London vigil pins hope on freedom

By Wondimu Mekonnen
LONDON - The TPLF government would on Monday, February 19, 2007 formalise its sham verdict, with the intentions of locking up the entire leadership of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP), members of the free press and civic organisations for a long time. Ethiopians around the world are not taking this threat silently. Noisy protests are taking place around the world and London hasn't been an exception. Certainly the vigil (if one calls it a vigil at all) held at the 17 Princess Gate in London was dramatic and historical.
Looking at the large crowd that turned up at London’s black spot, 17 Prices Gate, on Friday Woyyane (TPLF regime) must be out of its mind to even think it would get away with the crimes it has already committed and intended to commit. Although the people are muzzled in Ethiopia, those who are in exile are making their voices heard from horizon to horizon.
The highly charged demonstrators targeted their megaphone at the Embassy and bombarded it with slogans demanding to stop the sham trial that the Kangaroo court of Woyyane has been trying to carry out and required the immediate release of the political prisoners, members of the free press and all those who have been illegally detained and disappeared. Ethiopians expressed their disgust and anger at the mass arrest, the extra judicial killings and torture in Ethiopia.
The protestors were heard equating the Woyyane Ma’ekelawi to that of Abu Ghariabs in Iraq and demanded its immediate closure. The Ethiopian protestors told to passers by willing to hear that freedom, the free press, civic society and justice itself are on trial in Ethiopia. They called upon the international community to stand by the Ethiopian people in their struggle for freedom, democracy, justice and respect for the rule of law and human rights.
In addition to those slogans demanding the freedom of the detained and disappeared and justice for the murdered there were some that targeted Ambassador Berhanu Kebede, reminding him that justice in Ethiopia would be good even for himself and for his children too. The demonstrators loudly spoke he would better save his future, like that of his predecessor, Ambassador Fesseha Adugna, to escape the judgement of history.
Ethiopians called the names of each detainees of CUDP leadership, members of the free press and civic organisations and demanded for their unconditional and immediate release.
The Ethiopian Embassy in London is sandwiched between the Iranian Embassy and other institutions, including St Nicholas School. Although the Iranian Embassy staff had to bear with the deafening noise of the demonstrators, the school wisely sent the pupils early home, just like before, to save them from the noisy disturbance.
The Knights Bridge Road leads to Albert Hall. Those who were flocking to the Hall for the evening shows had to stop by read the placards and ask questions. The traffic slowed down and motorists hooted their horns in support of the Ethiopian noisy demonstrators.
Some friends of Ethiopia who were aware of what is going on in that country came out and joined the demonstrators to raise their voices to demand the respect of human rights and rule of law. A lady promised to join Ethiopians at every demonstrations and vigils as long as the regime in Ethiopia continued violating the rights of its citizens.
The staff at the Ethiopian Embassy switched off their lights and sat in the dark, while their neighbours kept the lights on. It must be a torture to serve Woyyane. However, that did not save them from being told that they should remember they were supposed to serve the interest of the Ethiopian people and not the ruling gangsters. The staffs were constantly reminded that governments come and governments go. The Woyyane regime was on its last leg and it would certainly go. Therefore, the demonstrators told those people serving the interest of Woyyane to reconsider their allegiance before it is too late.
Just before the end, the organisers thanked the demonstrators for braving the cold and the dark London winter to voice for the voiceless. One of the leaders of the organisers briefed the protestors that the vigil had been jointly organised by the CUDP Support Organisation in the UK, United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (EUDF) Support Group in the UK, members of the Civic Organisations including journalists. That must have shown the Woyyane that the alliance to combat its human rights violation is intact in London. From here on, it is only going to be stronger and tighter.
Ethiopians at the protest were also warned against the trap set by Woyyane stooges to attract the youth to celebrate the millennium with them. Ethiopians should remain alert not to be tricked into joining them while our leaders remained in jail, the stolen ballots remained hijacked, the murdered did not get justice and justice prevailed for all the persecuted.
The protest that started at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon came to and an end at 7:00 p.m. peacefully and without incident, though the Police were on their toes for four hours.
The struggle continues! Ethiopians shall triumph!
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The writer, Wondimu Mekonnen, can be reached at wondimu.mekonnen@btinternet.com

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at12:36 AM

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