Politics

Thousands march in Los Angeles for Armenian genocide recognition

Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Dwayne Ray, whose wife is Armenian, holds their daughter Kiayah at a rally outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at rally outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Demonstrators rally outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Demonstrators march towards the Turkish Consulate during a rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Armenian-Americans march in protest through the Little Armenia neighborhood of Hollywood, California on April 24, 2018 demanding recognition by Turkey on the 103rd anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide, which Turkey insists did not happen.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Armenian-Americans march in protest through the Little Armenia neighborhood of Hollywood, California on April 24, 2018 demanding recognition by Turkey on the 103rd anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide, which Turkey insists did not happen.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest outside the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally. Los Angeles holds the largest number of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Thousands of members of the Armenian community march towards the Turkish Consulate on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, marking the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide when as many as 1.5 million Armenians died in a campaign blamed on the Ottoman Turkish government, in Los Angeles, California on April 24, 2017. More than 200,000 people of Armenian descent live in Los Angeles County, making it the home to the largest Armenian community outside of Armenia.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images


Thousands of Armenian-Americans took to the streets of Los Angeles on Tuesday to commemorate the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire a century ago.

The demonstrations came hours after Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned following 10 days of large anti-government protests in that country.

Marchers in Los Angeles demanded that the 1.5 million deaths starting in 1915 be recognized by Turkey as genocide.

Demonstrators march towards the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Demonstrators march towards the Turkish Consulate during a march and rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Although Armenians and many historians consider it to be genocide, Turkey — successor of the Ottoman Empire — contends those who died were victims of civil war and unrest.

Los Angeles demonstrators waved Armenian and American flags and carried signs that read "1915 never again" and "Turkish denial must end."

Demonstrators rally outside the Turkish Consulate commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Demonstrators rally outside the Turkish Consulate commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Marie Keshishian, an 18-year-old student at Glendale College, said all four of her great-great grandparents were killed in the genocide and that she was marching in their honor.

"I'm out here today to march for justice, to march for recognition, to march for the people — my ancestors, my great-great grandparents who lost their lives ... to hopefully get more people to recognize and accept that there was a genocide," Keshishian said.

Andrew Antaramian, a 32-year-old Pasadena attorney, said he joins in the marches every year to honor his ancestors, who fled Armenia and escaped death.

Thousands of members of the Armenian community crowd outside the Turkish Consulate on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, marking the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide when as many as 1.5 million Armenians died in a campaign blamed on the Ottoman Turkish government, in Los Angeles, California on April 24, 2017.
Thousands of members of the Armenian community crowd outside the Turkish Consulate on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, marking the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide when as many as 1.5 million Armenians died in a campaign blamed on the Ottoman Turkish government, in Los Angeles, California on April 24, 2017.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

"It's important to always commemorate what our ancestors have gone through because if this is not going to occur again, we have to remind the world what our people went through," he said.

Mayor Eric Garcetti marched alongside demonstrators, saying in a speech that the genocide was "a human tragedy."

"To be a part of the human family we must accept our tragedies," Garcetti said. "And all of us will say, 'Never again.'"

Demonstrators march towards the Turkish Consulate during a rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally.
Demonstrators march towards the Turkish Consulate during a rally commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of demonstrators, many of whom are Armenian-Americans, attended the rally.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

City Attorney Mike Feuer told demonstrators that "today here in Los Angeles, we are all Armenians."

"Look around," he said as the crowd cheered. "You are the answer to Hitler."

Kim Kardashian West, one of the most famous Armenian-Americans in the U.S., tweeted an old photo of herself in Armenia and praised global demonstrations calling for the genocide to be recognized.

"It's so inspiring to see all Armenians united in peaceful protests making a difference," she said. "It's a historic day for Armenia."

This story has been updated.