BRENTWOOD一On Tuesday, July 22, small fist-fights broke out in Brentwood during a demonstration led by Armenian activists that took place near the Azerbaijan Consulate General, leaving one officer injured.

The Los Angeles Police Department formed a scrimmage line to separate the Armenian demonstrators and the Azerbaijan counter-protesters. Though peaceful for the majority of the demonstration, fist-fights soon broke out and left an officer injured trying to break them up. According to the LAPD, the officer suffered a laceration and was taken to the hospital for treatment. One suspect was arrested for the possible assault on an officer.

The Armenian National Committee of AmericaーWestern Region (ANCAーWR) had a gathering Tuesday afternoon of at least 3,000. Los Angeles has the largest Armenian community in the world aside from Armenia. 

Demonstrator organizer, Alex Galitsky, from ANCA-WR had this to say during Tuesday’s protest: 

“The Armenian people are fighting for their right to self-determination.” He added that the border fighting is “a blatant act of aggression and an act of war.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti posted on Twitter saying: 

“We stand with the Armenian community against violence. Azerbaijan must end its provocative and dangerous threats to strike Armenia’s civilian nuclear power plant, and must admit international monitors. Dialogue and diplomacy are the only paths to peace and safety for the region.”

Earlier this month on July 12, the Nagorno-Karabakh border conflict arose between the countries of Armenia and Azerbaijan. This conflict is both territorial and ethnic for the two countries and has been an issue since 1988.

Karabakh Armenians demanded that the Karabakh, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, be transferred from Soviet Azerbaijan to Soviet Armenia. It turned into a full scale war in the early 90s, with Armenia controlling the territory in 1993 and a cease-fire following in 1994. Violations of the cease-fire first came back in 2016, labeled as the “Four Day War” which resulted in thousands of casualties on both sides.