Los Angeles marches mark Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The red, blue and orange of Armenia's flag flew on the streets of Los Angeles on Wednesday as marchers remembered the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in what is regarded as the first genocide of the 20th century.

A crowd rallied in LA's Little Armenia district before proceeding down Hollywood Boulevard. Another march was scheduled to culminate with a protest outside the consulate of Turkey, the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, which oversaw the mass deportations and massacres of Armenians.

The large Armenian community in the Los Angeles area has been marking Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day since long before President Joe Biden in 2021 became the first U.S. president to use the word “genocide” to describe the campaign of violence.

The White House had avoided using the term for fear of alienating Turkey, a NATO ally that denies there was a genocide.

Biden repeated the term Wednesday in a statement that recounted the start of the “campaign of cruelty” on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders.