GLENDALE (CNS) - The discovery of anti-Armenian Flyers posted on light poles near St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale and in other areas of the city prompted a condemnation by city officials Friday.
Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian and other officials planned a Friday afternoon news conference at Glendale City Hall to discuss the discovery of the flyers, which contained language denying the Armenian Genocide and minimizing the suffering of the Armenian people.
"As mayor of Glendale, I'm very disturbed and upset that speech inciting violence against Armenians has visited our city by way of individuals vandalizing our city with hate-filled flyers," Kassakhian said in a statement. "Our police are taking this issue seriously and will be investigating this as a hate crime. I speak for our residents and our council when I say that Glendale is not a place for hate speech against Armenians or any other group."
The Armenian National Committee of America Glendale Chapter also denounced the flyers.
"We are extremely concerned by the dissemination of these appalling anti-Armenian flyers in Glendale calling for the continuation of the Armenian Genocide," ANCA Glendale Chapter Chair Lucy Petrosian said in a statement.
"We are currently working with the Glendale Police Department to ensure this act of hate is investigated, and the perpetrators are brought to justice. This is yet another tragic reminder of how the incitement and institutionalization of anti-Armenian hate by the Azerbaijani government has threatened Armenian lives not only in Artsakh and Armenia, but across the diaspora," Petrosian said.
"As we approach the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, these hate flyers are a stark reminder that we must remain vigilant against the forces of discrimination, hatred and genocide denial," Petrosian said. "Promoting the continuation of such atrocities is not only morally repugnant -- it also constitutes a direct threat to our community's safety and well- being."
The flyers, which were distributed in the heart of the Armenian- American community of Glendale, promoted the "completion of the Armenian Genocide," according to ANCA.
The incident comes months after similar flyers calling on Turkey and Azerbaijan to "wipe Armenia off the map" were distributed in Beverly Hills prior to a demonstration by the Armenian Youth Federation in protest of Azerbaijan's blockade of Artsakh, which has deprived the region's 120,000 Armenians of access to food, fuel, medicine and other vital supplies for more than 100 days, ANCA said.
"The Glendale Police Department and I stand with the entire Glendale community against all incidents of hate," Glendale police Chief Manuel Cid said in a statement. "We will use all the resources available to us to fully investigate any criminal acts associated with this incident while we work in collaboration with our community leaders moving forward."