Hundreds of demonstrators stopped one side of the 134 Freeway in Glendale on Wednesday night to draw attention to the Artsakh crisis. They used a large tractor to block down the eastbound side of the motorway between Central and Brand avenues. Protesters then gathered on motorway lanes and unfurled posters urging Rep. Adam Schiff’s support.
Protesters have also shown up at Schiff’s district office in recent days, urging the Democratic congressman to do more to support their cause. Artsakh is a landlocked republic with a strong Armenian population that has been at odds with Armenia and Azerbaijan for decades. Azerbaijan began blocking the Lachin corridor, which is the only overland connection to Armenia, in December.
TRAFFIC ALERT: A group of big-rig drivers protesting high gas prices are blocking lanes of the southbound 5 freeway, near the 134 freeway, in Glendale. pic.twitter.com/u49Gnf5Fc9
— KCAL News (@kcalnews) April 22, 2022
Schiff has indicated support for lifting the blockage, but some Armenian demonstrators believe he has done insufficient for the cause. One lane sign read, “Adam Schiff, don’t ignore us,” while another urged, “Open the road of life.”
Schiff has already issued statements decrying the blockage and urging the Biden Administration to intervene. He also wrote a House resolution recognizing Artsakh’s statehood and criticizing Azerbaijan’s actions. He published a fresh statement on Wednesday, which read:
“I stand with the people of Armenia, Artsakh, and the Armenian-American community – not only my constituents but those around the world. I hear and see your pain over the inhumane situation your brothers and sisters are facing.
From condemning ceasefire violations, to advocating for the release of Armenian prisoners of war, to calling for sanctions and accountability for Azerbaijan, I’ve always been, and will continue to be, steadfast in my commitment to ensuring the protection of fundamental rights for the people of Artsakh.”
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I am in communication with the Biden Administration, the State Department, and my Congressional colleagues and am advocating for using all tools at our disposal, including pushing for U.S. humanitarian aid to Artsakh, cutting off military and other assistance to Azerbaijan, and imposing sanctions on those responsible for this crisis.
I will be with you every step of the way and will always stand with the people of Armenia and Artsakh.”