COMMENTS of the WEEK | Part of the global village


If you ever imagined the Twin Cities are not part of the global village, news and opinion in the Planet last week surely dispelled that thought. World and national media were transfixed by the horror of schoolgirls in Nigeria kidnapped for likely sex-trade slavery, and the Igbo Women League of Minnesota published a statement in the Daily Planet, as Minnesotans organized vigils and protests. And in resonance with another developing story, Oromo Minnesotans gave voice to their anger at political violence against students in Ethiopia.

The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, and many thousand Oromo are now Minnesotans. On May 5 Nekessa Opoti drew attention to Peaceful protests in Ethiopia that the Ethiopian military had suppressed, killing at least 11 and perhaps more than 50. Two blog posts by Amy Bergquist reported next on Oromo diaspora mobilizes and ‘Little Oromia’ unites in the Twin Cities. On May 8 we reposted a MinnPost report on Oromo outrage here at the Killings in Ethiopia.

Coming in the context of world-media focus on the 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls, these Oromo-related stories were a comment themselves that injustice one place must be connected in readers’ minds with injustice everywhere. Some Daily Planet writers made the connection explicit, as has the public in vigils and demonstrations this past weekend and extending to next.

Reader Merrill Anderson offered an especially strong response to Helen Duritsa’s Community Voices May 9 post on the Minnesota Oromo demonstration at the Capitol in St. Paul. Here it is:

“#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 unacceptable mode of government….and an invitation for that virus to infect our own political system. Free people everywhere need to stand together.”

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