COMMUNITY VOICES | Minnesota Oromo demonstration against killing in Ethiopia

In the bracing chilly winds Friday morning May 9, 2014, the Oromo community of Minnesota began their 3-day demonstration, hunger strike and 24 hour vigil, seeking to end the killing of innocent people who are oppressed by the Ethopian regime, Tigrayan People's Liberation Front.

"We are together here to voice our opinion against the killing of the students back home in Ethiopia," said Lalistu Woyesa, a young mother, who along with her children, husband and family, came to show support.  "There are teachers, families, and students who are imprisoned unjustly.  We are showing up here to encourage democratic political change."

At least three Ethiopian regions were represented on the steps of the Minnesota State Capital at the demonstration: Gambella, Ogaden and Oromia.  The approximately 250 people gathered in the early morning, were led in multi-denomination prayer. More demonstrators continued to arrive into the afternoon.

Mr. Merga, an Oromian-American for 17 years, came to draw attention to the senseless killings. "Even a 10 year old orphan, Abdiisa Guutu, was gunned down by the Ethiopian regime army."

Opposition was also strong against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, which is viewed as a land grab by those in power. As an American since 1998, Hambissa Homa, had strong words against the master plan. "Lands are taken from the Oromians to expand Addis Ababa. The land is given to the government party members, increasing the size of the city by 20% ... leaving the farmers and their families without homes or work."  He added that European and U. S. aid money is diverted.


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  • #Minnesota and all #America should stand with the Ethiopian community as they call out the government in #Ethiopia for the brutal attacks on and killing of student protesters. These callous acts along with the abuses outlined in the U.S. Department of State report of 2013 certainly require our #Congress to review our policies and delivery of aid and support to the current Ethiopian administration. We need to deliver a strong message. Silence in the face of oppression, especially when done by one of our supposed allies, is an endorsement of an unnacceptable mode of government....and an invitation for that virus to infect our own political system. Free people everywhere need to stand together. - by Merrill Anderson for Minnesota on Sat, 05/10/2014 - 2:16am
  • My sister and I had a chance to goto the Capital today and chat with some of those at the rally. I'm amazed that this story isn't getting more media coverage. - by Chris Ford on Mon, 05/12/2014 - 6:56pm
  • Helen, Thank you for your great article and for taking the time observing, understanding and exposing the true Human right abuses our people go through in their daily life supposedly in democratic country the TPLF claims. Thank you again and appreciate your work. Lalistu - by Lalistu Bekele Woyesa on Fri, 05/09/2014 - 11:01pm
  • This weekend Oromian Minnesotans, and other supporters, gather at the State Capital. - by Helen Duritsa on Fri, 05/09/2014 - 9:56pm

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Helen Duritsa's picture
Helen Duritsa

Helen Duritsa is an intern at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Contact her at duri0005 at umn dot edu.