Vancouver Armenians unite to confront Azerbaijani demonstrators
TorontoHye – Around 100 Vancouver Armenian community members showed up in downtown Vancouver on July 25 to confront a smaller number of Azerbaijanis who came out chanting anti-Armenian slogans and holding posters. The protest was organized by Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) Western Region and AYF Christapor Mikaelian chapter.
Armenian community members were joined by St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church pastor Very Rev. Karekin Shekherdemian and St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic church priest Rev. Father Keghart Garabedian. The standoff in the heart of downtown in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery started off with singing of the Armenian National anthem followed by speeches and Armenian shoorjbar and lasted over two hours.
Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) Western Region representatives Hagop Agopian and Palig Kochkarian read speeches condemning Azerbaijan’s recent attack against Davush province and called on the dictatorship in Baku to stop its continued aggression against Armenia and Artsakh. All the while, the Armenian protesters were chanting “Armenia wants peace, Azerbaijan wants war”, “Artsakh belongs to Armenia” and other pro-peace and anti hate slogans.
Meanwhile, around 50 counter protesters holding up Azerbaijani and Turkish flags kept shouting “Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan”, “Azerbaijan”.
The demonstration wrapped up with Hayr Karekin Shkherdemian leading the protesters in Lord’s Prayer and the singing of “Giligia.”