Enhancing the Protest – By an anonymous writer against dictatorship and terrorism
Throughout his political life- whether as an ordinary person or as a leader- Meles’s primary mission has been to torture Ethiopians and destroy their beloved country, as if the cruelty of mother nature and previous regimes was not enough. It has been told by people very close to Meles that in his whole life the man has never been heard saying anything good about Ethiopia, let alone doing something beneficial for the country. In the meantime, he plunders whatever is possible and enables and encourages those who help him in the implementation of his antiEthiopia mission to do the same. There are many foreign governments, institutions and prominent individuals who work very closely with Meles for mutual benefits at the expense of the Ethiopian people. For them, morality or the suffering of the people is nothing as long as they are not affected. This fact is now well realized by the Ethiopian people, their friends and by those who have the virtues of morality and humanity.
In the opinion of this writer, the recent invitation of Meles to speak at Columbia University on September 22 is a reflection of the ongoing give-and-take relationship between Meles and his supporters. Particularly two individuals have been mentioned to have played a central role in his invitation- Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz. This is not the first time these individuals have promoted Meles and acted as a shield to cover the crimes he has committed against the people of Ethiopia. They want him to stay in power so that the symbiotic relationship remains unaffected as long as possible. As they have been coaching Meles in the art of begging starting from his early years in power, he is considered their “baby.” From the nature of the work these individuals are engaged in, their visibility on international forums and their relevance to world politics is largely dependent on their association with such stupid and murderous third world leaders like Meles of Ethiopia. In other words, if there are no leaders like Meles, the relevance of people like Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz will be diminished or disappear. The clinging of Meles to power enables them to say to the world that they are doing something for poor countries such as Ethiopia, “justifying’ their relevance and extracting whatever comes along with it. So it is to the benefit of these individuals that Meles gets their support and stay in power as long as possible, no matter how undemocratic he is.
During the last few weeks, many Ethiopians have written protest letters against the invitation of Meles to Columbia. Most of these letters are addressed to Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz- the individuals who are part of the problem- and the President of the University. The above stated situation being the case, this writer believes that these protest letters per se will not be that effective to bring about the expected outcomes. It is likely that the individuals to whom the letters are written are also aware ahead of time that such protests are inevitable and they are prepared to ignore them or do something about them. Similar protest letters were written before for other similar cases but no positive results were seen. Then, what can be done? It there any better option?
Universities are composed of different groups of people with varied philosophical viewpoints and political interests. In most cases, democratic and human rights groups play predominant roles in the lives of universities. Such groups do not usually work for self-interest. It important to identify and contact such groups in Columbia University and make them aware about what is taking places on their campus regarding Meles. In most cases, these groups are freely accessible and receptive of this kind of news, and when they act, their voices can be heard very well. Another communication opportunity is the use of campus and local newspapers and radio programs. This can help spread words to a wider audience and put the enablers and organizers of the event on spot. Contacts can be made to media centers directly via phone calls or email messages to request for protest opportunity. Since this approach can affect the image of the University more severely, it may have a more significant impact. Among the audience could be alumina of the university who play an important role in supporting the University. As it happens almost everywhere, members provide support to their alma matter universities for good causes and it is likely that the invitation of Meles may not be acceptable by those supporting Columbia University. That is the time when the University will be forced to seriously listen to protesters and take action in their favor.
In short, it appears more productive if porters spend some of their time and energy to protest against the invitation of Meles by also considering these approaches.