Pro-Armenia protesters work with police following Wednesday’s assault arrest

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — A large group of demonstrators returned to north Fresno after three protesters were stabbed near Blackstone and Nees Wednesday.

“We can’t let this stop us. We need to have our voices heard,” said protester Grigor Oganesyan.

“We’re here today to show that we’re stronger than ever, that something like that’s not going to stop us from showing up. No matter what, we’re going to do what we got to do,” said protester Samvel Kazaryan.

The protest was meant to call attention to the violent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

After three cease-fires recently failed, they say they was the U.S. to do more to intervene.

“We need America by our side because a 3 million population is going up against a 90 million population, and we don’t want that second genocide to happen,” said protester Kristina Melikyan.

On Wednesday night, protesters parked their cars blocking the northbound lanes on Blackstone avenue, and a man stuck in the traffic got out of his car and confronted the group, tearing down their banner and injuring three men with a knife.

The suspect, 41-year-old Jaime Fonseca was later arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

41-year-old Jaime Fonseca

“Unfortunately, people did get hurt, and we wish things turned out better,” said Kazaryan.

For Thursday’s protest, the group stayed out of the street and coordinated with the Fresno Police Department for safety.

“We just want to make sure that everybody’s safe, ‘Defend Armenia’ demonstrators have the ability to protest safely or peacefully, and that the commuters get wherever they need to get,” said Fresno Police Lt. Israel Reyes.

The group said they’ll continue to protest once or twice a week, but they’re also planning bigger events and fundraisers.

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