A friend sent me his thoughts and impressions on “hunger strike” in Glendale, in front of Armenian consulate.
Subject: notes from the hunger strike last night
I drove by the hunger strikers this morning at 6:15. This time there was no one awake, no guard or “pahak”. One person was seated on the ground, but it looked like he had dozed off. I stopped the car in the street, right in front of him, but did not sound the horn, he did not look up. I pushed on the gas pedal and stopped again, but he was asleep.
I wonder how safe they are in this condition. They seemed so vulnerable, in the wind and the damp floor.
Last night was very inspiring. They have a program for the visitor’s rather than the other way around. They recite poetry, read short notes from Genocide survivor’s memoirs and sing.
Allen, Asik’s son, was running the whole thing. I approached him and asked how the hotel deals with this, he said that the land is not part of the hotel and it belongs to the city. Glendale city officials and the police have been very cooperative with the strikers. He said the night before 500 people had come to show their support.
Yesterday, too, they asked people to come and show their support.
After the striker’s each made their short presentation, visitor’s were given the hand held microphone to speak their mind. One woman, spoke very eloquently. She said that one of her children had left her family and had come and joined the strikers. She said that therefore, now she had 34 children (the number of the strikers went up from 28 to 34) and that they were like flowers with no soil under their feet, transplanted and brought here. She almost made it sound poetic.
She then said that she has gathered soil from many parts of Armenia and tonight, she had brought soil from Edjmiatsin to the hunger strike. She had put a small amount in small bags and distributed them to all the strikers, for them to put under their pillow or under the make shift bed, so that the flower can grow in it’s proper soil. She spoke in Armenian. She was amazing.
All the participants were quite moving. I had seen one guy who looked particularly moved in the photos online, who was there and he narrated a poem. He turned out the one with the most fervor.
Allen announced on the speaker, that no one from the consulate, had come out to talk to them, or ask their opinion. Nothing. Silence. They urged people to send webfaxes (from stoptheprotocols.com) which I just did and to call the consulate and complain about the protocols. (818) 265 5900.
He said they get text messages at the hunger strike from all over the world in support.
One man, who had returned from Armenia two days ago, who has been living in LA for 20 years, said that there is only one man who runs the show and makes decisions there.
He said that a few years ago in Los Angeles, we said farewell to one “aavaanaak” Levon Ter Petrossian and now we said farewell to another one. No one objected and everyone clapped.
Allen said that during the day, they make signs. there were paint cans. One of the large signs had photos of the Glendale rally. The “mi davajanir” truck is parked on Central, across from the consulate building. Pretty much the four corners of the intersection is covered. A huge sign that says “Hunger strike” and one that says honk for freedom in Artsakh.
I think it is very worthwhile to join them there.