Toronto witnesses largest ever anti-Meles protest rally |
Organizers | June 28, 2010
Greater Toronto Area and surrounding region is home to thousands of Ethiopian Canadians. Early settlement began in great numbers in the early '80s - when the Derg's Red Terror campaign and armed rebellions started to displace local populations. The influx of refugees to Sudan from Gondar, Eritrea and Tigray in thousands prompted western governments to implement an unprecedented resettlement programs on a large scale. The Canadian people have since hosted at least fifty thousand immigrants of Ethiopian origin who have chosen this great vast country as their home for starting and raising families.
How one would expect democratic governance from a rebel leader like Meles with a communist ideology in his veins, pathological liar, and shrewd to eliminate individuals or group of individuals with dissenting views? No single instance in his whole life time one would bring forth supporting Meles is a democratic leader to reckon with. The 99.6% is a case in point to substantiate his ruthlessness and his total neglect to messages what this figure conveys to Ethiopians and the international community at large. If Stalin or Saddam were alive today, they would have no doubt contratulated him for a job well done.
It is with his “victorious” mood and fresh as “champion” of democracy that Meles has landed in Toronto as a guest for the G20 Summit. The invitation made by Mr Stephen Harper has infuriated Ethiopian Canadians and strongly urged him to review his action as inviting Meles would undermine the provisions of Canadian constitution. Members of Parliament have also reminded Mr Harper that his action is unacceptable by millions of Canadians as Meles is a notorious abuser of human rights. As tax payers, Ethiopian Canadians have to come out in throngs and condemn the coming of Meles to Toronto. They consider him as an unelected leader who rigged ballots in successive staged elections including the recent one. They consider this is a great occasion to expose Meles in front of the international media.
As determined as ever, human rights groups in Toronto got together and charted a plan to coordinate a protest rally against him. Human rights activists pooled their resources and sorted out the logistical needs of such great event. Unity for Human Rights and Democracy, SOCEP, EPRP(D) and GINBOT 7 support groups, later joined by the Ethiopian Human Rights Committee have done a remarkable job in organizing and managing the largest ever protest rally in North America. Toronto has proven itself that it is home to citizens determined to support the struggle for justice and Democracy in Ethiopia.
On Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 6:00 AM, Queens Park, seat of the Ontario parliament, space spotters assigned were at the scene. There were only TV station trucks mounted with Satellite dishes and cables lining up along north side parliament building. Yilma drove early from his east end home and parked his car at a corner confused. He expected a large crowd and could see only Tamme walking from the east corner, blowing his horn that early morning and carrying one huge Ethiopian Flag. “There I could see another flag from a far corner and as approaching closer was another activist,”, said Yilma. Another activist just parked his van with full load of protest materials and supplies and started unloading banners, flags and placards carrying slogans.By 8:00 AM, the group got bigger and louder. T-shirts with pictures of Birtukan and slogan “STOP GENOCIDE IN ETHIOPIA” were distributed to rally participants. As the first well organized protest group at the park was about to march, radio, TV and newspaper groups had the opportunity to come around and take images and interviews.
The Toronto protest rally had participants as far away from Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal ,London , Kitchener, Hamilton and even from bordering states in the United States of America. The protest rally has sent clear messages across that “Meles is a tyrant who deserves no place at G20”. The Canadian public has been well informed that Prime Minister Harper is using tax payers money to dine and wine with tyrants like Meles. All along the route marchers went through, loud voices have been heard, chanting “Free Birtukan Medeksa! Free Aberash Berta! Free Abera Yemaneab! Free All Political Prisoners in Ethiopia!"
As committed ever, patriotic Ethiopians withstood the rain that was pouring for several hours starting in the morning and past midday. It was indeed the largest, well organized and obviously louder rally ever in Canada which has attracted so many spectators along the route traveled and the mainstream media with worldwide reach.
It was past 3:00 PM, and the rally had already covered the 5-km route allowed. The protesters converged on Queen's Park for closing speeches by representatives of the organizing group. Each representative expressed satisfaction on the success of the rally and vowed to continue the struggle until Ethiopians are freed from ethno-fascistic regime of Meles Zenawi.
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