.”
The protest in Vancouver among many others across the world, calls for an end to Azeri aggression and urges the international community to pursue sanctions on the government of Azerbaijan and shed light on its international and human rights violations. Armenians everywhere throughout the Armenian diaspora stand with the peaceful people of Armenia and reaffirm their undeniable right to security and independence.
All over the world, Armenian communities have responded to the calls, launched by youth. The message is universal: Diaspora, Artsakh and Armenia are one!