Charjoum Manifesto

An independent movement

Charjoum is a movement created by Diaspora-Armenian militants driven by the will to defend the rights of Armenians with a freedom of expression and action, as well as an independence vis-a-vis the political parties. Charjoum wants to focus on the struggle of the Armenians, without dealing with interests outside its cause. This independence and the various ages of the militants who formed it, therefore prohibit this grouping from presenting itself as a youth movement. Charjoum does not wish to be considered a youth group as it will be responsible for its words and its actions, without be refereed or supervised by elders or superiors.

Charjoum is a movement based on the will to defend ideas. It is neither an association nor a political party. Based on the observation that the cult of the egos and the power struggles within organizations are among the causes of division and hindrances to action, the Charjoum movement does not want a leader or a president at its head. The action of the movement will be determined by the concertation of the militants and not by the balance of power.

A movement promoting the fight for Armenian emancipation

Charjoum is a movement that aims to promote the struggles toward Armenian emancipation. It considers the struggle of the Armenians as a global struggle, through the principles of justice, dignity, equality and freedom. Charjoum supports the struggle of the Armenian people against those who want to destroy it by arms or by attacking its culture. The enemies of the Armenian people are those of all peoples. But these enemies cannot compel us to enclose our thoughts, only to build them through the threats they impose upon us. The struggle of the Armenian people is not only the struggle for its survival, it is also a cultural, political and social struggle; Armenia, Turkey and all other countries of the diaspora.

Charjoum wants to promote the memory and present of a resistant, combative Armenian people, a free people who defend their collective project choices, which must be reinvented every day. Charjoum is on the side of those who refuse to conceive themselves only through the gaze of their executioners and does not recognize itself in the image of a people who would be condemned to always be a victim. The criminal enterprise of the Turkish state has failed to transform us into permanent victims, we are standing and we will continue to build our future, as we have always done.

A movement for justice

On the question of the Armenian Genocide, Charjoum demands justice. It therefore positions itself for a process of full reparation of the crime and its effects, the responsibility of which rests mainly with the Turkish state, but also with the state and private entities that have collaborated with the genocide or benefited from the genocide in some way. Reparation cannot be confined to a conception based solely on existing international law, but must be guided by its founding philosophical principles. Thus, compensation for the damages suffered by the Armenian people can not only be symbolic, but must also include the restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, shedding light on the crimes and consequent actions taken by successive Turkish governments. It must publicly disclose in a transparent way the truth about the genocide and anti-Armenian hate policy, and finally, put in place safeguards so that the crimes of the past cannot happen again. Only justice will build a just and lasting peace.

All attempts to divert Armenians or public opinion from the demands for reparation of the genocide and its effects by a strictly memorial, tearful or condescending speech will be denounced and opposed by Charjoum.

But justice, so much desired by the Armenian people, would be too imperfect if it concerned only our relationship with the Turkish State. The Armenian people have suffered too much from the injustices of the empires and the states that have dominated it. Armenia can not be the country of the Armenians if it is not a land of justice and a rule of law. Charjoum is therefore in solidarity with those who advocate for social justice in Armenia, justice in relations between the citizens of the Republic of Armenia and their public authorities, justice for women, justice for workers, LGBT rights, and the supporters of a sustainable and united economy, for the weakest, the poorest and the most discriminated.

A movement for equality and an inclusive national project

Charjoum is in favor of an Armenian national project that would be inclusive and tolerant. The movement is therefore in solidarity with those who campaign for a more egalitarian Armenian society. Armenia today and tomorrow should be built with all Armenians regardless of birth social class, opportunities, income, sexual orientation, beliefs, opinions or beliefs, or even their life choices.

Consequently, Charjoum will be on the side of those who struggle in Armenia and the Diaspora, in favor of equality between men and women and against the physical and moral violence of the patriarchal system. More generally, those who try to sort out or prioritize groups of Armenians endanger any collective project by the divisions they create or persist. The Armenian people do not need to look for enemies within their minorities, when their oppressors are already so numerous.

A movement for the freedom of the Armenian people

The freedom of the Armenian people depends, in part, on the independence of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The latter being intended to be, of course, an integral part of an Armenia which has been unceasingly broken up by the great powers.

The independence of Armenia is far from being real today. Firstly, because the whole country is the victim of a blockade and is threatened militarily by the Azerbaijani and Turkish states which have not broken with hatred against the Armenians, the hatred that was the genesis of their state-building. As long as the Pantorquist-type designs flourish and the injustice of the genocide and its consequences persist, Armenia will be threatened.

The emancipation of the Armenian people must also be thought against the domination of the strongest states in the world, as regional powers, but also against the regime of domination imposed by the country’s oligarchs and the capitalist financial system. Ultimately, this system is likely to be Armenia’s main predator.

The Armenian people and Armenia must have allies, but must refuse the tutelage of masters. There can be no independence if it rests only on a system of subordination. But our vision of the struggle for justice and freedom is global, in that the liberation of peoples is as important as the liberation of individuals. Similarly, certain aspects of emancipation cannot annihilate others.

A movement for the solidarity of struggles

Charjoum aims to establish links and echo the Armenians who struggle for their rights. The solidarity of the struggles for emancipation among the Armenian people is the necessary condition for the emergence of a better world for the Armenians. Those who seek the salvation of the Armenian people only through the goodwill of the imperialist states are mistaken. No one but the Armenians themselves will defend the interests of the Armenian people effectively and sustainably. It is within it that our people will find their greatest strength and build true solidarity between Armenia and the Diaspora. This solidarity must be economic, of course, but it must also take shape in struggles. If the diaspora is indifferent to the aspirations that germinate in Armenia, then the very existence of the Armenian state will be threatened.

Because Charjoum is a movement born in the diaspora, his conception of the struggle can not be exclusively centered on the Armenian struggles. Charjoum thus feels concerned by all the struggles for emancipation, that of peoples, discriminated groups and all those who fight against forms of domination, be they cultural, social, political, military, religious and many others again. Against the systems of oppression built by autocratic, oligarchic, capitalist or imperialist entities, emancipation is won by the convergence of struggles.

The manifesto of Charjoum serves as a basis for its action but can evolve with time, reflection and militant encounters.