Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Issue Of Community Activism

I've known a number of Armenian activists, from my bygone street activist days. What impressed me was the swift response time of their efforts to counter Turkey at every turn in regards to their Genocide recognition campaign. The major Armenian activist organization , is the Revolutionary Dashnak party, whose origins lie in late 19th Century Ottoman counter-revolutionary activities, its American arm is the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) They are one of the few activist organizations in the world, that can launch a street demonstration within days , around the world--in cities as diverse as Los Angeles, Paris, Tehran and Athens. The only other political manifestation I can think of that can do that is the communist party. Not that the Dashnaks are so far removed, after all they were, are(?) ,part of the comintern. And they keep the long tradition , of that so effective technique of cells , executive committees and coalition building.

Their great foe in the US, is the Turkish lobby , centrally controlled by the Turkish embassy -- with American Turkish Council (ATC) and the deep pockets of the energy ,defense and Jewish lobby --in the lead. Various groups attached to the ATC influence public history exhibitions, think-tanks , charities and many other black-tie affairs of the real decision makers in American society. The latest showdown between the Armenian lobby and the Turkish juggernaut was in Detroit, Michigan.

Were is our community activism? Greeks in America, in stark contrast, would have difficulty organizing a spoon and egg race.


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