Tuesday, March 18, 2008


13.03.2008 11:11

Activists from more than a dozen states spread out across Capitol
Hill today for the first of three days of non-stop anti-genocide
advocacy, capped with an evening reception featuring powerful remarks
by outspoken Congressional human rights leaders, reported the Armenian
National Committee of America (ANCA).

The three day program, hosted for the second year in a row by the ANCA
and the Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net), puts community human
rights advocates directly in touch with dozens of legislators and every
single Senate and House office in support of practical legislative
initiatives to stop the genocide in Darfur and end Turkey's ongoing
denial of the Armenian Genocide.

The day began with an early morning briefing in the Aramian Conference
Room at the ANCA national headquarters and powerful welcoming remarks
by Jackie Kanchelian-Speier, a veteran of the California legislature
and currently a leading candidate running in the Special Election to
fill California's 12th Congressional District. If elected, former
State Senator Speier will become the second Armenian American in
Congress, alongside Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA). In her remarks,
she touched on her long experience in advocating Armenian American
issues and urged the gathered activists to remain vigilant and act
effectively in seeking to end the cycle of genocide.

Among the legislators in attendance at the Capitol Hill reception
on Wednesday evening were Representatives Jim Costa(D-CA), Rush Holt
(D-NJ), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James McGovern
(D-MA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Laura Richardson
(D-CA), and John Tierney (D-MA).

The expanded program, titled the "End the Cycle of Genocide: Grassroots
Capitol Campaign," is taking place from March 12th through 14th. Having
completed a full day of meetings, the activists will continue their
visits on Thursday and Friday, including a tour of the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial and Museum.

The activists called for a broad range of steps to end the Darfur
Genocide, among them increased funding for peacekeepers, divestment
from Sudan, and support for a comprehensive regional peace, as well,
of course, for the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution
(H.Res.106 and S.Res.106).

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