Yerkir.am news website belonging to Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dashnaktsutyun published an article titled “ARF and Pashinyan: Comparatison between Diaspora Rallies”, which compares the event organized by ARF Dashnaktsutyun in Beirut on September 29 and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s rally in Los Angeles on September 22.
Thus, the article claims that 8,000 Lebanese Armenians participated in the event organized by the ARF in Beirut, while the Armenian community of Beirut is 30,000. That is, 27% of Beirut’s Armenian population participated in the festival. These figures in the article are compared to Pashinyan’s rally in Los Angeles. The author claims that 1,000,000 Armenians live in California, with 10,000 (i.e. 1%) American Armenians attending Pashinyan’s rally. 0
Number of Armenian population in California
Fip.am has already referred to the number of Armenians living in California and has revealed that the figure 1,000,000 is just taken out of nowhere, and according to official data, there are 270,022 Armenians living in the state, of which 201,814 are in the Los Angeles area. Even according to the data of Armenian organizations, the number of Armenians in California does not exceed 700,000, and according to the Armenian Consulate in Los Angeles, 500,000 Armenians reside in the US state. The most reliable of these, however, are the official numbers.
It is also unclear why the entire Armenian population of California is being counted because the gathering was in Los Angeles, with California being the third largest state in the United States, and it is difficult to imagine why Armenians from San Francisco should attend, rather than From Las Vegas, Nevada, closer to Los Angeles than San Francisco, California. Thus, if we take the Armenian population of the Los Angeles area at 200,000, then the 10,000 people attending the Pashinyan rally are about 5% of the Armenian population of Los Angeles.
Armenians in Lebanon
As for the Armenian community in Lebanon, there is no official data as the last census in Lebanon was held decades ago. According to various estimates, the number of Armenians in Lebanon is approximately 53,000-80,000. That is, even the lowest estimate is 53,000. The overwhelming majority of Lebanese Armenians live in Beirut and its suburbs (Antelias, for example), and a small number of Armenians live in other parts of Lebanon, particularly in the village of Anjar. Moreover, Lebanon is smaller in size than the Los Angeles area.
ARF in Lebanon and resources of RA authorities in California
The author also claims that the Armenian authorities “invested all resources” in organizing the rally in Los Angeles on September 22, while the Beirut rally “was initiated by the ARF Lebanese Public Relations Authority.”
It should also be borne in mind that the ARF Dashnaktsutyun has strong foundations in Lebanon and is an established social and political institute. It is represented in the Lebanese parliament. The ARF has three deputies in Lebanon in the Lebanese Parliament, and is part of the ruling coalition.
However, the only “lever” for the Armenian authorities in Los Angeles is the Consulate with a few employees.
Thus, manipulative figures are presented in the article published by yerkir.am with an aim to show that the ARF was alegedly more successful in Beirut than Pashinyan’s rally in Los Angeles.