Grassroots Letter-Writing Campaign Represents Part of Broad-Based National Effort to Secure House Floor Vote

October 20, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC – Just weeks after the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) launched its most recent WebFax campaign to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, over 10,000 activists have sent letters urging the Speaker to schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide resolution.

These WebFaxes, which continue to be sent through the ANCA’s website (www.anca.org) on a daily basis, are in addition to the thousands of signatures that have been collected on individual letters to the Speaker in recent weeks at ANCA booths set up at System of a Down concerts around the country. Letters have been sent by activists in all 50 states.

“The strong grassroots response – through our website, at System of a Down concerts, and via the outreach of our network of local chapters – has been tremendously encouraging,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We have been particularly gratified by the growing number of non-Armenians – many educated on this issue for the first time by System of a Down – who are energetically working toward official U.S. commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.”

The WebFaxes are part of a multi-pronged campaign encouraging the Speaker to schedule a full floor vote on legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Two such resolutions were overwhelming adopted by the House International Relations Committee on September 15th. In the month since their adoption, ANCA chapters have been working with House Members, the media, and coalition partners in appealing to Speaker Hastert to allow the U.S. House to have an opportunity to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide. Support for both Armenian Genocide resolutions (H.Res.316 and H.Con.Res.195) continues to grow, with a total, as of today, of over 170 House members who have cosponsored at least one of the measures.

The campaign calling on Hastert to schedule a vote received nationwide coverage last month, when multi-platinum rock band System of Down teamed up with the ANCA, Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) and Axis of Justice to organize a rally in front of the Speaker’s Batavia, Illinois office. Over 200 attended the rally, which included remarks by System members Serge Tankian and John Dolmayan as well as ANCA Chicago chapter Chairman Greg Bedian. The rally was covered by Chicago area ABC, FOX and WB affiliates as well as print and online publications around the country including the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and MTV.

To watch a two minute video of the Batavia IL rally, visit www.theforgotten.org/soad

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email.anca@anca.org
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