SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is condemning an ongoing blockade that’s cut off power and food supply to hundreds of thousands of Armenians. The only road leading into Nagorno-Karabagh, also known as Artsakh, has been shut down by Azerbaijan.
More than 120,000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabagh have been cut off from the world by a blockade now going into its second month. People living in the region have been rationing what little food is left, with the exception of a few Red Cross visits.
Back here in the Bay Area, the Armenian community has been struggling with the news, and local lawmakers are calling for sanctions on Azerbaijan, which is behind the humanitarian crisis. San Francisco schoolteacher Sevana Panosian paid a visit to city hall to share her worries in a board supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
“I’m absolutely disturbed about the humanitarian blockade that is going on and am in constant contact with some of the teachers who are working with children under extremely dire circumstances,” she said.
Shortly after the public comments, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the blockade in Artsakh. Supervisor Myrna Melgar represents District Seven, where attacks on Armenians have happened here at home, including an arson at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church and a shooting at the Armenian KZV School.
“I know that the Armenian community is very anxious and worried about what is happening in Artsakh, and I want to make sure that we support them and we support human rights in Armenia in Artsakh and make sure that we lend our voice to support those who are fighting aggression,” she said.
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The Armenian National Committee of America expressed gratitude for the recognition of the struggle in Artsakh by the City of San Francisco.
“San Francisco making a move like this is important on its own,” said Aram Hamparian with the Armenian National Committee of America. “I think it’s important for the Armenians who live there and our allies but I think the true value is the aggregate. When you add the work being done in the Bay Area, the Central Valley, Southern California, Orange County, throughout the golden state and also across the country. So our cause has always been a bottom-up cause.”
Supervisor Melgar plans a visit to the KZV School Thursday where the students will be fundraising to help people in Artsakh.