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Armenian Group Protests Suit Over Demonstration

A Los Angeles-based chapter of an Armenian group on Wednesday criticized the filing of a lawsuit against the group over its protest of a Soviet dance ensemble performance.

The Armenian National Committee said the lawsuit filed by The Southern California Theater Assn., which seeks $100,000 in damages stemming from the protest, threatens the group’s constitutional rights to free speech.

The ANC has received support from several other civil rights and ethnic groups in fighting the lawsuit stemming from a Nov. 2, 1989, demonstration at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, where the Alexandrov Soviet Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble was performing.

The suit says the demonstration--involving 4,000 protesters--caused the association to lose money. The ANC contends it was a peaceful show of opposition to Soviet policies in Armenia.

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