Artsakh Protest in Manhattan

Protesters passing by Radio City Music Hall (all photos by the author)

Saturday’s energetic demonstration in Manhattan started at 40 Rockefeller Plaza, where the NBC television network is headquartered, then up Sixth Avenue and across Central Park South to CNN studios in Columbus Circle. The thousands of protesters traveled across Broadway to ABC studios on West 66th Street. The protest began at 12:30pm and ended up on the Upper West Side by 3.

It’s safe to say there were thousands of people marching and a few people told me they thought it was over 5,000, but I found it hard to get a sense of the overall size since it snaked on for blocks and felt disjointed at various times. It was pleasantly surprising to see how many people showed up considering the last Artsakh protest at the end of July attracted a few hundred. The solid turnout also demonstrates the level of urgency Armenians feel at the imminent threat as Artsakh is being bombed daily by Azeri forces. Hundreds have already died, perhaps thousands, but it’s unclear because the Azeri side isn’t reporting military casualties.

There were signs of solidarity at the protest from Greek, Assyrian, Iranian, Albanian, Palestinian, and people from other communities that joined the crowd. The majority of marchers were certainly Armenian and they hailed from a wide cross section of groups and affiliations. Few things unify Armenians like disaster, something Armenians from all parts of the world sadly understand too well as we’re a global nation forged from tragedies, including genocide, revolution, war, and persecution. Thankfully we’ve been strengthened by our interconnectedness that has emerged from the generational struggle to not only survive but to thrive while being informed and educated by history.

I created a handy slideshow explainer about the conflict for those who may be confused as to what is going on. I hope it helps you understand the stakes for many of us.

I can’t impress on you how inspiring yesterday was. The energy was high and optimistic, even if everyone knew this was only the beginning.

I ran into people from most phases of my life throughout the afternoon, and even a few people from social media for the first time IRL. Almost everyone in attendance wore masks. It was a caring and powerful demonstration of solidarity and community care.

There’s also this online resource of relevant links for more info.

Images of young soldiers killed since the violence began on September 27.
Marchers traveled up the Avenue of the Americas towards Central Park
The world has been silent at the pain of Armenians, again.
Protesters pass through Columbus Circle
I felt this sign deeply.
There were moments when you got to watch people do their thing. It was a very emotional protest.
So many layers of Armenianness everywhere on display in a city that doesn’t have a recognizable Armenian neighborhood anymore. The vestiges of the last Armenian neighborhood are in Manhattan’s Murray Hill area, where three Armenian churches remain along with New York City’s St. Vartan Park across from the gold-domed St. Vartan’s cathedral on 35th Street and Second Avenue. People often don’t notice the park because it’s adjacent to the stress-inducing Midtown tunnel entrance.
I spotted this in the distance and had to seek it out to take a photo. Good concept for a sign.
The protest ended with speeches on Columbus Avenue and West 66th Street, where ABC studios is located.

2 responses to “Artsakh Protest in Manhattan”

  1. Raele Avatar

    Great post and great photos! Thank you for sharing this with the world. P.S. – I’m holding up the “we are mighty” sign in the last photo. ????

  2. […] Armenians see the new war as a continuation of the Armenian Genocide and are concerned at the lack of media coverage. Communities have taken to the streets to protest in cities around the world, blockading highways, demanding coverage in front of network television studios, and other actions — one of which I participated in this past weekend. […]

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