Kinijit International
The snow covered and frozen white lawns of the US Congress got a dose of face-lift from hundreds of demonstrators waving Ethiopian and American flags, huge banners and placards which demanded the unconditional release of Ethiopian prisoners of conscience. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch Genocide Watch and others have declared the prisoners “Prisoners of Conscience”
The bitter cold and punishing wind was no match for the heightened spirit and resolve of the demonstrators. The program attracted a host of people from far away states. Boston made a strong showing after an eight our chartered bus trip to Washington DC. They brought their own banners, placards and film crew. Kinijit Support Chapter officials and African-American civil rights activists represented Atlanta. A committee from Chicago joined the crowed and later submitted petition drawn by the Ethiopian and Ethiopian-American community there.
Mrs. Helen Butler, Executive Director of the “Georgia Coalition for People’s Agenda” joined the rally and made an inspiring speech. She told the crowd that last month’s national holiday to commemmorate Martin Luther King’s birthday put the sad civil rights situation in Ethiopia among its priority agendas. To underscore the concern of the African American community with regard to civil rights violations in Ethiopia, a “White Paper” was produced with the aim of presenting it to the congressional black caucus. Mrs. Butler, along with her other colleagues and prominent Ethiopian civil rights advocates officially peresented the document to the black caucus leadership. Other civil rights organizations, groups and individuals swormed the coridors of the House distributing petitions to their elected representatives.
Outside, the crowed warmed itself with the spirit of unity and the cause that it stood for. The logans called for the US congress to look into the plight of 77 million Ethiopians, to stand on the side of democracy and human rights as the forefathers of this great nations would have expected it. It demanded the Congress to intervene on behalf of the incarcerated elected representatives and renowned human rights advocates who on February 19 face the death penalty in Zenawi’s kangaroo court on fabricated charges. It reminded the US government supporting tyrants on the faulty premise that they are allies against terrorism is shortsigted and against the fabric of the great American promise to stand against tyranny and repression.
The program is part of a global campaign jointly organized by Kinijit International and Kinijit support chapters through out the world. Here in the US and Canada rallies are being conducted simultaneously.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at12:03 PM


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