Home / World / Pro-Armenian protesters blocked Hollywood traffic, calling for support in the conflict with Azerbaijan

Pro-Armenian protesters blocked Hollywood traffic, calling for support in the conflict with Azerbaijan



Protesters blocked a highway in California to draw attention to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, according to reports.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles on Saturday, waving Armenian flags and displaying signs asking the media to pay attention to the conflict between neighboring nations, the LA Times reported.

Highway traffic slowed in both directions around 9:30 p.m., California Highway Patrol agent Don Conley said. At 10:15 pm, the demonstrators had forced the closure of the highway.

Traffic started moving again after 11pm.

The Armenian Youth Federation had organized an earlier protest that day, having already organized one outside the Azerbaijani consulate that drew more than 1

,000 people, CBS in Los Angeles reported.

A confrontation on September 27 led Armenia to institute martial law and Azerbaijan to declare a state of war. Each nation has deployed troops in the hotly contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, with intense fighting “along the entire front line,” according to Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Shushan Stepanian.

Protesters take part in a demonstration in support of Armenia, in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Heavy fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan continued on Saturday in their conflict on the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, while the 'Azerbaijan The president has criticized international mediators who have been trying to resolve the dispute for decades. (AP Photo / Giannis Papanikos)

Protesters take part in a demonstration in support of Armenia, in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Heavy fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan continued on Saturday in their conflict on the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, while the ‘Azerbaijan The president criticized international mediators who have been trying to resolve the dispute for decades. (AP Photo / Giannis Papanikos)

Each side accused the other of attacking civilians in perhaps the most violent confrontation since the 1994 ceasefire between nations. Protests have erupted in several countries, demanding attention to the conflict before it becomes more serious.

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Some observers fear that the regional confrontation could escalate into a proxy war between Russia and Turkey – and even Iran – if other nations do not act.

“They are attacking innocent civilian villages. They are attacking the homes of innocent people,” Eva Arakelyan, a protester, told NBC Los Angeles.

A view of a residential area and cars allegedly damaged by bombing during a military conflict in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Stepanakert, Azerbaijan, Saturday 3 October 2020. The fighting is the largest escalation in recent years in the decade-long dispute. on the region, which is inside Azerbaijan but is controlled by the Armenian forces of local ethnicity supported by Armenia. (David Ghahramanyan / NKR InfoCenter PAN Photo via AP)

A view of a residential area and cars allegedly damaged by bombing during a military conflict in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Stepanakert, Azerbaijan, Saturday 3 October 2020. The fighting is the largest escalation in recent years in the decade-long dispute. on the region, which is located within Azerbaijan but is controlled by the Armenian forces of local ethnicity supported by Armenia. (David Ghahramanyan / NKR InfoCenter PAN Photo via AP)

“They are trying to wipe out an entire race and the world is watching, how not to be emotional about it?” Asked Mariam Khachatryan, another protester.

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Armenia has repeatedly claimed in the past week that Turkey has sent Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan and that the Turkish army is aiding Azerbaijan in the conflict.

In this footage taken from the video released on Saturday 3 October 2020 by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense, Azerbaijani soldiers applaud during a meeting with officers during the fighting with the forces of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Azerbaijan. On Saturday, Armenia and Azerbaijan declared that heavy fighting continues in their conflict on the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The president of Azerbaijan has criticized international mediators who have been trying to resolve the dispute for decades. (Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan via AP)

In this footage taken from the video released by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense on Saturday 3 October 2020, Azerbaijani soldiers applaud in a meeting with officers during the fighting with the forces of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Azerbaijan. On Saturday, Armenia and Azerbaijan declared that heavy fighting continues in their conflict on the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The president of Azerbaijan has criticized international mediators who have been trying to resolve the dispute for decades. (Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan via AP)

“Turkey and Azerbaijan are pursuing objectives that are not only political-military,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said in a speech to his nation on Saturday. “Their target is Armenia, their target is the continuation of the Armenian genocide”.

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Azerbaijan replied on the charge that thousands of Armenians from abroad would be deployed or recruited to fight for Armenia.

“Armenia and the Armenian disapora organizations bear international legal responsibility for organizing these terrorist activities,” said a statement from the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

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The Los Angeles metropolitan area has the largest population of Armenians outside of Armenia itself.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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