On Saturday 24th October at 2pm, a massive number of Armenian-Australians and supporting communities will participate in the 'March for Armenians' through Sydney CBD, in solidarity with their brothers and sisters under attack in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) by Turkey-backed Azerbaijani forces.
Since 27th September 2020, both Armenian Republics of Armenia and Artsakh have been subjected to incessant civilian-targeted bombings and a series of war crimes, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of casualties in what is an impending humanitarian disaster.
"As we have seen throughout history, failure to call out and condemn an aggressor and an enabler out by name – especially when they are bombing civilians and openly threatening ethnic cleansing – only emboldens said aggressor to continue committing war crimes," Haig Kayserian, Armenian National Committee of Australia Executive Director said.
"We often say 'never again' when remembering the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides of 1915. Never again means Australia must stand against ethnic cleansing and genocide, Australia must stand against dictatorships, Australia must stand against Neo-Ottoman Pan-Turanist expansionism."
"Never again means Australia must stand for democracy, Australia must stand for indigenous rights, Australia must stand for self-determination, Australia must stand for freedom. Therefore, never again means Australia must stand for the independent, Armenian Republic of Artsakh," Kayserian concluded.
The organisers of the 'March for Armenians', which will be led by the Homenetmen Scouts Marching Band, political figures and leaders of communities and faith, promise the Armenian-Australian community will "send a loud message".
For those who would like to join the march, please find the details below. Organisers have also requested participants bring their country flag (Greek, Cypriot, etc.) with them on the day.
What: March For Armenians
When: Saturday 24th October 2020
Where: Sydney CBD location to be confirmed. For updates, please visit Ancaustralia
Registration: All participants must register to participate
COVID-19 plan for Saturday’s March:
- All participants have been requested to register as a prerequisite to their participation. The form contains all critical information for the purposes of contact-tracing.
- Buses are being organised from all Armenian-populated centres across Sydney – including Willoughby, Ryde and Bonnyrigg. The number of buses will be booked to ensure appropriate social distancing to and from the protest. Travellers will be required to hold their own belongings to ensure minimal contact. Community members are requested to use our buses, instead of taking public transport, or travel with their own cars.
- All buses will be wiped down with disinfectant before participants embark. All banners and flags, being arranged by the organisers, for the procession will be quarantined and transported separately to the starting point, where they will be handed out to participants.
- At each bus stop, electronic temperature checks will be conducted of all participants prior to entering the bus. Those who arrive by car will have a specified meeting point for their attendance to be registered and temperatures to be taken.
- At each bus stop, and at the meeting point for car travellers, each participant will be handed a free face mask and advised that it is a requirement to wear it throughout the March for Armenians.
- At each bus stop, and at the meeting point for car travellers – as well as at every stop of the procession – there will be hand sanitising stations with each participant required to sanitise prior to continuing.
- We have begun registering COVID Marshalls for the March for Armenians, and will have a minimum of 1 per 20 participants. They will be wearing vests clearly marking them as COVID Marshalls. These Marshalls will undergo an instructional seminar on the Thursday leading up to the March for Armenians at one of our community centres.
- They will ensure masks are being worn and appropriate social distancing between protestors is assured throughout the procession and at the various stops.