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“The United States’ omission of the Armenian Genocide from its history books can only be based on strategic geo-political and financial interests in the Middle East.”
——System of a Down's Serj Tankian

SYSTEM'S DOWN WITH AWARENESS

Benefit Concert to Assist Efforts toward U.S. Recognition of Armenian Genocide; Band Calls on Bush to Keep Promise
American/Columbia act System of a Down has organized, and will headline, a benefit concert to aid anti-genocide organizations including the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), the band announced today.

The concert, dubbed “SOULS, 2004” will take place at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 24. Tickets, which have been priced at $45, go on sale March 12 through Ticketmaster.

ANCA is among some 100 organizations that have endorsed a campaign for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, which claimed the lives of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

System of a Down, whose members are all of Armenian descent, has also called on President George W. Bush to make good on a February 2000 campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The band says rather than support recognition as promised, the Bush administration has instead opposed resolutions before the House and Senate “solely on the grounds that [they] specifically reference” the genocide.

“The United States’ omission of the Armenian Genocide from its history books can only be based on strategic geo-political and financial interests in the Middle East,” says System vocalist Serj Tankian, who, along with band members Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan, has been active in this cause for years. We will not omit our mission to bring about exposure, education and recognition for events that we have been told to forget.”

Tankian notes that the Vatican, as well as the French, Italian, Swiss, Russian and Belgian governments are among those who have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. “It’s time for the United States to do the same. We are urgins Congress to pass House Resolution 193 and Senate Resolution 164, measures that would reinforce America’s commitment to prevent future genocides and crimes against humanity.”

Concert start time and opening acts will be announced shortly, the band says.

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