Statement: DSA-LA Supports the March for Justice, Commemorating the Armenian Genocide

The Democratic Socialists of America - Los Angeles Chapter joins the Armenian community in its continued fight for a just resolution and against denial of the Armenian Genocide. DSA-LA recognizes and commemorates the one and a half million Armenians who were killed between 1915 and 1923.

The final stage of genocide is the denial of its history. Today the Turkish government not only denies the Armenian Genocide, it continues to marginalize, discriminate, and segregate its Armenian minority population. It also uses its geopolitical and capitalist forces to coerce the Israeli and the US governments to refuse official recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Genocide is a legal term, and to admit to it could mean having to pay reparations, return stolen land, and treat Armenians as full citizens. The US government has never officially recognized the genocide despite President Obama's campaign promise to finally recognize it. We now demand President Trump recognizes and commemorates the Armenian Genocide. 

While human rights abuses are paramount reasons for commemoration, we also recognize it as an oppression of Socialists. In the late 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was beginning to decay due to corrupt rule. Armenians founded a number of socialist revolutionary parties advocating for basic fundamental rights. At the time, Armenians were targeted by the Ottomans with excessive taxation, land seizure, and other laws and policies treating them as less than full citizens. They turned to socialism and parties advocating for equality and a system of government that represented all of its people. This gave the Armenians a political ideology with which to identify. Ottomans framed socialist movements as attempts to "overthrow the empire", and so were vilified. The villainization of these socialist currents was used as justification to commit the atrocities.

To support the March for Justice is to show solidarity with an oppressed indigenous people who have been expelled from their native land, along with socialist organizations which still exist like The Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Hunchak Party, both founded around 130 years ago. Failure to recognize a genocide increases the risk of perpetrating another. For these reasons, we support the March for Justice and the Armenian community.