ARF-Dashnaktsutyun hosts “Armenians and the Left” conference

NEW YORK–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun concluded a weekend-long conference entitled Armenians and the Left on April 9th, when featured
speakers Robert Fisk and Noam Chomsky spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in front of a crowd of 750 about War, Geopolitics and History: Conflict in the Middle East. During his lecture, Fisk explained why the Armenian Genocide must be known in order to understand how the region has been condemned since World War I to foreign intervention, chronic war and mass slaughter.

The conference began on April 7 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, where over 1,000 people attended a lecture by Fisk about the Middle East and US journalism. The crowd featured many out-of-town guests, including twenty members of the Armenian Youth Federation of Canada as well as travelers from
Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and Los Angeles.

The conference’s main events took place on Saturday, April 8, when twenty activists, scholars, and opinion makers gave presentations at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan. Presentations took place in six panels on a variety of critical topics, including human rights in the Caucasus, women and political power, globalization and imperialism, Armeno-Turkish dialogue, Armenian political identity, and reparations for mass crimes against humanity. The day ended with Robert Fisk and David Barsamian holding a conversation in front of all conference attendees about `War, Propaganda and the Media.’

Fisk also promoted his most recent book, The Great War for Civilization, in which he dedicates an entire chapter to the Armenian Genocide, which he described as `The First Holocaust.’ In his column last weekend for The Independent, Fisk took up the case of John Evans, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, who is being forced to retire over his affirmation of the Armenian Genocide during a speech he gave last year in San Francisco. After rebuking the Bush Administration for its imminent dismissal of Evans, Fisk announced his plans to travel to Van and other areas of Western Armenia to promote the Turkish language edition of his book.