AYF Leads Washington DC March for Artsakh. Protesters Rally Against Surrender of Artsakh to Genocidal Azerbaijan

AYF Leads Washington DC March for Artsakh. Protesters Rally Against Surrender of Artsakh to Genocidal Azerbaijan

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian Youth Federation – Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (AYF-YOARF) Washington DC “Ani” chapter completed a week of pro-Artsakh initiatives today, culminating in a Greater Washington DC community-wide protest and march – from the Azerbaijani Embassy to the Armenian Embassy – rallying against the surrender of democratic Artsakh to genocidal Azerbaijan.

The week of activism started with the hanging of a large banner outside the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, DC, condemning Azerbaijan’s aggression. They also placed signs that identified major Azerbaijani war criminals, such as Ilham Aliyev. The second day featured a sign outside of the Embassy of Armenia, affirming that “The one who surrenders land we will bury.” (Հող Յանձնողին Հողին կը Յանձնենք)

On the third day, the AYF published an open letter demanding local businesses and government officials boycott Turkish and Azerbaijani products, as the countries continue to contribute to anti-Armenian aggression.

The fourth day saw AYFers arranging 120 candles in the shape of the Artsakh flag on the doorstep of the Armenian Embassy, to symbolize the 120,000 civilians the Pashinyan government has left behind as a result of its willingness to surrender Artsakh to Azerbaijan.

On the fifth day of action, a banner was dropped over busy Washington, DC overpasses during rush hour to spread awareness about the innocent Artsakh Armenians being blockaded by Azerbaijan.

In response to the arrival of Armenian foreign minister, Ararat Mirzoyan, in Washington, DC for “peace talks” with Azerbaijan, on the sixth day of action, the AYF left blood-stained model hands at the doorstep of the Armenian Embassy – emphasizing Pashinyan’s responsibility for the surrender of Artsakh and the loss of Armenian lives.

The seventh day, coinciding with the U.S. State Department mediated talks between Armenian and Azerbaijani officials, saw AYF members gather with a cross-section of the local community for a pro-Artsakh protest march from the Azerbaijani Embassy to the Armenian Embassy – echoing the Artsakh Parliament’s stand that peace talks should be suspended until Azerbaijan ceases its aggression.

Beginning at the Azerbaijani Embassy, the youth-led march rallied with chants and a speech was given by AYF DC “Ani” Chapter Chair Nayiri Shahnazarian. She described how Azerbaijan had blocked off the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor for 200 days, “effectively creating one of the largest open-air prisons in the world.” She exclaimed that “today’s Azerbaijani attack which took the lives of 4 Artsakh Armenians – in the midst of so-called ‘peace talks’ proved, once again, that Aliyev and Erdogan have no intention of honoring any peace deal.”

Her message to Armenians around the world was that “when these dictatorships attempt to drown out our voices, we shout louder. When they try to crush our willpower, we push harder. When they try to eradicate our hope, we keep believing.” She emphasized that “we will continue to show up and stand up for Artsakh, for Syunik, and for the Armenian people all over the globe because there is nothing stronger than our love for our culture, our language, our people, and our homeland.”

She urged government officials to recognize that “any peace discussion must respect the Artsakh people’s right to self-determination and include Artsakh leaders in the negotiations.” She concluded her speech by proclaiming that the Biden administration must stop “greenlighting a second genocide against the Armenian people.”

Shahnazarian’s remarks were broadcast live on the AYF DC Ani Chapters Facebook and Twitter channels and are available on YouTube at:

Protesters continued chanting as they began marching to the Armenian Embassy, making their voices ring throughout the streets of Washington’s embassy row.

After arriving at the Embassy of Armenia, ARF Sebouh Gomideoutiun member Sosy Bouroujian made a powerful impact on the crowd by calling out the reckless and irresponsible actions of the Pashinyan regime and described how they continued to give “concessions to the butchers in Baku, by handing over our nation to those who seek to eliminate Artsakh and Armenia.”

She continued by pointing out that the Pashinyan government seeks “normalization with the terrorists in Turkey, who continue their attempted displacement and extermination of the Armenian people, over 100 years after the Genocide.”

Bouroujian explained that if we “listen to his own words”, “read his own writings,” and “look at his own actions,” that “the facts bear out this painful truth: Pashinyan never wanted Artsakh” and that “Nikol Pashinyan does not deserve to walk on the lands that so many gave their lives to defend.” She expressed that we need to “stand strong and true – shoulder to shoulder with Armenians across the world, and double down on our struggle for justice and recognition” so that “the legacy of Artsakh and Armenia will not be one of cowardice, subjugation, or defeatism. It will be one of courage, freedom, and victory.”

Bouroujian ended with the most important message of all: “We will not bow to the demands of the genocidal dictators of Erdogan and Aliyev. We will not bend to satisfy requests of normalization with forces who are intent on annihilating the Armenian nation. And we most certainly will not break our unwavering commitment to advancing Hai Tahd. Արար աշխարհ թող իմանայ: Հայը միշտ կայ և կը մնայ:”

Bouroujian’s remarks were broadcast live on the AYF Ani Chapter’s Facebook and Twitter channels and are available at:

Comments are closed.