Armenian Genocide March In Hollywood Suspended Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

GLENDALE (CBSLA) — The annual Armenian genocide commemoration — which typically fills the streets with marching people and cars draped in orange, red and blue flags and banners at this time of the year — will go online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Glendale, which is home to one of the largest Armenian populations outside of Armenia, will mark the anniversary with video messages of solidarity from Glendale city officials, Rep. Adam Schiff, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.

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. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Most years, Armenian Americans take to the streets of Hollywood for a massive march on April 24, demanding justice for the 1.5 million they say Turkey and the Ottoman Empire murdered in 1915. Late last year, the Senate passed a resolution formally recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Marches in past years have braved record-high temperatures and shut down busy Hollywood streets for hours. This year, the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines have Armenian activists sheltering safe at home.

In a news release, the United Armenian Council of Los Angeles, the Unified Young Armenians, and the Armenian Genocide Committee said that all genocide commemoration activities would be suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Those activities include march through Little Armenia in Hollywood and the protest in front of the Turkish consulate in Los Angeles.

“The Coalition made this decision not only as a moral responsibility to stand with the people of Los Angeles and the world, but to also comply with the health directives imposed by the local authorities, which are meant to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus and to save lives,” they said in the news release.

A broadcast commemoration will be at 7 p.m. Thursday on GTV6, Channel 6 for Spectrum customers and Channel 99 for AT&T in the Glendale area. It will also be streamed on Glendale’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

A documentary about families working to keep Armenian culture alive, “What Will Become of Us,” will be broadcast at 7 p.m. on GTV6.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)