Call for Peaceful Protest by all Oromos in Washington, D.C.

July 24, 2013 | Washington, DC

To All Oromo nationals and friends of the Oromo in the Diaspora,
The Oromo Youth Self-Help Association (OYSA), in collaboration with other sisterly associations:  the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington D.C. area, and the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), has organized a peaceful protest to be held in Washington, D.C., in front of the White House and the US State Department, on Friday, August 02, 2013 to request the US administration put pressure on:
  • the Ethiopian regime to stop the mass killings & displacements of Oromos in Mayu Muluqqee, Qumbii, & Cilaqsan in East Hararge, Manasibu in West Wollega and Moyale in Boranaa of Oromia,
  • the Ethiopian regime to release Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa and thousands of Oromo political prisoners,
  • the UNHCR, Egyptian, Yemen and Djibouti governments to protect Oromo refugees in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti as well as respect the UN convention on political immigrants.
All Oromos and friends of the Oromos living in metropolitan areas of Washington D.C. (Maryland, Virginia), Pennsylvania, NY, Texas, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, etc are kindly asked to stand with us and advocate for our people who have been unjustly killed, displaced, incarcerated and silenced. This is also to protest against the inhumane treatment of Oromo immigrants in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti. Together we can make a difference by speaking up for our people. We should say ‘Stop’ to the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia, and uplift the voice of our people to the world forum. It is evident that our people are suffering because of their identity, outlook and beliefs. Therefore, this is the time when you can take a practical action by standing with them and telling about their pains, which we all carry with us. Every shout and every protest will eventually make a difference!
Let’s act and march together, let’s stand side by side in large numbers and show to the world that we are serious about our people’s rights. Let’s show again and again to the US policy makers that we are indeed a strong force to reckon with and shall not be ignored.
On our previous protest of January 25, 2013 we proved that the Oromo youth is the real engine of Oromo power as we stood together with our seniors in extreme weather carrying placards, shouting slogans, and singing “Tokkummaa Tokkummaa”. Come and join us again! Don’t let any business or reason stop you! As we have done before, let’s make every effort to be there for our brethren on this day. This is a tiny sacrifice that we can pay for our nation Oromia!
Please also share this announcement to all in your domains; through social media such as facebook, twitter, email, via phone, paltalk, blogs, front-pages of websites, through radio/TV and personally in social gatherings.
United we stand, divided we fall!
Abebe Etana,
Chairman of the Oromo Youth Self-Help Association (OYSA)/WWDO, Washington, DC
Protest Date:    Friday, August 02, 2013
Protest Time:    9:00 AM – 1:00PM
Protest Place:   In front of The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW   
                          Washington, DC 20500 and then march to US State   
                          Department, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
 Contact:            –   Oromo Youth Self-Help Association, Washington D.C.:
                                  Tel. 202-705-6585
                          –   Oromo Community Organization, Washington D.C.:
                                  Tel. 202-234-1151

Dear OSA members and friends,

The Oromo youth in general and the Oromo Youth Self-help Association (OYSA) in particular, were the key in our successful peaceful demonstration of January 25, 2013 in front of the US State Department in Washington DC. An estimated 60% of those on the rally were the youth. They made us proud.
Now, the Oromo youth have prepared another peaceful rally under their leadership and in collaboration with OSA and OCO, planned for August 2, 2013. This time the plan is to meet at the White House and march to the US State Department. The flyer for the event is coming up soon. I strongly urge OSA members for them to do their very best to participate on this rally. For those who come for OSA annual conference, I ask you to do your best to arrive in DC early on August 2 for you to be able to particpate on the rally. I understand that many of you may have purchsed air ticket already, but I am just asking you to do your very best to rearrange it.
Violence against the Oromo, which is a theme of one panel on our annual conference, is intensified in the Ethiopian empire as we speak. Just today, VOA Afan Oromo service (listenhere) reported that 21 Oromos, most of them Oromo university students, have been convicted of “carrying out the terrorist mission of OLF and endangering the unity of the country” after being in jail for over three years. [By the way OSA’s annual conference preparation is also reported today by Namo Dandi in “dirree dimokrasii”, you may listen to that as well].
If you may recall, one of the slogans we were chanting on our January 25 rally says “Release Student Dachasa Wirtu” and we were carrying his picture. Sadly, it is reported on today’s  VOA program that Dachasa Wirtu is one of those convicted of “serious crime” and is expected to receive a long prison term or possibly death. It is only today that his arrest has been reported on a major international media in the first place.
So, we can not keep silent. We have to speak for our brothers and sisters whose voices have been silenced. They have no body but us. Let’s stand with our boys and girls, our youth, and show that we are not a weak nation. Here is where we show our strength to our enemies and allies alike. It will be a shame for us to stay at home when our children are taking the lead to fight injustice which we passed on to them. In January, some people stayed home because of the bad weather which was understandably terribly cold that day in Washington DC. Now, we will not have any excuse.
Come, and join your children on August 2 at the White House! Fight tyranny! Don’t be silent, speak out!
United we prevail! Let’s do what we can do together. We can do this one!
Mosisa Aga, Ph.D.
OSA President 2012 – 2013

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