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Watertown's Armenians help rescind town's "No Place for Hate" status over genocide dispute

Posted by Ralph Ranalli August 15, 2007 01:58 PM

WATERTOWN

Under pressure from its Armenian residents, the Town Council in Watertown voted last night to rescind its participation in the No Place for Hate program.

Globe West correspondent Christine Pazanese reported today that the council's 8-to-0 vote (one councilor was absent) was a response to objections by Armenian Americans who say the Anti-Defamation League, one of the program's sponsors, refuses to acknowledge what many consider a genocide committed against Armenians by the Turks from 1915 to 1917.

"We cannot join with the ADL when they refuse to acknowledge the [Armenian] genocide," said Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney, who introduced the proclamation to withdraw from the program.

Watertown, with one of the largest populations of Armenians in the country, was one of 67 communities in Massachusetts to adopt the program. It joined No Place for Hate in July 2005 and reaffirmed its participation in June.

Andrew Tarsy, regional director of ADL's New England office, last night condemned as "distortions and rhetoric" suggestions that the ADL has denied a genocide occurred and has been working against congressional legislation to formally acknowledge the slaughter.

Read more about the Armenian genocide controversy in the online edition of today's Globe.

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