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'Small Scuffles' Break Out At Armenian Demonstration In Brentwood

BRENTWOOD (CBSLA) — A number of skirmishes broke out and one officer was injured during a large demonstration staged by an Armenian group near the Azerbaijan Consulate General in Brentwood on Tuesday.

The demonstration, organized by the Armenian National Committee of America — Western Region, started at about 2 p.m. in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard in protest of alleged "unprovoked Azerbaijani belligerence," toward Armenia in their shared border region around Armenia's northern province of Tavush, which began July 12.

Demonstration organizer Alex Galitsky of the ANCA—WR told City News Service that he was not aware of any injuries, but said there had been "small scuffles breaking out." He estimated the crowd at about 3,000 — noting that L.A. has the largest Armenian community in the world outside of Armenia.

"The Armenian people are fighting for their right to self-determination," Galinsky said, calling the border fighting "a blatant act of aggression and an act of war" while the world was preoccupied with COVID-19.

Los Angeles Police Department officers set up a scrimmage line at one point to keep demonstrators out of the streets and force distance between Armenian protesters and Azerbaijani counter-protesters.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, an officer suffered a laceration and was taken to a hospital for treatment. LAPD said one person was arrested on suspicion of assault on a police officer.

On Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted in support of Los Angeles' Armenian community, calling Azerbaijan's threats against Armenia "provocative and dangerous."

On July 16, Azerbaijan Minister of Foreign Affairs said that "the only cause of tension in the region is Armenia," and that the country was violating the "fundamental rights and freedoms of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis."

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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