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Gaafii fi Deebii itti aanaa dura ta’aa Kongirasii Federaalawaa Oromoo, Obboo Baqqalaa Garbaa wajjin geggeeffame daawwadhaa.- VOA AFAAN OROMOO (JOURNALIST JALLANNEE GAMMADAA) INTERVIEWED BAQQALAA GARBAA, UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND DEPUTY LEADER OF OFC May 12, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Bekele gerba speaks

 

 

Healthy Man Lost His Both Legs to Torture in Ethiopian Prison

Bekele Gerba gave an interview to Voice of America Afaan Oromoo service about his experiences in Ethiopian prison. Mr Gerba touched on his unwavering philosophy and commitment to peaceful civil resistance which he believes has brought about significant changes in Ethiopian political arena. He also elaborated his hope in the future Ethiopian politics, mentioning his party’s (Oromo Federalist Congress, a party of which he deputy chairman) progress of continuing struggle for freedom, peace and prosperity of Ethiopia.

Asked about his view on philosophy of standing at odds with the normalized brutality, “There is nothing fulfilling as standing for freedom even in the worst of times“.

He narrated several politically motivated injustices done to him and his compatriots ranging from defaming, insult, beating and tortures to death.One of the stories he has spoken about amounts to crime against humanity. A story of a young man whose both legs are amputated after he had sustained a terminal injury to his one leg.

He was beaten and tortured, as a result of which one of his legs was deemed to be of no use and hence has to be amputated. He was admitted to a health facility for surgery and for an unknown reason he woke up from the anesthesia devoid of his healthy leg as it was amputated. He was later admitted for surgical removal of his maimed leg and he became without legs.

Mr Gerba didn’t specify the name of the prisoner or the health facility where the procedure was done.

What makes it inhumane again is that he wasn’t even fortunate to be benefited from the government’s amnesty but rather sentenced to life in prison.

You can listen to the full interview here

Related:-

Atlantic Council:- In February 2018, Eskinder Nega (left), a prominent Ethiopian journalist and blogger, and Bekele Gerba (right), the deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, an Ethiopian opposition party, were released from prison. They were jailed for years under the country’s anti-terrorism laws. During a live conversation at the Atlantic Council, Eskinder and Bekele underscored the imperative of non-violence in Ethiopia’s struggle for political reform and the pursuit of democracy.

 

 

 

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198 Ways to Fight the T-TPLF’s State of Emergency in Ethiopia and Win, Al Mariam’s Commentaries February 19, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

198 Ways to Fight the T-TPLF’s State of Emergency in Ethiopia and Win


One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The T-TPLF state of emergency declaration is an unjust law!

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress… If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” — Frederick Douglass, anti-slavery statesman.

The endurance of the Ethiopian people suffering under T-TPLF ethnic apartheid rule has completely vanished. Today, they are on the move agitating and mobilizing for peaceful nonviolent change.

Author’s Note:

Make no mistake about it!

The peaceful struggle for political change in Ethiopia is now in its final and terminal phase.

On February 16, 2018, the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (T-TPLF) declared a war of the people of Ethiopia for the third time since October 2016 by declaring a state of emergency. That is the T-TPLF’s response to the Ethiopian people’s peaceful demands for change.

That declaration of a state of emergency is the T-TPLF’s last hurrah, their curtain call.

But the whole emergency declaration is a crock of horse manure. This is the third emergency declaration since October 2016. The people’s demand did not stop. What is so different now?

The T-TPLF state of emergency declaration should be called by its proper name: License to kill. License to jail. License to torture.

But the T-TPLF has had that license for 27 years. It is nothing new. It changes nothing.

When they T-TPLF massacred thousands of people in October 2016 at the Irrecha Festival, they did not have a declaration of emergency. For 27 years, the T-TPLF has massacred, jailed and tortured hundreds of thousands of innocent Ethiopians without a declaration of emergency.

Do the T-TPLF bosses now believe the people will kneel down to them, kiss their shoes and become their slaves in their ethnic apartheid empire simply because they scribbled a piece of paper with the words, “state of emergency”? That declaration is not worth the paper it is written on.

The fact of the matter is that the T-TPLF bosses today are desperadoes, criminals with no place to run or hide. They are at the end of their ropes, on their last legs. They do not know what to do to continue to cling to power and maintain the ethnic apartheid system they have enjoyed over the past 27 years.

So they try to prove they still have power and they are still the masters of Ethiopia’s 100 million people.

But make no mistake.

The state of emergency declaration is about sending a message to the people of Ethiopia and to the world. It is a message that announces the T-TPLF is making its final stand to cling to power come hell or high water:

The T- TPLF will never, never give up power peacefully and allow a democratic transition in Ethiopia.

The T- TPLF will kill, massacre, jail and torture to crush the people’s demand for peaceful change and cling to power.

The T-TPLF would rather see a civil war than give up power peacefully.

The T-TPLF would rather go down blazing than find peaceful ways of addressing the people’s demands.

The T-TPLF will have it ONLY its way: All for itself and nothing for anyone else. It will be the T-TPLF way of the highway.

The T-TPLF in its emergency declaration is offering the Ethiopian people a stark  choice: Bow your heads, drop down on your knees and live like slaves, or die trying to be free with your nonviolent civil disobedience boots on.

So, the dreaded day has come for the T-TPLF. Ethiopia is at the crossroads and the crosshairs.

The T-TPLF wants an Armageddon.

The people of Ethiopia want peace, truth and reconciliation.

The people have resolved to free themselves of ethnic apartheid rule.

The T-TPLF is determined to keep them under ethnic apartheid rule.

The T-TPLF bosses know the end is near; and they are facing the final curtain.

How so?

The people have met their most formidable enemy. That enemy was hiding within them.

For decades, that enemy dwelled in their hearts, minds and every cell in their bodies.

That enemy goes by the name FEAR.

But the people have conquered FEAR and in so doing conquered the T-TPLF.

Robert Holmes (“The Ethics of Nonviolence”, 2013 at p. 226”), explained it best:

For power dissolves when people lose their fear. You can still kill people who no longer fear you, but you cannot control them. You cannot control dead people. Walk through a cemetery with a bullhorn, if you like. Command people to rise up, clean the streets, pay taxes, report for military duty, and they will ignore you. Political power requires obedience, which is fueled by the fear of pain to be inflicted if you refuse to comply with the will of those who control the instruments of violence. That power evaporates when the people lose their fear…

Simply stated, nonviolent social change by civil disobedience and mass resistance simply means the people have lost their fear of their oppressors.

What is to be done by people who have lost their fear of their oppressors?

What is to be done in the face of T-TPLF’s declaration of state of emergency and beyond?

In 1901, V.I. Lenin wrote a pamphlet entitled, “What Is to Be Done?” (p. 47). He argued the working class will not be politically mobilized into action simply by fighting economic battles over workers’ wages, working conditions and other economic rights. To transform the working class into a potent Marxist political force, Lenin said it would be necessary to form a “vanguard” of dedicated revolutionaries to spread Marxist political ideas among the workers.  He prescribed, “To bring political knowledge to the workers the Social Democrats must go among all classes of the population; they must dispatch units of their army in all directions.”

I say what is good sauce for the goose is good for the gander. The principles that apply to a violent revolution apply equally to a peaceful nonviolent revolution.

The peaceful nonviolent movement led by the “youth vanguard” cannot win the struggle without educating and empowering all segments of Ethiopian society.

The youth vanguard must educate, inform, empower and mobilize all segments of the  population, all members of ethnic groups in their own languages and traditions, all age and faith groups, all members of the professions and trades in the techniques of nonviolent struggle in the fight for democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The time is NOW for the youth vanguards of the Ethiopian peaceful nonviolent revolution to penetrate every nook and cranny of Ethiopian society.

The youth vanguard, above all, must teach and preach ETHIOPIAWINET which is simply defined as LOVE.

The ultimate aim of the Ethiopian struggle must be the victory of ETHIOPIAWINET over ethnic hate and ethnic apartheid system.

Teaching and preaching peaceful change must be made synonymous and go hand in hand with teaching and preaching of  ETHIOPIAWINET way of life.

The youth vanguard must teach and preach the philosophy and practice of nonviolent peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the schools, colleges and universities.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the churches and mosques.

The must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the civil service and bureaucracy.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the armed forces, the police and security forces.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among women and girls.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET to the urban and rural youth.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the tea rooms, restaurants and bars.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the shops and market places.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the stadiums and sports fields.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among the elites, the wealthy and privileged.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among the poor, the powerless and defenseless.

They must teach-in and teach-out peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET.

They must preach on and on!

They must be the change they want to see. They must live a life of ETHIOPIAWINET.

I have been teaching and preaching nonviolent social change and promoting truth and reconciliation for over 12 years.

I got involved in the Ethiopian human rights struggle because I was outraged by the Meles Massacres of 2005.

The Meles Massacres stirred deep emotions in me. For the first time in decades, I realized that though I had left Ethiopia, Ethiopia had not left me. The Meles Massacres made me realize that even though I had moved away from Ethiopia permanently, Ethiopia had not moved out of me permanently. It is a feeling that is hard to explain even today. I can only say that the massacre of those unarmed citizens (and the shocking photographs) triggered in me an emotion of volcanic outrage (that some say still flows unabated; I will not argue with them). I was not merely shocked and appalled; I was shaken to the core.

It has been said that in desperate times, we either define the moment or the moment defines us. It was at this time that I resolved to define my moment by using my pen (keyboard) as a weapon of nonviolent resistance against the tyranny of Meles Zenawi and his gang of criminals in designer suits.

I believe it is my moral obligation (and all human beings) to speak up against human rights crimes and agitate for peaceful nonviolent resistance. In my efforts, I have tried to make a small contribution by providing civic education in nonviolent resistance.

Indeed, before Official Day 1 of my involvement in the Ethiopian human rights struggle on July 3, 2006, I wrote a three-part commentary on civil disobedience and nonviolence and its relevance in the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia.  I undertook that effort after the Tegbar League Addis Ababa Leadership Committee issued a statement in March 2006 indicating that it

will organize nonviolent actions such as blocking major roads, work slowdowns, boycott of schools, and boycott of products that are produced or sold by EPRDF-affiliated companies. These nonviolent actions are intended to systematically make the country ungovernable and paralyze the Meles regime. There will be no public demonstration and direct confrontation with the blood thirsty Federal Police and Meles Zenawi’s death squad.

To provide intellectual support to Tegbar and spread knowledge about the philosophy and practice of nonviolence and civil disobedience, beginning in April 2006, I issued my series.

In Part I “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (April 23, 2006), I examined the ideas of Henry David Thoreau, who inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King in leading an independence and civil rights movement.

In Part II “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (May 10, 2006), I examined Gandhi’s use of  “Satyagraha,” which he defined as “truth-force,” “love-force” or “soul-force.” In fighting for human dignity of Indians in South Africa and later independence of India. Gandhi’s message to the colonial oppressors of India was simple. “My ambition is no less than to convert the British people through nonviolence, and thus make them see the wrong they have done to India. I do not seek to harm your people.”

In Part III “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (May 18, 2006), I examined MLK’s efforts to bring peace, harmony and interracial unity between black and white people in America”.

Over the past decade, I have written dozens of commentaries promoting nonviolent change, truth reconciliation, direct action and have tried to mobilize Ethiopian intellectuals to join me in the effort.

In October 2008, I wrote a commentary entitled, “The political economy of remittances in Ethiopia”. That commentary was in fact an analysis of the billions of dollars Diaspora Ethiopians send back to Ethiopia. I raised a number of questions which focused on the role of remittances in providing economic buoyancy to help keep afloat, support, prolong and entrench the one-party, one-man dictatorship of the T-TPLF in Ethiopia.

I am gratified to learn of recent efforts by an “international task force calling for remittance boycott against regime in Ethiopia.”

In my September 2013, commentary, “The Diplomacy of Nonviolent Change in Ethiopia”, I wrote abut how people lose their fears of oppressive government and muster courage to fight back with civil disobedience. The “diplomacy” of nonviolent change involves the use of  dialogue, negotiations, compromise, bargaining, concessions, accommodations, cooperation and ultimately peace-making and reconciliation.

In my September 2013 commentary , “Interpreting and Living MLK’s Dream”, I discussed Dr. King’s message of hope and redemption for our time and his unlimited imagination and hope in the infinite capacity of humanity to be humane while acutely aware of  “man’s inhumanity to man”.

In 2014, I joined the boycott of Coca Cola Company for its disrespectful and humiliating treatment of the great Ethiopian patriot Teddy Afro. In my June 2014 commentary“Why I am boycotting Ȼoca Ȼola”, I called on my readers to boycott Coca Cola products. I promised then never to touch a Coca Cola product, a promise I have kept to this day.

In my January 2017 New Year message, “Dare to Dream With Me About the New Ethiopia in 2017”, I shared my dreams of the Beloved Ethiopian Community to peacefully emerge from the nightmare of T-TPLF ethnic apartheid rule. Here are a few of those dreams of: ONE Ethiopia at Peace with itself. Ethiopians finding their unity in their humanity instead of their ethnicity. Ethiopians regardless of ethnicity, religion and region subscribing to the creed, “I am my brother’s, my sister’s keeper.” The day when Truth shall rise from the ashes of lies and lead all Ethiopians on the path of reconciliation in Ethiopia. Human rights extinguishing  government wrongs in Ethiopia. True multiparty democracy with iron clad protections for human rights. Learned men and women using their intellectual powers to teach, preach and touch the people. The release all political prisoners.

Above all, I have a dream of the day when Ethiopia’s young people will put their shoulders to the wheel and take full charge of their country’s destiny, leaving behind the politics of hate and ethnicity; turning  their backs on those wallowing in moral bankruptcy and corruption and creating a new politics for a New Ethiopia based on dialogue, negotiation and compromise.

Simply stated, I dream of the New Ethiopia, rising over the horizon in a peaceful revolution, as a shining “city high on top of the African hill”.

In my December 2013 commentary, “Mandela’s Message to Ethiopia’s Youth: Never give up…!” Never give up and keep on trying to build your Beloved Ethiopian Community! Dare to be great. Change yourselves first before you change society. Keep on trying. Come together. Be virtuous. Be patriotic. Be courageous. Dream big. Lead from behind. Be optimistic and determined.  Learn and educate the people.

In my January 2018 commentary, “Unarmed Truth and Unconditional Love (Reconciliation): Dr. Martin Luther King’s Message to Ethiopians Today”, I examined Dr. King’s lifelong message of nonviolence, peace, reconciliation in the context of Ethiopia’s dire crises today and building of a new Beloved Ethiopian Community.

All Ethiopians have a moral and ethical obligation to engage in peaceful, nonviolent change in their motherland

The time has come for all freedom-loving Ethiopians to stand up and be counted. It is time for truth or consequences. We all have a choice to make: Stand with the people of Ethiopia, or by not doing so stand with their oppressors.  It is a choice without moral relativism or ambiguity. One can choose to be part of a 27 year-old problem or part of the solution to usher in the New Ethiopia.

Dr. King said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” He explained, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

The T-TPLF’s state of emergency declaration is an unjust law. It is a law that contravenes God’s law. It violates natural law. It is a government wrong against God-given human rights.

The peaceful, nonviolent struggle in Ethiopia must go on.

We must have Churchillian resolve in our peaceful nonviolent struggle.

Facing an imminent invasion of Britain by the Nazis, Winston Churchill was ready to fight and threw down the gauntlet. “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, and in the air, on the beaches, the landing grounds, in the streets, in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Ethiopians in Ethiopia and in the Diaspora must go on to the end. We must fight the T-TPLF using every weapon of peaceful nonviolent struggle.

We must fight them with civil disobedience and mass resistance in the schools, in the colleges and universities, in the streets, in the urban and rural areas, in places of worship and public gatherings, in every hamlet, village, town and city.

We must fight the T-TPLF in every open and closed political space, in the workspace and even in the prison space. We must fight them in the monkey courts and in the kangaroo parliaments. We must fight them during the day and in the night. We must fight them in the sunshine and in the rain.

Diaspora Ethiopians in the West must do their fair share. We must fight their lobbyist in the halls of Congress and in the White House. We must fight them in the newspapers, on television and radio. We must fight their trolls in cyberspace and social media.

We must fight them, to paraphrase what Churchill said of the Nazis, and carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New Ethiopia, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of all Ethiopian people from the yoke of T-TPLF ethnic apartheid system.

A very special request, my humble plea to all who are engaged in the peaceful struggle – Please no violence

We must not bring ourselves to the level of the T-TPLF.

That is because we have the most powerful weapon in our hand, hearts and minds.

That weapon is nonviolence.

We must not resort to violence against our brothers and sisters, neighbors and compatriots.  Gandhi said, “the strong are never vindictive” and have no need for violence.

We who advocate nonviolent change are strong! In body, spirit and soul.

Let us heed Dr. Martin Luther King’s words:

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness… The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

For 12 years, I have toiled day and night, night and day, to see the daylight, the sunlight of freedom and equal opportunity shine on Ethiopia.

I do not ever want to see Ethiopia full of blind people, blinded by hate and revenge.

My dream is to see Ethiopia blinded by the light of love and of truth.

I have stood with Ethiopia’s young people through thin and thick for a long time

Now I ask them to stand with me in actively practicing NO VIOLENCE. NO DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY. NO REVENGE.

Hate and violence cannot drive out hate and violence out of Ethiopia. Only love, understanding and tolerance can do that.

We are better than the hate mongers, those who use violence to suppress human rights.

Let us become the change we want to see!

============================================================

How can every Ethiopian man, woman and child live up to their moral and ethical obligation to resist T-TPLF tyranny and work for peaceful nonviolent social and political change.

Let me count the ways!

The following document is authored by Prof. Gene Sharp, the “intellectual father of peaceful resistance” and founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action. Prof. Sharp passed away on January 28, 2018. He has influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world.

PDF copy of the document is also available.

Prof. Sharp prepared the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action to demonstrate that “practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of ‘nonviolent weapons’ at their disposal.” He classified those “weapons” into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.   

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                                  198 METHODS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

Formal Statements

  1.                    Public Speeches
                      2. Letters of opposition or support
                        3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
                        4. Signed public statements
                        5. Declarations of indictment and intention
                        6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience

  1.                    Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
                      8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
                        9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
                        10. Newspapers and journals
                        11. Records, radio, and television
                        12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations

  1.                    Deputations
                      14. Mock awards
                        15. Group lobbying
                        16. Picketing
                        17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts

  1.                    Displays of flags and symbolic colors
                      19. Wearing of symbols
                        20. Prayer and worship
                        21. Delivering symbolic objects
                        22. Protest disrobings
                        23. Destruction of own property
                        24. Symbolic lights
                        25. Displays of portraits
                        26. Paint as protest
                        27. New signs and names
                        28. Symbolic sounds
                        29. Symbolic reclamations
                        30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals

  1.                    “Haunting” officials
                      32. Taunting officials
                        33. Fraternization
                        34. Vigils

Drama and Music

  1.                    Humorous skits and pranks
                      36. Performances of plays and music
                        37. Singing

Processions

  1.                    Marches
                      39. Parades
                        40. Religious processions
                        41. Pilgrimages
                        42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead

  1.                    Political mourning
                      44. Mock funerals
                        45. Demonstrative funerals
                        46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies

  1.                    Assemblies of protest or support
                      48. Protest meetings
                        49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
                        50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation

  1.                    Walk-outs
                      52. Silence
                        53. Renouncing honors
                        54. Turning one’s back

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION

Ostracism of Persons

  1.                    Social boycott
                      56. Selective social boycott
                        57. Lysistratic nonaction
                        58. Excommunication
                        59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions

  1.                    Suspension of social and sports activities
                      61. Boycott of social affairs
                        62. Student strike
                        63. Social disobedience
                        64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System

  1.                    Stay-at-home
                      66. Total personal noncooperation
                        67. “Flight” of workers
                        68. Sanctuary
                        69. Collective disappearance
                        70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS 
Actions by Consumers

  1.                    Consumers’ boycott
                      72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
                        73. Policy of austerity
                        74. Rent withholding
                        75. Refusal to rent
                        76. National consumers’ boycott
                        77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers

  1.                    Workmen’s boycott
                      79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen

  1.                    Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management

  1.                    Traders’ boycott
                      82. Refusal to let or sell property
                        83. Lockout
                        84. Refusal of industrial assistance
                        85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources

  1.                    Withdrawal of bank deposits
                      87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
                        88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
                        89. Severance of funds and credit
                        90. Revenue refusal
                        91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments

  1.                    Domestic embargo
                      93. Blacklisting of traders
                        94. International sellers’ embargo
                        95. International buyers’ embargo
                        96. International trade embargo

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: THE STRIKE 
Symbolic Strikes

  1.                    Protest strike
                      98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes

  1.                    Peasant strike
                      100. Farm workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups

  1.                    Refusal of impressed labor
                      102. Prisoners’ strike
                        103. Craft strike
                        104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes

  1.                    Establishment strike
                      106. Industry strike
                        107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes

  1.                    Detailed strike
                      109. Bumper strike
                        110. Slowdown strike
                        111. Working-to-rule strike
                        112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
                        113. Strike by resignation
                        114. Limited strike
                        115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes

  1.                    Generalized strike
  2.                    General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures 

  1.                    Hartal
  2.                    Economic shutdown 

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION 
Rejection of Authority

  1.                    Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
                      121. Refusal of public support
                        122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government

  1.                    Boycott of legislative bodies
                      124. Boycott of elections
                        125. Boycott of government employment and positions
                        126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
                        127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
                        128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
                        129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
                        130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
                        131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
                        132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience

  1.                    Reluctant and slow compliance
                      134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
                        135. Popular nonobedience
                        136. Disguised disobedience
                        137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
                        138. Sitdown
                        139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
                        140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
                        141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel

  1.                    Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
                      143. Blocking of lines of command and information
                        144. Stalling and obstruction
                        145. General administrative noncooperation
  2.                    Judicial noncooperation
                      147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
                        148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action

  1.                    Quasi-legal evasions and delays
                      150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action

  1.                    Changes in diplomatic and other representations
                      152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
                        153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
                        154. Severance of diplomatic relations
                        155. Withdrawal from international organizations
                        156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
                        157. Expulsion from international organizations 

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION 
Psychological Intervention

  1.                    Self-exposure to the elements
                      159. The fast
                                            a) Fast of moral pressure
                                            b) Hunger strike
                                            c) Satyagrahic fast
                        160. Reverse trial
                        161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention

  1.                    Sit-in
                      163. Stand-in
                        164. Ride-in
                        165. Wade-in
                        166. Mill-in
                        167. Pray-in
                        168. Nonviolent raids
                        169. Nonviolent air raids
                        170. Nonviolent invasion
                        171. Nonviolent interjection
                        172. Nonviolent obstruction
                        173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention

  1.                    Establishing new social patterns
                      175. Overloading of facilities
                        176. Stall-in
                        177. Speak-in
                        178. Guerrilla theater
                        179. Alternative social institutions
                        180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention

  1.                    Reverse strike
                      182. Stay-in strike
                        183. Nonviolent land seizure
                        184. Defiance of blockades
                        185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
                        186. Preclusive purchasing
                        187. Seizure of assets
                        188. Dumping
                        189. Selective patronage
                        190. Alternative markets
                        191. Alternative transportation systems
                        192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention

  1.                    Overloading of administrative systems
                      194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
                        195. Seeking imprisonment
                        196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
                        197. Work-on without collaboration
                        198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

Without doubt, a large number of additional methods have already been used but have not been classified, and a multitude of additional methods will be invented in the future that have the characteristics of the three classes of methods: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation and nonviolent intervention.

It must be clearly understood that the greatest effectiveness is possible when individual methods to be used are selected to implement the previously adopted strategy. It is necessary to know what kind of pressures are to be used before one chooses the precise forms of action that will best apply those pressures.

[1] Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973 and later editions.

====================

Additional resources on the application, techniques and experiences of nonviolent resistance in different countries:

https://www.aeinstein.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/198-Methods.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Handbook-for-Working-With-Activists.compressed.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/50-Crucial-Points-web.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/CANVAS-Core-Curriculum_EN.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/MOB_English_May2014.pdf

Africa Times: Update: Ethiopian police release Oromo leader Bekele Gerba’s daughter October 1, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Because I am Oromo.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistbontu-bekele-gerbaFree Bekele Gerba and all political prisonners in Ethiopia

 

 

Update: Ethiopian police release Oromo leader Bekele Gerba’s daughter

By AT editor 30 September 2016


(Africa Times) — Oromo rights activists said Friday that Bontu Bekele Gerba, daughter of the imprisoned Oromo political opposition leader in Ethiopia, had been released after security forces detained her in the town of Mojo.

Independent Oromo journalist Mohammed Ademo, a former al Jazeera America columnist based in the United States, said the family’s lawyer confirmed the late-afternoon disappearance.

Ademo and other Oromo advocates immediately took to social media, some demanding that U.S. officials and international NGOs confirm her whereabouts and intervene as necessary.

Journalist Jawar Mohammed, executive director for the Oromio Media Network in the U.S., reported that she was released after being detained for questioning at a Mojo police station.

Bontu Bekele Gerba is a political activist in her own right, speaking often to media organizations and Ethiopian activists on behalf of her father, a leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress, and the movement.

The elder Bekele Gerba was most recently detained at Ethiopia’s Kilinto Prison in Addis Ababa, a maximum-security facility where high-profile political prisoners and anti-government protesters are incarcerated. He was rearrested in December following a short release and since remained at the facility, where a fire claimed 23 lives in early September, according to official Ethiopian government totals.

Bontu Bekele Gerba led a search for her father when prison authorities failed to provide information to anxious families who knew nothing of their loved ones’ fate, and spoke publicly again on their behalf.

Her father’s initial 2011 arrest followed a meeting with Amnesty International researchers that led to terrorism charges, which are often used by Ethiopia to silence political dissidents including the Oromo.

Global concern for the 30 million Oromo living under President Mulatu Teshome has increased, following a year in which at least 500 hundred Ethiopians died in violent clashes with security forces.

That visibility was raised following the protest of Ethiopian Feyisa Lelisa at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and his subsequent application for U.S. asylum. Activists in the U.S. have held large protest marches, most recently on Thursday in Washington D.C., on behalf of the Oromo.

Human Rights: Oromia: Dispatches: Ethiopia’s Opposition Leaders on Hunger Strike. #OromoProtests July 29, 2016

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Odaa OromooHRW#OromoProtests 27 July 2016, Respond to their demand


Dispatches: Ethiopia’s Opposition Leaders on Hunger Strike

Protesting Against Mistreatment in Prison


Felix Horne
Researcher, Horn of Africa 

(Human Rights Watch) — It has been nine days since prominent Ethiopian opposition leader Bekele Gerba and several other senior members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) went on a hunger strike to protest their treatment in detention. Bekele, who is the deputy chairman of the OFC, and his colleagues are currently being held in Kilinto prison near Addis Ababa on terrorism charges. Their health has reportedly deteriorated significantly in recent days.

Bekele Gerba p1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bekele and his associates were detained on December 23, 2015 and latercharged under Ethiopia’s terrorism law for allegedly belonging to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – a charge that is regularly used to silence ethnic Oromos who are critical of the government. They were first taken to the notorious Maekalawi prison, where torture and other ill-treatment are routine. Since moving to Kilinto, Bekele and his colleagues have repeatedly petitioned the courts to investigate their mistreatment in detention, to allow their families visiting rights, and to provide them with proper medication.

Bekele is a staunch advocate of non-violence and is one of tens of thousands who were detained during the mostly peaceful proteststhat have swept through Oromia since November. Many of those who have since been released reported being tortured in custody.

Since the protests began, the security forces have killed over 400 people, most of them students. Yet, there has been no meaningful investigation into the killings and no effort to hold security forces accountable. Instead, the state-affiliated Human Rights Commission in an oral report to parliament in June concluded that the level of force used by security forces was proportionate to the risk the forces faced, sending an ominous message to Ethiopians that security force members can shoot unarmed protesters with impunity.

As it is clear that the Ethiopian government is either not willing or not able to conduct a credible investigation into the conduct of its security forces, there is increasing need for international involvement in any investigation.

Unfortunately, the authorities’ failure to treat Bekele and his colleagues with the most basic respect for their rights is indicative of a government that shows little willingness to right the wrongs it has committed. Their continued detention sends a message to young Ethiopians that the government equates peaceful protest with terrorism, putting Ethiopia on a dangerous trajectory.


https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/28/dispatches-ethiopias-opposition-leaders-hunger-strike

Oromia: Ethiopia: PRISON POLICE BRINGS BEKELE GERBA ET.AL TO COURT BAREFOOT, WEARING ONLY SHORTS AND T-SHIRTS. #OromoProtests June 3, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooAddis StandardFree Bekele Gerba and all political prisonners in Ethiopia

PRISON POLICE BRINGS BEKELE GERBA ET.AL TO COURT BAREFOOT, WEARING ONLY SHORTS AND T-SHIRTS

Prison police brings Bekele Gerba et.al to court barefoot, wearing only shorts and t-shirts


The police failed to bring Tesema Regasa and 15 others in the same file to the court

Mahlet Fasil,  addisstandard,   3 June 2016


The Addis Abeba prison administration Qilinto prison police have this morning brought prominent opposition figure Bekele Gerba and the 21 others in the same file for a hearing at a court all barefoot. The detainees were also wearing mere shorts and t-shirts when they appeared at the Federal High Court 19th Criminal Bench here in the capital.

Once inside the court room the detainees, through Bekele Gerba, first secretary general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), told the judges that the police have come to their cells in Qilinto, a prison in the outskirt of south of Addis Abeba, yesterday and stripped them all of their clothes and shoes to prevent them from wearing black upon appearing in court this morning.

On May 11 the police have failed to bring the 22 detainees, all charged with Ethiopia’s infamous Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, ATP, to the court because all them were wearing black to protest their arrest.  However, the police have told the court this morning that they didn’t bring defendants during the last hearing because they have not received a letter from the court.  The judge told the police at the court this morning that the police officers on duty on May 11 must appear in court to explain the real reason.

Bekele also told the court that he and his co-defendants were subjected to torture and other forms of physical and psychological abuses inside the prison and requested the judge for a change of prison. But the judge denied the request.

The 22 defendants were all arrested between November and December 2015, shortly after the start (and in connection with) Oromo protests in November that gripped the nation for the next five months. Defendants include several members of OFC, students and civil servants who came from various parts of the Oromia regional state.

Prosecutors have charged the 22 with various articles of the ATP. The charges include, but not limited to, alleged membership of the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), public incitement, encouraging violence, as well as causing the death of innocent civilians and property destructions in cities such as Ambo and Adama, 120km west and 100km east of Addis Abeba during the recent Oromo protests in Ethiopia. This morning all of the defendants have presented a written defense statement. The court adjourned the next hearing until June 27.

In a related development, the police at Qilinto have failed to bring this morning 16 other individuals, all from the Oromia regional state and were detained in connection with the #OromoProtests, to the court.  The 16 detainees, under the file name of Tesema Regasa were first brought to the court on April 26. They were subsequently charged with the ATP and have, last month, presented their defense statements to the court. Today’s court appearance was adjourned to hear prosecutors’ counter response for the defense statements. The court re-adjourned the next hearing until June 15.

Wondimu Ebbissa, who is representing Bekele Gerba et.al, said last month that more than 80 defendants, including Bekele Gerba et al, were held in Qilinto and a further 97 were believed to be either at  the Ethiopian Federal Polcie Force Central Bureau of Criminal Investigation, known in Amharic as Ma’ekelawi,  or the Addis Abeba police prison facility near it. All of them are detained in connection with #OromoProtests.

In a separate development, the Federal High Court 19th Criminal Bench yesterday adjourned the hearing for Yonatan Tesfaye, former spokesman of the opposition Semayawi (Blue) Party, until June 21. The court received Yonatan’s defense statement in its hearing and adjourned the next hearing to receive prosecutor’s counter statement.

Yonatan

Last month prosecutors have charged Yonatan with ATP and have presented as evidence the defendant’s Facebook status updates during the #OromoProtests. The charges against Yonatan allege that he was posting inciting message on his Facebook, encouraging protesters to loot and destruct properties. Charges also allege Yonatan was calling for regime change  through violence.


Prison police brings Bekele Gerba et.al to court barefoot, wearing only shorts and t-shirts


Related  from social media:-

Oromo leader and political prisoner Bekele Gerba said 'Our lives are in real danger.' 3rd  June  2016


Guyyaa har’aa Obboo Baqqalaa Garbaa Kaanaateeraa keessaa; Kofoo gabaabduu fi miila duwwaa mana murtiititti dhiyaatan;
” Gaggeessitoonni Bulchiinsa Manneen Sirreessaa hamma hin jijjiiramnetti jiruun keenna rakkoo guddaa keessa jira; beellama itti aanuf nabsedhaanuu argamuu keenna ni shakkina”
” Gara kutaa dukkanaatti fuudhanii nuun deeman. Nu keessaa gartokkee keenya akka malee nu tuman”
” Akka Lammii Biyyattiitti lakkaawwamaa hin jirru”
Obbboo Baqqalaa Garbaa
—————

” Beellama keenna isa dabre irratti uffata gurraacha mana murtiitti dhiyaachudhaaf uffanne baafadhaa nuun jedhan. Nutis hin baafannu jennee mormine. Uffata barbaanne kaawwachuun mirga heera biyyattiittiin nuuf kenname jenneen. Nuti uffata gurraacha kan uffanneef Lammileen Sabaan Oromoo ta’an Kuma 50 ol mana hidhaa keessatti kan argamaniifii dabalataan waggaa kana keessatti qofa lammiilen Oromoo 200 – 300 ajjeefamuu isaaniitiif gadda nutti dhagayame ibsuuf ture. Gochi nuti raawwanne hundi seera fi hojmaata mana sirreessaa haala hin tuqneen ture. Kuni gonkumaa hin ta’u jedhanii nu dhoowwan, nutti dallanan, nu sodaachisuudhaaf yaalan, nu arrabsan.
” Kaleessa sa’aa booda namoonni mana murtiitti dhiyaannu adda baafamne akka dhufnu godhamne. Eddoo jirruu uffata keenya qabannee akka baanu godhame. Uffata keenya keessaa uffata gurraacha barbaadanii fudhatan. Nutis ” uffata keenya hunda isaa nuuf deebisuu qabdu jennee gaafanne. Isaanis gara mana dukkanaa fuudhanii nuun deeman. Nu keessaayis namoota tokko tokko garmalee tumaadhaan dararan. Namootni tumamanis asuma waan jiraniif dhadacha fuulduratti waan irra ga’r kana ibsachuu ni danda’u. Uffatni keenya hundi isaa lafarratti waan bittinneeffameef hidhamtoonni biroo kan barbaadan keessaa fudhatan. Isa hafe fidanii kutaa keenya keessatti darban. Hanga har’aatti midhaan hin nyaanne. Harki keenya hamma ganamaatti Kaateenaadhaan hidhamee ture. Gochi suukaneessaan nurratti raawwatame hundi kan Oromummaa keenyarratii xiyyeffateedha. Lammiin sabaan Oromoo ta’e qofti filatamee garmalee tumamaa jira. Eddoon itti hidhamne kan ilmi namaa sababa sabummaa isaatif qofa itti adabamuudha. Anaanis ‘ Kan kana godhu sihi, si arganna’ naan jedhanii jiru.

Manni murtii eddoo turtii biraa akka nuuf mijeessu ni gaafanna. Ammas yoo gara mana hidhaa Qiliinxootti nu deebistan waan nurra ga’u hin beeknu. Sodaa guddaa qabna. Hoggantoonni mana sirreesichaa hamma hin jijjiiramnetti nabsee keennaaf ni sodaanna. Haala kanaan Beellama itti aanuf nabseedhaan argamuu danda’uu keenyas amantii hin qabnu. Maatin keenya akka nu hin daawwanne dhorgamaa jiru. Har’as erga dallaa mana murtii keessa seennee booda Namootni akka nu hin argine godhameera. Wanti akkanaa kuni mootummaadhaaf maal isaaf godhaa? Akka lammiitti lakkaawwamaa hin jirru.”

http://www.robemedia.com/2016/06/03/guyyaa-haraa-obboo-baqqalaa-garbaa-kaanaateeraa-keessaa-kofoo-gabaabduu-fi-miila-duwwaa-mana-murtiititti-dhiyaatan/


 

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa fi Kannen Biroon Har’a Uffata Keessaan Uffatamuun Mana Murtii Duratti Dhiyaatan

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/a/hidhamtoonni-oromo-uffata-keessaatin-mana-murtiitti-dhihaatan-/3360857.html


Ethiopia: Detainees beaten and forced to appear before court inadequately dressed

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/06/ethiopia-detainees-beaten-and-forced-to-appear-before-court-inadequately-dressed/


 

Oromo Federalist Congress International Support: Freedom for Bekele Gerba and all political prisoners in Ethiopian prisons April 29, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooOromo Federalist  CongressFree Bekele Gerba and all political prisonners in Ethiopia

 

The following is a statement of the Oromo Federalist Congress International Support Group (OFC-ISG)


 

OFC-ISG Press Release No. 4 – April 27, 2016


“Ethiopian Prosecutors Charge Oromo Opposition Leaders under Anti-Terrorism Proclamation”


On April 22, 2016, Ethiopian federal prosecutors charged 22 individuals, including Mr. Bekele Gerba, First Secretary-General of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), with violations of various articles of Ethiopia’s notorious Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP). The charges include – but are not limited to – alleged communication with the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), public incitement, encouraging violence, causing the deaths of innocent civilians as well as property destruction in cities, such as Ambo and Adama, during the recent protests in Oromia, Ethiopia. All prisoners were previously transferred from Makalawi to Qilinxu jail without any notice to their families or lawyers.

“When they arrived at Qilinxu prison, they were offered to take pills by prison administration – which all the 22 prisoners refused,” according to Bekele Gerba’s daughter Bontu in an interview she gave to Oromia Media Network (OMN) on April 23, 2016. “Then, the prison police took 4 of the prisoners – Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Addisu Bulala and Gurmessa Ayana – to a dark room and they are no more with the 18 others,” she added. “We, family members, were no more able to visit them this weekend,” said Aynalem Debelo, the wife of the Deputy Secretary of OFC, Dejene Tafa. “When we request their whereabouts and demand to visit them, the police has no answer. They told us to communicate with the prison administrators who are not willing to talk to us,” they told OMN.

Even when they were in Makelawi, prison conditions were harsh and dangerous. Bekele explained this in his own words in the court the following way:

“መታሰር ምንም ማለት አይደለም። አስሮ ሰብዓዊ መብትን መጣስ ግን የትም ሃገር የሌለ ነው። እንደ ኢትዬጵያ መንግስት ጨካኝ የለም። 4 በ 5 በሆነች ቤት የምንኖረው 23 እስረኞች ሆነን ነው። እዛችው ቤት ውስጥ ለሽንት የምንጠቀምበት ባልዲ እና የሁላችንም ልብስ ይቀመጣል። ይህን ተቃውመን የረሃብ አድማ ብናደርግ ‘ከፈለጋችሁ መሞት ትችላላችሁ’ ነው የተባልነው። እኛም ለመሞት ዝግጁ ነን።” – በቀለ ገርባ, 18/03/16

“Imprisonment is not a big deal. Violating prisoners’ human rights is rare in the world. No one is cruel like the Ethiopian government. We share a room of 4-meters by 5-meters with 23 prisoners. We put our clothes and a bucket for emergency in the same room. When we protested this by hunger strike, they told us, ‘You can die if you want to.’ We too are ready to die”.
– Bekele Gerba, Deputy Chairperson of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), March 18, 2016, at his third remand hearing.

Mr. Gerba appealed to the court about the inhumane and degrading conditions in the prison cell, but to no avail. During his fourth appearance in court on April 15, 2016, he showed his lawyer the rashes on his body resulting from insect bites, mainly bedbugs and fleas. Such detention conditions violate Article 18(1) of the Ethiopian Constitution, which reads: “Everyone has the right to protection against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Mr. Gerba and others committed no crime, neither were they informed about all the charges against them. Above all, Mr. Gerba believes that only a peaceful and nonviolent struggle can guarantee real change and build a truly democratic society in Ethiopia. Mr. Gerba rejects violence and has stated as much in several interviews. He believes in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy of nonviolent political resistance and has translated one of Dr. King’s books into Oromo so as to better spread this message. The EPRDF government’s accusations of terrorism against these Oromo political leaders are baseless. Rather, these charges are being used to suppress the basic human rights of Oromos and other Ethiopian peoples who are struggling to bring democracy, freedom and justice to Ethiopia. Such acts by Ethiopian government violate Articles 29, 30, and 31 of the Ethiopian Constitution, which guarantees the “Right of Thought, Opinion and Expression; The Right of Assembly, Demonstration and Petition and Freedom of Association.”

The Oromo Federalist Congress International Support Group (OFC-ISG) is saddened by the magnitude of charges brought against Mr. Gerba and other political prisoners. We would like our supporters, friends and the world to know that these charges are false allegations. As stated by the Chairperson of the OFC-ISG, in an interview with Oromo-TV, “What worries OFC-ISG most is the fate of that country. If such acts of absolute repression crush every peaceful movement and produce radicals, it is advantageous neither to Ethiopia nor to the West. Therefore, we ask the international community to stand by our side and put pressure on the Ethiopian government to unconditionally free all Oromo political prisoners since the government has already taken accountability for the poor governance that ignited the Oromo protests in Oromia.”

The Oromo Federalist Congress International Support Group (OFC-ISG) is a non-profit organization established in 2010 with the mission to bring an end to the brutal oppression, injustice and inequality with a view to advancing human rights, rule of law, good governance, protection of the environment and sustainable development in Ethiopia by supporting the struggle of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) through advocacy, education and financial contributions.

Oromo Federalist Congress International Support Group
Minneapolis MN

Oromia: Struggle Towards a Peaceful Sociopolitical Transformation in Ethiopia: Bekele Gerba as one of the Leading Icons February 14, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, African American, Baqqalaa Garbaa, Because I am Oromo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia.
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Struggle Towards a Peaceful Sociopolitical Transformation in Ethiopia: Bekele Gerba as one of the Leading Icons

By  Begna F. Dugassa, Ph.D.

Bekele Gerba translated Martin Luther King’s book  ‘I HAVE A DREAM’  into Oromo language while he was in prison.

Bekele Gerba translated Martin Luther King’s book  ‘I HAVE A DREAM’  into Oromo language while he was in prison.



 

The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) led government of Ethiopia is portraying Bekele Gerba as a violent man and charging him with instigating violence. Ordinary people are characterizing him as a compassionate, kind and a caring teacher, a professor and a humble political prisoner. Some people take it further and think Gerba acquired his political philosophy from the great leaders of our recent past such as Gandhi of India, Martin Luther King of America and Nelson Mandela of South Africa. If that is the case, inspired by those renowned leaders Gerba is humbly facing humiliation. In reality, who is Bekele Gerba?

Bekele Gerba is a deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). In my short personal conversation with him, I found him to be a good listener, humble, compassionate and forgiving. I agree with the view of those who say that he has been influenced by the principles of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.  In addition, as a school teacher and professor he might have been influenced by Paulo Freire’s teaching facilitating students “learn to read the word and the world”.  He has a strong character and compassion for a peaceful mass movement. At one point he said “promoting a peaceful movement is not the path that scary leaders choose to prevent personal risks, it is a strategy they follow to humbly accept personal humiliation and reduce harm to the public[2]”.
Bekele gerba speaks

 

In Gerba’s mind, the principles of Gandhi, King and Mandela are not foreign ideas to him and to the Oromo people; they are indeed consistent with the Oromo principles of nagaa (peace) and (Gada) democratic system of governance which are enshrined in the Oromo culture. He believes that only a peaceful mass movement can guarantee real change and sustain building a democratic society in Ethiopia. In Gebra’s mind and heart, violence has no place. In several interviews, he repeatedly and emphatically noted that even those who are involved in the killing and those who are ordering the killings and imprisonment knew that they are wrong and in the backs of their mind they feel guilty.  He believes such self-righteous individuals will realize their wrongs and gradually join the peaceful mass movement.

The first time I heard the name of Bekele Gerba was when a friend forwarded me his powerful speech that he made on the 2010 election debate.  His speech was thoughtful and articulate.  He is a linguist and his language skills have given him the tools needed to articulate the aspirations of the Oromo people.  In many parts of the world having individuals who are thoughtful and articulate is desirable and such individuals are usually respected and rewarded. However, things are different in the eyes of the Ethiopian government officials.

Like many other dictators, the TPLF- led Ethiopian government sees human rights activists as “the enemy”. Soon after Bekele Gerba met the Amnesty International research team, the Ethiopian security forces charged him for crimes he never committed and threw him into jail. TPLF officials fear him not because he is a violent person or conspiring to promote violence, but because he is thoughtful and articulate.  The Ethiopian government’s concern is that he can articulate the demands and the aspirations of the Oromo people to the Amnesty International research team.  For that the TPLF officials fabricated a dramatic type of crime and sent him to jail. He was released from prison in 2015 after serving four years.

 

In 2015, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA invited Bekele Gerba (an Oromo) and John Markakis (a Greece-American) to be two keynote speakers. OSA always encourages diverse perspectives and views (because no one has a monopoly on knowledge) to be presented at its annual conferences. Bekele was a university professor before he was imprisoned. Before that he was a school teacher.  His lived experiences, and career as a school teacher, university professor, politician and then political prisoner have given him a wide range of perspectives. He was therefore an excellent candidate to be invited by the OSA as one of the keynote speakers.   When I learned he was to be one of the OSA’s keynote speakers, on the one hand I was happy that I was going to be able to hear his first hand presentation.  On the other hand, I was concerned because many Oromo intellectuals are leaving the country and I wanted him to stay in Oromia to provide the leadership. My reason is I knew one of the motives of the TPLF government is to deny the Oromo people all forms of leaderships.

I know that Bekele Gerba has spent four years in prison for a crime he never committed.   I know he clearly understands the social problems that afflict the Oromo people and the causes of those problems. I also know he has met hundreds of Oromo prisoners who are languishing in Ethiopian prisons “because they are Oromo”. He knows that thousands more of Oromo men and women who are languishing in several prisons “because they are Oromo”.  Therefore, in my mind I pictured him asssumured in my mind assumeman. ee social conditions in which the Oromo people live. ( from “ pictured him….” to the end is a mess. Better fix it!) He meet thousands  an angry man.  However, when I met him and talked to him he did not look like an angry man. He was not angry at those who imprisoned him. It is not that he was not hurt. Indeed, he was deeply hurt. Yet, he overcame the pain he went through and chose to forgive those who subjected him to pain. When I clearly understood his deep commitment to a peaceful mass movement and his forgiveness to those who imprisoned him, I was deeply touched. As Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for the US president, once said “forgiveness is a way of opening up the doors again and moving forward, whether it’s a personal life or a national life” I realized the motive of Gerba to forgive is to move forward. I am deeply touched by this.

Let me tell you why I am deeply touched. When I was writing my Ph.D dissertation I was interested in human rights and public health. Therefore, it was natural to associate with students who geared their research interests to peaceful social movements such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King. At that time a friend who was focusing on Gandhi’s philosophy organized a research conference and invited me to present a paper. I presented a paper on Famine and Human Rights in Oromia. In the paper I explored the ways human rights violations perpetuated by consecutive Ethiopian regimes were contributing to cause famine. One of the audience members knew the situation that I was talking about and asked me if Gandhi type leaders need to be born in Ethiopia. I answered the question saying “thousands of Gandhi types of leaders are being born every year, but the social conditions of Ethiopia do not allow them grow. If Gandhi was born in Ethiopia, he would have been killed while he was still young”.  I further elaborated saying “although the British colonial rulers and the US slave holders were brutal, the system allowed many British and US citizens to be guided by a sense of “ethics”. Such a system allowed diversity within the dominant group of citizens and for this reason some of the members of the dominant group sympathized with the causes of those who were marginalized. However, the Ethiopian system does not allow diverse opinions to flourish.  Abyssinians like Wallelign Mekonnen who are inclined to promote social justice for the oppressed people are killed and such killing has suppressed others.  Oromo elites who tried to develop inclusive politics- like Haile Fida- and who tried to reform the Ethiopian Empire could not survive long.  Consistent with Newton’s law of motion that states “to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” and many Oromo leaders who came after Fida chose to focus on organizing the Oromo people.   I was convinced that in such political conditions Gandhi and Martin Luther King types of leaders and inclusive leaders could not grow to be national figures.

When I talked to Bekele Gerba and listened to his interviews, I started to question my own assumptions. Clearly he has successfully overcome the challenges that I identified above and developed a deep commitment to a peaceful mass movement and inclusive politics. The question I had in my mind at that time was, would the Ethiopian government allow such a thoughtful individual who fully adheres inclusive politics (diversity, equity and self-rule on one hand and unity on the other.

In December 2015, the Ethiopian government arrested Bekele Gerba again. When I heard the news, it reconfirmed my view about the system. Professor Merera Gudina rightfully characterized the ways the TPLF leadership thinks and functions when he said “although the TPLF has left the jungle behind, the jungle did not leave them behind.” The TPLF leadership needs to walk up and move away from the violent mindset that was instrumental to them when they were in the jungle. Leading a country with a population of a hundred million and leading a guerilla force are quite different things. They need to realize they are heading the second most popular and linguistically the most diverse empire or federal state in Africa.  They need to understand they are heading a country where the headquarters of the African Union is located and hundreds of diplomats stationed. They need to realize that the rule of law of the jungle is unsustainable.

 

The TPLF leadership need to understand Newton’s law of motion that states “to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Imprisoning Bekele Gerba and his colleagues does not silence the voice of the Oromo people who are demanding social justice, human rights and rule of law.  The voices that the Oromo people clearly and loudly spoke, from the North to South, and East to West in the last three months has delivered a clear message: “we do not allow any forms of injustice”. Consistent with Newton’s law of motion, as the TPLF oppress the Oromo people, evict them from their land, imprison and kill their children, the voices of the people demands for social reform and structural changes will dramatically increase. The TPLF leaders need individuals like Gerba and his colleagues who can be instrumental in facilitating smooth political change and lead social transformation in the country.

Gerba and his colleagues are the beloved sons and daughters of Oromo people and they want them free.  Certainly, Gerba and his colleagues are in a better position to secure not only the Oromo children but also, the Tigray children and others. Having said this, let me leave my note with the quote below and encourage the TPLF leadership to reevaluate their framework of thinking, free all political prisoners and join the peaceful march led by Gerba and his colleagues.

Today, I see thousands of Mahatma Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, and Nelson Mandelas marching forward and calling on us. The boys and girls [i.e. Gerba & others] have joined. I have joined in. We ask you [the TPLF leadership] to join, too.

Kailash Satyarthi

Begna F. Dugassa, Ph.D.


[1] Begna Dugassa, Ph.D., promotes human rights and health. He researches and writes in human rights and public health.  His recent work is published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine in February 2016. The title of the article: Free Media as the Social Determinants of Health: The Case of Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia.
[2] Translation is mine.