Grammy-winning multi-platinum singer/songwriter Serj Tankian has teamed with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) in calling on President Obama to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and to take decisive action to end the genocide in Darfur, with the September 9 launch of the "Yes, It's Genocide" campaign.
The effort, named in honor of the song of the same name to be released on September 21 on Tankian's "Imperfect Harmonies" album, encourages Tankian fans and anti-genocide activists to visit www.anca.org/yesitsgenocide and send a free ANCA Webmail to President Obama to take immediate action.
"We are honored to team up with Serj and the AYF once again to expand Armenian Genocide education and anti-genocide activism through this innovative 'Yes, It's Genocide' campaign," stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "No doubt, President Obama's actions to date on the Armenian and Darfur Genocides have fallen far short of his own commitments and, more importantly, of the core American values that should guide our nation's policies. Together, through continued vigilance, increased outreach and broad grassroots activism, we must, as citizens, create the political will necessary to compel our government to deal truthfully and justly with all genocides."
AYF Western U.S. Chairman Arek Santikian concurred, stating, "As activists and concerned citizens, it is our duty to struggle against crimes against humanity at every turn. Serj's recording of this powerful new song provides us with yet another opportunity to raise awareness and inspire the youth to take action. We commend his long track-record of standing up for social justice and look forward to this opportunity to work together."
In conjunction with the "Yes, It's Genocide" action campaign, the AYF has launched a video contest, calling on youth across the United States to submit their video explaining why it is vital to speak honestly about the Armenian Genocide and take action to end the cycle of genocide. The top video submissions will be featured on the Serjical Strike, ANCA and AYF web sites, with the winners receiving free tickets to an upcoming Tankian concert and the opportunity to meet Tankian back stage. Contest details and submission information are posted at www.ayfwest.org/yesitsgenocide.
"Imperfect Harmonies"' eighth track, "Yes, It's Genocide", is a moving tribute to the victims of genocide, with its haunting music and Armenian lyrics inspired by the fear, terror, life and ultimate death of 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and a century of genocides to follow. Portions of the melody were first featured in Tankian's 2009 video entreaty to President Obama titled "As President I Will Recognize The Armenian Genocide", which included remarks by fellow artists and anti-genocide activists Tom Morello, Boots Riley and Congressional Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA). The video, which has over 237,000 views, was launched during the ANCA's "Fierce Urgency of Now" campaign in the weeks leading up to April 24, the international day of recognition of the Armenian Genocide.