Armenian groups protest Ottoman miltary marching band event

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Armenian organizations are denouncing a planned performance by an Ottoman military marching band in Hollywood.

The event planned for Oct. 3 on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and La Brea avenues has drawn widespread condemnation from Armenian groups, including the Armenian Youth Federation, which plans to protest the marching band.

Opponents to the march say the presence of the band, which represents the military glory of Turkey, is an affront to the largest Armenian population outside Armenia. Ottoman-Turks killed roughly 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the first modern-day genocide.

A statement released today by the Armenian National Committee of America said that for the parade to be historically accurate, "one would need to envision the band marching alongside the hundreds of thousands of Armenian women and children who perished in the Anatolian deserts at the hands of those Ottoman soldiers."

The organization went on to call the event "tantamount to hate speech and harassment."

Ottoman military marching bands -- which feature loud symbols, horns and shallow percussion -- are generally considered to be the oldest form of military marching band in the world.

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