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We, the Zoravik Armenian Activist Collective, express our deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd and demand justice for his murder.
We are horrified by the incessant human rights violations committed against Black people in the United States at the hands of various police departments. It is outrageous that after seven years of sustained national attention generated by the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been no fundamental change to address the decades of excessive and deadly police violence against Black people.
We support the overwhelmingly peaceful protests and protesters in the collective struggle for justice for Black Lives. We hope for peace and do not condone violence. We also recognize that much of the anger expressed by protesters is a reaction to systemic governmental violence that has been practiced for decades and even centuries with impunity. The violence perpetrated by police against Black civilians should be the focus of the media and the judiciary. This is the cause of the present unrest, not the protests by Black people and allies against injustice.
As Armenians, we are particularly sensitive to victim-blaming. Similar to Jews in death camps, unarmed Tutsis sheltered in churches, women and girls raped in camps in Bosnia, and Armenians attempting to escape from the 1915 genocide – Black Americans today are being blamed for violence that is being perpetrated against them.
We call for a cessation of violent force against peaceful protesters. This reaction merely extends the same excessive force used against George Floyd, rather than defusing the situations and preventing violence, which is supposed to be the goal of law enforcement officers.
We demand an end to unlawful killings of Black individuals at the hands of police. We call for legal accountability for the actions of law enforcement.
As progressive Armenians, we stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Zoravik - Armenian Activist Collective
June 1, 2020