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Running Magazine: Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon winner protests in support of Oromo people October 16, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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VIDEO: Toronto Waterfront Half winner protests in support of Oromo people
Ethiopian Kindi Asefa won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon on Sunday and performed a political protest as he crossed the finish line.

October 16th, 2016 by Tim Huebsch,  Running News, Running videos


The string of protests against the Ethiopian government among Canada-based runners continued on Sunday as Kindi Asefa crossed his arms above his head at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The Toronto Olympic Club athlete won the half-marathon in 1:08:34 and made an “X” above his head– a gesture in solidarity with the Oromo people.

The Oromo protests gained international attention at the Rio Olympics when Feyisa Lilesa famously crossed the finish line in second place in the men’s marathon while performing the protest. The Oromo people cross their arms above their head to imitate being handcuffed.


Lilesa is currently in the United States with a special skills visa and did not return home to Ethiopia because he feared for his life.

RELATED: Quebec City Marathon winner Ebisa Ejigu replicates Olympic medallist’s political protest.

According to Human Rights Watch, as many as 500 people have been killed in the protests between November 2015 and June 2016. The protests are occurring because the Ethiopian government is extending the capital city’s municipal boundary which is forcing the Oromo people away from their homes.

The boundary is extending into Oromia, home to much of the country’s Oromo people. The Oromo people are the largest ethnicity in the Horn of Africa. The Oromo people, according to BBC News, claim that the government is oppressive and that they have been marginalized.

After Lilesa’s political protest at the Olympics, Ebisa Ejigu made the gesture at the Quebec City Marathon. Soon after, Hajin Tola made an “X” with his arms at the CanKen 5K road race in Mississauga, Ont. Asefa, along with Tola and Ejigu, all train with the Toronto Olympic Club.

RELATED: Winner of Mississauga CanKen 5K race protests in support of Ethiopia’s Oromo people.

On Sunday, Asefa won by 10 seconds over Matthew McNeil. Erin McClure was the top woman in 1:20:40.


Athletic Nation Report: In Solidarity with the Oromo Protests athlete Hirut Guangul makes powerful gesture in 4-peat. #OromoProtests September 26, 2016

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stop-killing-oromo-peopleStop killing Oromo Studentstplf-stop-killing-the-konso-people


Athlete Hirut Guangul joined the brave movement as she won the women’s marathon with a time of 2:44.25.



Ethiopian Guangul makes powerful gesture in 4-peat

By Drake Lansman, 25 September 2016

MOLINE — As Hirut Guangul, of Ethiopia, crossed the Quad Cities Marathon finish line as the first woman overall for the fourth consecutive year, she crossed her arms above her head in an “X”.

Guanhul became the first QCM four-time champion, but the moment became larger than just her athletic achievement on Sunday morning.

“I like this race,” said Guanhul. “Four-time champion. I’m very, very happy.”

After the race, the 24-year-old said the “X” is a way of protesting the human rights abuses that are taking place in Ethiopia. Guanhul’s simple action is a brave and powerful one that bypasses any language barrier.

Hundreds of peaceful Ethiopian protesters have been killed or arrested by the Ethiopian military this year. Protesters have demanded equality for the country’s Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group that has felt marginalized by the government as it pushes them off their land before selling it.

Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa held up an “X” with his arms as he won silver in the marathon at the Rio Olympics. The gesture has been used as a symbol of strength and peaceful resistance.

Lilesa says he likely will not be able to return home after making the gesture of solidarity. The Oromos also have used the “X” as a sign of their protest.

“The Ethiopian government is killing my people, so I stand with all protests anywhere, as Oromo is my tribe,” Lilesa said at an Olympic press conference. “My relatives are in prison, and if they talk about democratic rights they are killed.”

Guangul joined the brave movement as she won the women’s marathon with a time of 2:44.25.

She won her first QC Marathon in 2012, when she set the women’s open course record of 2:35.07. Guangul’s 2016 win earned her $3,000 in prize money.

Guangul says she enjoys the Quad Cities Marathon, and is happy to be back at the race.


Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: The winner of Quebec City Marathon, Oromo athlete Ebisa Ejigu crossed the finish line in an almost-identical fashion as Fayyisaa Leellisaa (Lilesa) did one week earlier in Brazil Rio Olympic Marathon, solidarity to #OromoProtests. August 29, 2016

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Quebec City Marathon winner, Oromo athlete, Ebisa Ejigu, replicates Rio Olympic medallist’s #OromoProtestsQuebec City Marathon winner, Oromo athlete, Ebisa Ejigu, replicates Rio Olympic medallist’s #OromoProtests. p3Quebec City Marathon winner, Oromo athlete, Ebisa Ejigu, replicates Rio Olympic medallist’s #OromoProtests. p2

 World class Oromo athletes continue to stand for freedom gold medalist in solidarity

Quebec City Marathon winner replicates Olympic medallist’s political protest

Ebisa Ejigu of Ethiopia performed a sign of protest against his home country’s government as he won the Quebec City Marathon on Sunday.

By ,  Running  August 28th, 2016

Ebisa Ejigu est le premier coureur à franchir la ligne d’arrivée en 2:30:40! Bravo!

Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia made headlines last Sunday when he finished second in the men’s marathon at the Olympics with his arms crossed above his head. The gesture, which was done in solidarity with the Oromo people’s anti-government protests in his home region, led Lilesa to say “If I go back to Ethiopia, they will kill me.”


Fayyisaa lalisaa Oromo national hero, at Rio 2016 Olympicmarathon in the podium, finishing line in #OromoProtests as winning theOlympic medal, 21 August 2016

#mcm #ManCrushMonday goes to this brave man Feyisa Lilesa BBC: An Olympic marathon runner from Ethiopia staged a daring protest against his home government when he crossed the line in Rio on Sunday. As he took the silver medal, Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms above – a gesture made by the Oromo people who have suffered brutal police crackdowns. New York-based Human Rights Watch says that more than 400 people were killed in clashes with the security forces in Oromia, although the government disputes this figure. Rule 50 of the Olympic charter bans political displays or protests and the IOC say they are gathering information about the case. #FeyisaLilesa #OromoProtests

On Sunday, the winner of the Quebec City Marathon crossed the finish line in an almost-identical fashion as Lilesa did one week earlier in Brazil. Ebisa Ejigu, who is from Addis Ababa, ran 2:30:40 to win the SSQ Quebec City Marathon and formed an “X” with his arms across the line and into the finisher’s zone.

RELATED: Four other storylines from Sunday’s Quebec City Marathon.

Forming an “X” with their arms is a sign of protest against the government’s treatment of the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa. The protests were sparked after the government began extending the municipal boundary of the country’s capital, threatening parts of Oromia and the people’s land rights.

The protests began in a small town named Ginchi, approximately 80 kilometres outside of the capital. Both Lilesa and Ejigu are from Addis Ababa or the surrounding area.

RELATED: Runner from Jordan finishes last in Olympic marathon but was all smiles.

Ejigu is a regular on the Canadian running scene having run the Toronto Waterfront 10K in June and winning the Mississauga Marathon in May. According to Sportstats, Ejigu has listed his place of residence as Toronto since June 25. In Quebec City, he was wearing a Toronto Olympic Club singlet. He has a lifetime marathon best of 2:12:03.

Since November 2015, Human Rights Watch reports that 400 people have been killed by the government’s security forces as part of the protests. An additional 100 people are believed to have been killed in August, according to BBC News.

Lilesa, the Olympic silver medallist, did not return to Ethiopia as scheduled after the Rio Games and is seeking asylum. The decision to not board the flight came after the government said that Lilesa would get a “heroic welcome” in Ethiopia. A crowdfunding page has raised US$157,438 in the 26-year-old’s name to cover travel costs and provide support for his wife and two children in Ethiopia.

Ejigu’s sign of protest at the Quebec City Marathon