ATLANTA: Abebe Gellaw calls on opposition parties to discharge leadership role |
ESAT Atlanta| July 26, 2012
Referring to the historic day of May 18, 2012, that threw Prime Minister Meles Zenawi into a perpetual ailment and according to some analysts to a subsequent demise, Abebe said "that day has opened a new political chapter in the history of the Ethiopian people who struggle for peace and freedom." He further noted that the call he made on that unforgettable day was not his call alone, rather "it was a call of all Ethiopians." He said "there is no such thing as Amhara liberation front, Tigrai liberation front, nor do we have Oromo liberation front."
What we have is "an Ethiopian Liberation Front" the activist asserted. "The most important change that the day has brought" he said, " is while the incident created fear and horror in the minds of Meles and his clones, it also opened a new opportune time for the rest of us to keep our heads in upright position thereby raising the level of hope to a higher stage.
One observer noted that "that day has changed the pendulum to swing the other way." He further noted that the roaring sound of Abebe that struck Meles on May 18th has brought the last chapter of the tyrant era to an end." He said albeit murky situation still lingering around, all roads indicate towards the funeral home."
Another observer who epitomized Abebe as representative of the young generation said, "He has broken the cardinal rule that dictators who seem to have great stature and who think they are untouchables are nothing but fragile and precarious. Abebe's bold action has changed the "dynamics" of the struggle of the Ethiopian people." Abebe's voice, "will haunt the tyrant to his grave,"r.
Touching upon peaceful means of struggle to which Abebe himself is an ardent subscriber,said civil disobedience is above and beyond the word itself--- a concept that primarily entails unity among the various forces. To be an opposition by itself is not enough to attain the desired objective unless opposition forces forge a common front and march in unison, Abebe remarked. To this end, he emphasized the need to support the ongoing struggle by Muslim Community and called for unity between Muslims and that of Christian brethren.
Earlier a representative of the Nagashi Islamic Community in Atlanta, Ismael Hussen Abdulkadir addressed the gathering who praised Abebe Gelaw for his "heroic action on May 18, 2012" and urged for a concerted effort against the despotic ruler in Addis Ababa. He recalled the support that the Christian brethren extended during the recent gathering at Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa where more than 10,000 non-Muslim Ethiopians participated in Sedoqa program. He also mentioned the sit-down strike held in Dessie, Wollo region recently where Christian brethren provided food, drinks and tents that accommodate more than 60,000 demonstrators. He appealed to the gathering to give all rounded support to ESAT-- the voice of the voiceless.
Ismael's call for a united action was soon echoed by one of the progressive clergies in Atlanta, Aba Gebre-Selassie Tibebu who said unity is the sole foundation of strength. He said when two or more sticks are bundled up together they become more strong as opposed to being a single entity. The clergyman referring to the Holy Book said, "those who have committed acts of killings are in turn swamped in fear of being executed while a society which has been under a constant execution contemplates nothing but vengeance.
"Retribution is what our heart cultivates," he said, adding: "instead of contemplating such Ungodly concept, we need to seek and think of reconciliation."
Following the speeches by different guests an auction was opened by Wubishet Nigatu, a young activist and MC of the program. Wubishet appealed to all members of the audience to actively participate in the fund raising drive. The single item placed for auction was quotations extracted from the young civil rights activist Andualem Arage's speech who recently sentenced for life for telling the painful truth; the famous "freedom, freedom, freedom" speech by heroic Abebe Gelaw and the speech by journalist Eskindir Nega who pleaded the kangaroo court not to deny him the right to speak. This same court sentenced Eskindir to 18 years for crime that he never committed.
The historic quotations from these three gallant and advocates of freedom and democracy were put in a glass frame decorated with Ethiopian flag. The way the auction conducted was so different from conventionally known process in that the audience was divided into two rows based on their seats thereby giving everyone an opportunity to chip in to the pot.
Out of respect and duly recognition of their selfless sacrifice to the cause of freedom and democracy, people were auctioning in the name of those activists like Eskindir Nega, Rioit Alemu, General Kemal Gelchu, Yene Sew Gebre, captain Teshome Tenkolu, Abebe Gelaw, Andualem Arage, and so many other heroes. The most amazing and "acclaimed" auction came from a young man who made the bid in the name of the Honorable Bereket Simion who he said "is a good customer and regular listener of ESAT," who ironically calls it ISAT which literary means fire in Amharic.
Fetene Yemenu a self-made auctioneer, spontaneously shared the role of auctioning and at the same time entertaining the audience with his wit and his version of CHA-- CHA,CHA of the famous Getachew Abdi video clips. He changed the stage to a brief drama scene for some time that left participants with amusement and laughter. In a very short period of time over $4000 was collected in auction from a single item and all the money was donated to ESAT fund.
During question and answer session, Abebe was forced to accept the honorary generalship title that initially bestowed by His Holiness Abune Merkorios, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. In a typical Ethiopian modesty, Abebe replied that he doesn't deserve such a title but to ease the pressure from the audience he said he would be glad to accept the title after the Ethiopian people "achieve victory."
The meeting was opened with a moment of silence in honor of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as those who are still languishing in various prisons under the most despotic and Machiavellian regime. Opening the gathering with unprecedented turnout, a promising hardworking activist, Getachew Legesse chairman of Atlanta ESAT support group, stressed the role played by ESAT ever since its inception two years ago. He said “Although, we enjoyed ESAT’s success in the past two years, ESAT has quite a journey to cover and everyone’s contribution is needed to make ESAT successful.” He challenged everyone to compare his or her contribution with that of priceless sacrifice that Eskinder or Andulaem or thousands other political prisoners pay for freedom.
The event has attracted hundreds of Ethiopians from all walks of life, from a great, great grand father who retired from Commercial Bank of Ethiopia years ago to a young man in his mid 20s who left Ethiopia recently. The former banker attempted to draw a historical parallel between Abraha Debotch and Mogus Asgedom and that of Abebe's action who single handedly exposed Meles in an international forum, "a blow that inflicted greater damage than the bomb shell that wounded Graziani," he said. And the young visitor called Abebe's courageous act " a political touch down."
At the end of the session Abebe was awarded a crystal plaque with engraved words of appreciation for his courageous and daring action of May 18, 2012 and an encouragement for a continued selfless sacrifice until the Ethiopian people crown the inevitable victory.(END)
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