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Calling your Representative about House Resolution 128 Supporting Human Rights and Encouraging Inclusive Governance in Ethiopia March 1, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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The Hearing on House Resolution 128. Thursday March 9, 2017 at 2:00 PM. #OromoRevolution #OromoProtests

Calling your Representative about House Resolution 128


Calling your Representative about House Resolution 128 Supporting Human Rights and Encouraging Inclusive Governance in Ethiopia

General Tips and Information

  1. Phone calls can be left with your representative after business hours. Both messages and live calls will be logged, tallied, and made a part of a record that representatives use to determine what issue their constituents think are important.
  2. Please call your representative only! Your tally will not be marked down unless you can give a city and zip code from the state, or are calling from an in-state area code.
  3. Call as frequently as possible in order to get your voice heard.
  4. Clearly tell your representative what you would like him/her her to do for you. Be simple and direct.
  5. Be nice.

Step by Step Guide to Calling your Representative about House Resolution 128

STEP 1:  Dial the Capitol Switch Board at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to you to your representative’s office. You can also get your representatives direct number by clicking on this link:  http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

STEP 2:  A legislative assistant will likely answer the phone. State a variation of the following:

  • Give your name, city, and zip code, and say “I don’t need a response.” That way, they can quickly confirm you are a constituent and tally your call without taking the time to input you into a response database (omit “I do not need a response” from your comments if you want a formal response).
  • State that you are calling about House Resolution 128.
  • Ask for the name of the person logging the call.


Option 1– Hi, my name is __________, I’m a constituent from ________ ( state ), zip code_______ I don’t need a response.  I am calling to urge Representative _________________ to cosponsor or support House Resolution 128 to pressure the Ethiopian government to allow peaceful protests in the Oromia region, to release jailed protesters, and to institute democratic reforms in a country. Thank you for your time.


Option 2– Hello, my name is ________ and I am calling to urge Representative ____________   to cosponsor or support House Resolution 128 called “Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia”.

I am concerned about the human rights violations currently being committed by the Ethiopian government against students, protesters, and political opponents in the Oromia region and in other parts of Ethiopia. Since November of 2015, the Ethiopian government has killed hundreds of Oromo protesters and jailed thousands of others for peacefully resisting its plan to confiscate and displace thousands of Oromo farmers. In addition, freedom of expression and association have been severely limited in Ethiopia. In October of 2016, the Ethiopian government issued a State of Emergency which limited cell phone and social media use in the country in order to reduce the likelihood that information about its atrocities gained international attention.  Without a strong rebuke from the U.S. government, Ethiopia will continue kill and forcefully detain peaceful protesters and dissenting voices in the country.

STEP 3: Repeat!

Ethiopia’s Oromo Revolution echoes around the globe March 1, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Oromo Olympic marathon athlete Fayyisaa Lalisaa on the Guardian. #OrompProtests global icon p1

Ethiopia’s Oromo Revolution echoes around the globe

Published on February 28, 2017 by Lima Charlie News

| “If I go back to Ethiopia, maybe they will kill me. If I am not killed, maybe they will put me in prison.” These words were not spoken by just anyone seeking asylum. They were spoken by 2016 Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa when he displayed the Oromo Revolution symbol of an X after running a 2:09:54 marathon in Brazil, in August 2016.

Image Feyisa Lilesa, Ethiopian Olympic Silver Medalist

Feyisa, 27, fearing for his life, found refuge in Arizona, where he is training for the London Marathon. Feyisa received a green card and has been living in the United States since September. On Valentine’s Day of this year, his wife, daughter, and son, were reunited with him.

Feyisa highlights the real story.

The Oromo Revolution is a movement seeking societal change and equal rights in Ethiopia, a country of over 86 million. It developed in response to the government’s violent response to peaceful protests. Oromia is the largest of nine ethnically based regions in Ethiopia, and it is one of the most fertile lands in Ethiopia’s agrarian society. Protesters initially displayed opposition to the “Master Plan,” a government push to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, further into Oromia.

In response to the protesters, the Government of Ethiopia eventually decided to cancel the Master Plan, but damage was done as security forces killed hundreds, wounded thousands, and imprisoned tens of thousands.

Image Ethiopia protest

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented hundreds of cases of alleged human rights abuses by the government against the Oromos and Amhara populations, including the killing of peaceful protesters, the arrest and detention of students, journalists, and political leaders, and the stifling of political dissent under the guise of “counterterrorism.” Ethiopia is a strategic ally of the United States, assisting in counterterrorism efforts against al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda aligned jihadi terrorist group based in Somalia.

In 1991, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took power and has ruled for nearly two decades. The EPRDF is primarily comprised of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is a minority group. In Ethiopia, the Oromos and Amharas constitute the two largest ethnic groups, combining for over 61% of the population. Yet, in 2015, the EPRDF won 100% of parliamentary seats, up from 99.6% in 2010. Despite an obvious lack of equality in representation, in 2015 President Obama referred to the Government of Ethiopia as “democratically elected”.

As a response to the Oromo Revolution, the Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC) is seeking to organize an overall consensus for the future of the Oromo. While several conferences have been conducted, there is another scheduled for March 2017, in Arlington, Virginia.

While the OLC continues to build consensus, the Government of Ethiopia continued to implement a state of emergency. Last week prosecutors also brought multiple criminal charges against key Oromo opposition leaders, which included charges of treason, that they attempted to “violently overthrow the constitutional order”. Charges were also brought against two foreign-based television stations, OMN and ESAT, which included allegations that they violated Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism laws.

TPLF has finally put on its honor roll by charging me at its kangaroo court. The charge is said to include… http://fb.me/8eNv4u6PY 

Lima Charlie News, by J. David Thompson

Follow David on Twitter @JDThompsonLC 

Lima Charlie provides global news, insight & analysis by military veterans and service members Worldwide.