System of Down Steps Up Armenian Genocide Awareness Campaign

Calls on Fans to Urge Pres. Bush to Properly Commemorate Armenian Genocide;Begins Charity Auction to Benefit ANCA Armenian Genocide Recognition Efforts

May 1, 2001

WASHINGTON, DC — Popular Los Angeles based metal band, System of A Down issued their latest call for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide last week, asking fans to contact President Bush and urge him to properly characterize the Armenian Genocide as “genocide” in presidential statements, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a statement issued on April 23rd, System of a Down lead vocalist Serj Tankian explained that “The constant, ridiculous denial of the Armenian Genocide by not only Turkey but by consecutive U.S. administrations made me aware of the world of disinformation and injustices around the globe. The Armenian Genocide was the first major genocide of the 20th century, and many people believe that had the Ottoman Turkish been punished for their crime of genocide after WWI, that Hitler would not have ventured his own.” Referring to statements by then presidential candidate George W. Bush discussing the “genocidal campaign” against the Armenian people, Tankian urged fans to “help him [Pres. Bush] stick to yet another promise.”

Tankian’s calls for action on the Armenian Genocide are nothing new for System of a Down followers. Band members — bassist Shavo Odadjian, vocalist Serj Tankian, guitarist Daron Malakian, and drummer John Dolmayan — have been outspoken in Armenian Genocide recognition efforts, educating audiences about the first genocide of the 20th century through their music (their song – P.L.U.C.K. – focuses specifically on this crime against humanity) and their website, which has featured a number of ANCA action items. In November of 2000, the rock band organized a benefit concert, dubbed “Souls: A Benefit for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide to Stop Crimes Against Humanity,” which drew a capacity crowd of over 1,300 and raised $20,000 for ANCA efforts to gain Congressional passage of a resolution properly acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.

Internet Charity Auction to Benefit Genocide Recognition Efforts
As a follow up to their November, 2000 fundraising success, band members are collaborating with, donating a series of musical instruments, props and posters used during their widely successful musical tour with Metallica and their appearance at Ozzfest. Beginning on April 30th, several different items will be offered for auction on the internet at two week intervals, starting with a System of a Down-signed Drumhead — a Remo Weatherking Emperor clear drumhead, signed in black marker by Serj Tankian, Shavo Odadjian, and John Dolmayan. Other band paraphenalia to be auctioned includes a signed cymbal, posters, laminates, a letterman jacket and faux cherry blossom trees (used as backdrops during Ozzfest 1999).

“System of a Down continues to educate countless thousands about the Armenian Genocide, reaching out through their concerts, television appearances, interviews, website, and now this on-line auction, to new audiences – both inside the Armenian community and within their growing base of fans around the world,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Serj and the entire band deserve a tremendous amount of credit for all they have done to educate a new generation about the Armenian Cause.”

Those interested in participating in the System of a Down charity auction benefiting the ANCA should visit ,[retired] or the band’s website, All bidding will be done via System’s website and all bids will be posted there daily.

The internet charity auction is run by, a charity venture dedicated to raising funds and awareness of non-profit organizations, through innovative celebrity based internet auctions. All proceeds from the auctions go directly to the celebrity’s charity of choice, in this case the ANCA. Since their launch last July, has raised over $350,000 for a myriad of charitable organizations.


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 *
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