Thursday, June 14

In the Wake of the Verdict

I was wondering why there hasn’t yet been any visible reaction to the verdict here in Addis. Some say that the post-election momentum is gone and most have forgotten, but I know otherwise. I know that people still care, and will say so as often as they think it safe.

So why didn’t spontaneous protest erupt on Monday afternoon?

Well, the current crackdown is the 6th that has occurred over the past two years. Thousands have been imprisoned and countless tortured. Far more have died than have been reported, and in Ethiopia today, we are forced to learn from this. (I am ferenj, and I too stay inside more and talk less. ) I was reminded today that, including those taken during the initial crackdown, this means 1/10th of the city’s population has been imprisoned at some point during this period.

Immediately following the elections, there were dozens of papers to report the fraud, the injustice, the truth. Now such outlets are distant memories, and news obviously travels slower.

Before, one could feel an electric undercurrent of awareness here—even as recently as September, when the words of Dr. Berhanu gave the most faint-hearted among us courage—and it didn’t matter if there were no demonstrations; we knew who our real leaders were. There was still hope. We wanted peace.

Now, it seems people have reverted to a state of learned hopelessness, underscored by the increasing American support for this nation’s tyrannical ruler. What chance do we have as mere pawns in a far greater geopolitical scheme? How can we help ourselves if we cannot even gather for public discussion or peaceful demonstration?

I honestly don’t know. I do know that violence is NOT the answer (once embraced, it cannot be controlled, and we will all be at greater risk) but beyond that—I can’t see the way out from here.

(Not today, anyway…)


Anonymous said...

GOD bless you Lewit, to feel the pain of the 70 people oppressed Ethiopians. You are our hero to like Addis ferenji.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lewit,

I don’t believe in violence as a way of struggle to overthrow the Meles regime. The peaceful struggle is also not working. It is obvious that US’s Bush has no ears to listen about the sufferings of Ethiopians as far as Meles is supporting his evil idea of “fight against terrorism” in any form. Unlike many Ethiopians, I still believe that those foreigners living inside Ethiopia and knows all the things going on can make the difference with the struggle of the Diaspora community. If you guys including Mr. Clark tell the truth to US and European officials, they might give you their ears. When I was watching CNN and other news agencies, they gave too much coverage of the imprisonment of an opposition leader in Zimbabwe. But, the Medias do not talk about the heroes of jailed CUD leaders.

Please tell the story (all what you know) to US and European governments. This will be a big help for the peacful struggle to make a difference in the lives of Ethiopians. Some of you might loose your job but compare it with the kind of difference you can make for those millions of people who are suffering for years and years.

GOd bless you!

Anonymous said...

i dont believe telling US and europian officials would make any difference as they know full well what is happening each and every day. it is us who can bring change. its us who can truelly feel the pain and suffering of our fellow country men. so its us who should rise up in harmony and defeat the dictatorship. those of who believe in peacful struggle and those of us who think peaceful struggle is the way should come together and start our disobedience at the same time. its then that eprdf would not be able to attack us one by one.
unity is strength.
check out this blog:

Anonymous said...

i meant those who believe in armed struggle and those who belive in peacful struggle should come the above comment, i repeated peaceful struggle twice by error

Anonymous said...

Bush and Europe know what is going on in Ethiopia. They do not care, all they care about is their interest and Melese plays their fiddle. This is not the first time the American government has supported dictatiors against the citizen of a country and mass slaughter took place the 80's was full of it in Latin America. As both posts above, we have to combine the struggle in the cities mass disobedience, slow down in the work place, not responding to meeting calls, they just egg people to see who they can make an example and frustrate. Prayer Vigils in the churches and Mosques enmass. Making sure where one spends their money, if they are the only outlet change habits you do not need it if it is causing you and yours misery.

What the Fernji's could do is contact news medias around the world or the country they come from or write letters to the editors inform their friends and church's in their countries write to Amenesty and others human rights advocacy groups, they could write and expose what is going on tell friends and relatives what's going on. This would be giving the voiceless a voice.

Anonymous said...

It's plain to see that the Ethiopian people are not yet developed enough to properly stand for their democratic rights. Ethiopia has no history of broad-based civil action because the culture is relatively devoid of solidaristic and cooperative norms, and it remains so.

In few countries outside Africa would you find a government in power that has the support of only 18% of the population of the capital. Elsewhere, even against much greater odds, you would have seen the type of peaceful revolution/evolution that brought about democracy in the Philippines, Chile, etc.

The job today is to impart a democratic culture, including solidarity, to the Ethiopian people. Otherwise, we'll have a repeat of the past, another violent overthrow by some guerilla force or another.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean 18% of the population of the capital? EPRDF has 0% support from the population of Addis even by its own admission. High probability that this figure applies to the whole country. Judging by the measures EPRDF took after the election, one can only be sure that EPRDF does not have any support outside of Tigray (5% of Ethiopia population wise). Even in Tigray one cannot be sure it has a 100% support. The only support EPRDF has is American government blind support.

Anonymous said...

Not today, but soon.

Repression breeds more oposition. The Calm in Addis is just only a pause.

The privacy of the citizens' homes are now the public square.