LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Hundreds of pro-Armenia protesters shut down Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood on Wednesday night as part of ongoing demonstrations calling for peace in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.
The hundreds of protesters, waving flags and chanting slogans, marched along Wilshire, prompting Los Angeles police to set up skirmish lines. There were no reports of any arrests.
This is the latest in a series of massive protests staged in support of Armenia over the past week as tensions escalate between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh — also known as Artsakh — a disputed territory controlled by ethnic Armenians but within the border of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has long expressed its intent to take control of the territory. There has been a reported surge in violence between the two sides which began about a week ago, but the standoff between the two nations has been ongoing since early this summer.
The L.A. metropolitan area has the largest population of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia.
Armenian protesters also blocked both sides of the 170 Freeway in North Hollywood Sunday night.
At a news conference Monday outside City Hall, several local political leaders — including Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff and alifornia Attorney General Xavier Becerra — denounced the violence that has been raging between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“We demand that our government in Washington engage immediately and aggressively to bring an end to this violence, and to hold the Azeri and Turkish governments fully accountable for these crimes,” said L.A. Councilman Paul Krekorian, who is of Armenian decent and said his children were “christened” in that country.
Krekorian introduced a resolution that was immediately passed by the City Council last week condemning the actions of the Azeri government.
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