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Scuffles Break Out at Heated Town Hall

Trump supporters heckle Rep. Adam Schiff in Glendale, Calif.
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2019 5:20 PM CST
A screenshot from a video of the town hall in Glendale, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – An event honoring recognition of the Armenian Genocide got ugly Saturday when pro-Trump protesters clashed with Armenian Americans, the Desert Sun reports. Things turned when Rep. Adam Schiff—a key player in House Democrats' attempt to impeach President Trump—began speaking at the Glendale, Calif., town hall about the long road in Congress to recognizing the 1915 genocide. Protesters held up "Don't impeach" signs, booed and heckled him, and reacted vehemently when told the event was meant to honor 1.5 million Armenians who died under the Ottoman Empire. "Liar! Liar!" protesters chanted, prompting a counter-chant of "Leave! Leave!" and locals singing the Armenian national anthem.

Soon scuffles broke out, police stepped in, and order was restored in about 15 minutes without any reported injuries, the LA Times reports. Miraculously, the event went on. Schiff, who appeared calm behind bodyguards and police, later said that "unfortunately, some came to the event with the intent to disrupt, but the Armenian community has had to overcome far greater challenges along the road to recognition than to be deterred by a few angry voices." A House bill introduced by Schiff to recognize the genocide passed in October, followed by parallel legislation approved by the Senate on Thursday. Turkey slammed the unanimous Senate vote Saturday and called it a "political show" that's "not legally binding," NBC News reports. (Read more Armenian genocide stories.)

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