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Over 100,000 march in Los Angeles to commemorate 100 years since Armenian genocide

Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protester en route to the Turkish consulate on Wilshire Boulevard, April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protesters en route to the Turkish consulate on Wilshire Boulevard, April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protesters en route to the Turkish consulate on Wilshire Boulevard, April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protesters en route to the Turkish consulate on Wilshire Boulevard, April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protesters en route to the Turkish consulate on Wilshire Boulevard on April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protesters en route to the Turkish consulate on Wilshire Boulevard on April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Solomon Asatryan of North Hollywood during the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles, April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Onlookers supporting marchers during the Armenian Genocide rally in Los Angeles on April 24, 2015.
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Group of women during the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles, April 24, 2015. Obama's recent comments in which he did not call the 1915 killings of Armenians a "genocide" have protesters angry.
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protesters en route to the Turkish consulate on Wilshire Boulevard on April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Protesters on La Brea Avenue marching towards the Turkish embassy April 24, 2015.
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Kids hold Armenian flag along march route on LA Brea on April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Thousands of people march Tuesday April 24, 2012 to mark the death of 1.5 million Armenians in the former Ottoman empire, in Los Angeles. The demonstration is an annual remembrance of the killings of Armenians in the Turkish territories during World War I. Armenians refer to the killings as genocide while Turkey contends there was no organized slaughter.
Nick Ut/AP
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
A man joins demonstrators who are marching in Los Angeles on Friday, April 24, 2015, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians during the Ottoman Empire rule over Turkey, and to press for recognition by Turkey and the U.S. that the killings should be considered genocide.
Nick Ut/AP
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Thousands of demonstrators march to mark the death of 1.5 million Armenians in the former Ottoman empire, in Los Angeles Tuesday, April 24, 2012. The demonstration is an annual remembrance of the 1915 killings of Armenians in the Turkish territories during World War I. Armenians refer to the killings as genocide, while Turkey contends there was no organized slaughter.
Damian Dovarganes/AP
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Thousands of demonstrators march to mark the death of 1.5 million Armenians in the former Ottoman empire, in Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. The demonstration is an annual remembrance of the 1915 killings of Armenians in the Turkish territories during World War I. Armenians refer to the killings as genocide, while Turkey contends there was no organized slaughter.
Damian Dovarganes/AP
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Karine Ghazarian from La Crescenta and husband Jako Shahbazian waiting to join march on La Brea commemorating 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. His grandparents survived genocide.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Young protester at the March for Justice rally in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2015.
Armenian Genocide march on April 24, 2015.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC


Maps: Route | Parking | Social media

7:19 p.m.: Roughly 100,000 people rally for Armenian genocide remembrance without incident

About 100,000 people gathered Friday afternoon to march on the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officer Jane Kim told KPCC Friday evening that there had been no major incidents reported during the demonstration, and that the massive crowd had begun dispersing from the area surrounding the Turkish consulate since a little before 5 p.m.

Several media outlets had earlier reported that a group of Turkish counter-protesters awaiting the marchers at the consulate had been asked to leave.

— Miguel Contreras

3:28 p.m.: "Obama promised us he was going to recognize the genocide."

According to estimates from the LAPD, some 50,000 marchers were approaching the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles Friday afternoon to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Demonstrators en route to the consulate held signs decrying President Obama's recent comments, where he came just short of calling the 1915 killings of some 1.5 million Armenians under Ottoman rule a "genocide."

Hermina Terharutyunyan of Glendale joined the thousands of marchers calling attention to the killings. She arrived to the U.S. from Iran 25 years ago, where her grandparents moved after the genocide and said she was marching for her aunt and sister who survived.

"We want Obama to recognize, but shame on him," she told KPCC Friday afternoon. "[Obama] told us when he was elected for the president — he promised us he was going to recognize the genocide, but he is now refusing. He is not saying the 'genocide' word...Armenians are never going to forget 1915."

Terharutyunyan's 16-year-old son Anthony Panosian said, "It's bigger, it's more important this year. It's the hundredth anniversary, and this year everyone feels like Obama was gonna recognize it and [that] Armenia is gonna get their land back, their money back, and everything is just gonna be better."

Turkish demonstrators at the consulate were asked to leave Friday afternoon as marchers decrying the genocide made their way closer to the diplomatic agency.

Leslie Berestein Rojas

12:10 p.m.: Huge Los Angeles march commemorates Armenian killings

Thousands of people are marching in Los Angeles to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

Throngs have joined Friday's six-mile walk from the Little Armenia neighborhood to the Turkish Consulate, carrying flags and signs.

The event comes after President Barack Obama once again stopped short of calling the 1915 killings a genocide.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I.

Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, and earlier this month recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after Pope Francis described the killings as genocide.

7:37 a.m.: Los Angeles to march commemorate Armenian killings

Thousands were expected to march in Los Angeles on Friday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

Mayor Eric Garcetti was among the expected speakers at a morning rally that will be followed by a six-mile procession from the Little Armenia neighborhood to the Turkish consulate.

Protesters will demand the U.S. government acknowledge that the deaths of their ancestors constituted genocide, a term used to describe violence intended to destroy an entire group based on ethnicity, race or religion.

The event comes after President Barack Obama once again stopped short of calling the 1915 killings a genocide, going back on a campaign promise and prompting anger and disappointment among in the Armenian community.

Earlier this month, Turkey recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after Pope Francis described the killings as genocide. The European Parliament has also triggered Turkey's ire by passing a non-binding resolution to commemorate "the centenary of the Armenian genocide."

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide.

"We commemorate with deep respect the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the relocation in 1915 and we share in the grief of their children and grandchildren." The Los Angeles office of the Consulate General of Turkey said in a statement Thursday. "But we are against exploiting history and the sufferings for political purposes. ... The term 'genocide' is a legally binding, morally obstructing, historically wrong and politically misused concept that prevents the discussion of the events."

Officially using the genocide designation could risk U.S. relations with Turkey, an important ally. Turkey withdrew its U.S. ambassador more than four years ago when a House panel approved a resolution branding the killing of Armenians as genocide. The resolution eventually stalled.

Route map

(Courtesy Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee Western USA)

Parking map

(Courtesy AGCC-WUSA)

Tweets from the march