California Legislature declares 24 April as Genocide Remembrance Day

CALIFORNIA, U.S. — The California State Legislature has passed a bill proposed by State Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian declaring 24 April as “Genocide Remembrance Day” 

The legislation stipulates that all community colleges and public institutions in California must close on April 24 each year. The time off will be paid for state employees.

The text of the bill explains:

“The Legislature finds and declares that Genocide Remembrance Day would be a day for all to reflect on past and present genocides, but especially those that have felt the impact of these atrocities and groups that have found refuge in California, including, but not limited to, the Holocaust, Holodomor, and the Genocides of the Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Cambodian, and Rwandan communities. Genocide Remembrance Day would be observed annually on April 24, also known as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, during the week the state of California traditionally recognizes Genocide Awareness Week.”

The European Syriac Union (ESU) issued a letter welcoming the decision taken by California to include recognize of the 1915 Sayfo Genocide in the bill and thanks those who worked tireless on the bills unanimous passage.

The bill is likely to be signed into law by Governor of California Gavin Newsom, who has until 30 September to sign or veto the bill.

In 2018, California officially recognized the Sayfo Genocide. At the time, it condemned Turkey’s insistence on denying the 1915 Genocide.