Rogue Group of Armenians Create Havoc

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Over a dozen semi trucks blaring airhorns closed traffic along Olive Avenue. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Tensions rose yesterday as protesters took over the streets of Burbank, leading to significant traffic disruptions and police scrambling to restore order. Olive Ave in Downtown Burbank witnessed a chaotic scene with demonstrators driving across all lanes, disregarding traffic laws, and with multiple individuals dangerously riding on moving trucks, a clear violation of safety regulations and the law.

Burbank police faced a challenging situation, with some officers even being forced to navigate their vehicles on sidewalks to manage and control the swelling crowd. While the nature of the protest was initially a peaceful Rally For Life, it later emerged that the demonstrators were pressing Congressman Adam Schiff of Burbank to take active measures in the ongoing crisis in Artsakh.

Insiders have clarified that the protesters are calling on Schiff for his support in reopening the Lachin corridor, a critical route for Artsakh. They also want him to address what they describe as the ongoing genocide of Artsakh Armenians by Azerbaijan. One person told us that protesters had been stationed at Schiff’s Downtown Burbank office 24/7 for days, and people were caught off-guard by the sudden escalation taking over Burbank streets.

After causing traffic commotions in Burbank, the demonstrators moved towards the southbound lanes of the I-5 Freeway, halting traffic at Western. The protest did not stop there, as they continued on to the Central offramp, where they brought the freeway to a complete standstill for hours, blocking it with a semi-truck. The situation eventually saw the California Highway Patrol (CHP) intervening and beginning to tow away vehicles to clear the blockade.

The escalating situation in Artsakh and Armenia has deeply resonated with the Armenian diaspora worldwide, especially in cities like Burbank, home to a significant Armenian community. The alleged human rights abuses and atrocities committed against the Artsakh Armenians have only added fuel to the growing concern and unrest.

Congressman Schiff, known for his previous support of Armenian causes, is yet to issue a response to the protesters’ demands. With the Artsakh situation continuing to unfold and fears of potential genocide looming, international leaders and communities are facing increasing pressure to intervene and seek a peaceful resolution.

While many people in Burbank supported the cause, many were not happy with their actions and with little messaging about their cause.