Our Moral Struggle Continues By Teodros Kiros

May 30th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

May 28th is a colossal day. It is a day that will be recorded in the annals of contemporary Ethiopian history, as the day during which Ethiopian youth came out and challenged the regime.

Docility gave way to action, vision replaced despair, intimidation was displaced by courage.

Hail, I say to our youth, who came out on a trying day to express themselves and let the world witness their presence as they flooded the streets of Addis, on a tense day. They did it.

I hail our Ethiopian youth for engaging in a GREAT RADICAL REFUSAL to stay home. They came out on a dangerous day and chose moral struggle to docility, great refusal to intimidation.

I appeal to all Ethiopians to congratulate our youth, inspite of their gruesome life; they made good their promise and flood the streets of tyrannical celebration.

They should also be hailed for their discipline and for the maturity that they displayed in distinguishing reckless confrontation of the military apparatus from showing up and resisting tyranny through the power of non-violence. In moments such as this we must distinguish the power of non-violence from the force of tyrannical oppression. Power is the instrument of non-violence, and force is the weapon of tyranny. Our youth used the power of their passions and sought to overcome the force of tyranny. I commend them for knowing the
difference and acting to the right degree, at the right time and in the right way.

Tyrannical regimes use force to intimidate the governed. Non-violent resisters use power, the power of the people, and the power of reason to overcome the force of tyranny, the irrationality of its stylistics of pseudo governance. I understand that we Ethiopians are deeply divided now. Some of us profoundly frustrated because we cannot topple this regime; others are so traumatized that they cannot withstand anything Tigrean.

My brothers and sisters! In time all this will change. For now let us treat bygones as bygones and concentrate on the project at hand, regime change by the forceless power of non-violence.

Our struggle must continue. We must try hard to trust each other and lead the peoples’ uprising through the collected effort of all our democratic organizations and most importantly the heroic examples of our courageous Ethiopian Youth.

A future article will address the power of non-violence in the struggle against tyrannical force in our Ethiopia.


Teodros Kiros
Professor of Philosophy and English (Liberal Arts)
Berklee College of Music

  1. rezene kadissaba
    | #1

    Gash Teodros
    There is no peoples power – there is only good or bad governments. If you are trying to write about the 1974 Eth revolution. Do not waste time. They are the same people who were killed and tortured in red terror. In 1974 people revolted because Janhoy allowed it. What happens to thier power which toppled janhoy when Derg started killing? Why didnt we revolted during Dergue? Unless you feel people were less oppressed than now? People had no power the whole 17 years of Dergue. Because there was no political space at all.
    Give me a break and use the ‘political space’ given to you by the current government. Do not write about Derg. In Eth Derg is dead!!! Irrelevant!! Write to the opposition to work on alternative politics not hate. We dont want to hear about EPRDF’s problems. We know them. We are living with it. Tell the oppositions make or break. You are making the gov worse by just intimidating and crying faul all the time. NEGOTIATE AND SHOW US THE RESULT.

  2. Joel Gutama
    | #2

    ‘others are so traumatized that they cannot withstand anything Tigrean’: a wise explanation I have ever heard in the last ten years why anti-Tigrean sentiment is taking root. It is truly significant that such a statement is made by a well known intellectual with Tigrean background. If others heed to his sober counsel and follow suit a solid partnership to topple TPLF-led tyranny is in hand. This will also delegitimize the non-Tigrean servicemen of tyranny from OPDO and ANDM. Our great enemy at this moment is not TPLF but dissocial passion, hopelessness and lack of political unity. Let’s overcome our differences, hopelessness and deference to authoritarianism.

  3. Sahle
    | #3

    AMENDED: PLEASE POST THIS ONE AND DELETE THE OTHER

    Dear Abugida Editor,

    I could not stop laughing at Teodros Kiros’s latest article above. This guy must either be sick in the head or is a habitual, pathological and utter liar to tell us that on the 28th of May 2011 there was Ethiopian youth came out and challenged the regime. He further uttered more white as well as black lies saying, “Hail, I say to our youth, who came out on a trying day to express themselves and let the world witness their presence as they flooded the streets of Addis, on a tense day. They did it”. He continued making himself sound sarcastic too, by saying, “I hail our Ethiopian youth for engaging in a GREAT RADICAL REFUSAL to stay home. They came out on a dangerous day and chose moral struggle to docility, great refusal to intimidation”. Not only that but also he made me laugh hysterically when he said, “They should also be hailed for their discipline and for the maturity that they displayed in distinguishing reckless confrontation of the military apparatus from showing up and resisting tyranny through the power of non-violence”.

    Was he serious really, or he was trying to play his TPLF devious games on our minds? Frankly speaking, he must have had bad dreams lately, was on some kind of substance when he wrote this unfounded utter lies or been more ill for not taking his tablets for his mental problems the readers noticed from his writings to date. After uttering all the above lies too, he then contradicted himself by saying that, “I understand that we Ethiopians are deeply divided now. Some of us profoundly frustrated because we cannot topple this regime; others are so traumatized that they cannot withstand anything Tigrean”. Here too, he is blatantly telling us that we Ethiopians are divided and that Tigreans are untouchables and difficult to defeat in or out non-violent activities.

    That was a TPLF man’s mentality. He further told us that regime change couldn’t be achieved by as he put it, “the forceless power of non-violence”. In this too, he again contradicted himself with all the things he was saying to us in his previous publications. But at the end of his scribbles, he said, “A future article will address the power of non-violence in the struggle against tyrannical force in our Ethiopia”. Mind you too, in the same paragraph, he said that non-violence is forceless but then he promised to write about the power on non-violence. For God sake, what the hell this so-called was talking about? And how come Abugida editors are still allowing him to insult our intelligence too, when the likes of ECADF and Ethiopian Review editors no longer publish this sick TPLF man’s false garbage and contradicting statements one after the other? Abugida editors must have taken him as an entertainer rather than as a writer of substance.

    What kind of generation have we become really where liars & enemies are believed and respected but good patriots and truthful Ethiopians are sidelined and even hated? I guess, the end of this cruel world is nearer than one ever thought. For the professor too, please don’t bother at all to write about the non-violence stuff all because the Internet is full of that and others if we needed it. God have mercy on us all. Amen!

  4. Sahle
    | #4

    This is a good food for Teodros Kiros’s confused soul. In the world we live if the facts recorded are as follows. Hence can he really tell us first the world he lives in, and secondly, from where he got all those false stories about the not materialised uprising he told us happened on the 28th of May 2011? We need him to tell us the truth or at his reasons for telling us lies and contradicting himself as well.

    As for his biased phrase, ‘others are so traumatized that they cannot withstand anything Tigrean’, one has to take it in the contents of his usage of the language or sentence therein and also read it in full between the lines to really find out what he really and truly meant to say to those from other tribes who are not Tigreans by birth.

    Hence one has to be cautious and or be careful before one rush to praise him for such two-sided and sophisticated remarks by him and his likes. Let’s not forget too, that this same intellectual was anti-Ethiopia, anti-Ethiopian and a full time cadre of the TPLF for the past 20 years. He only here in our midst for another hidden mission to continue to serve his TPLF pay masters. The following was and is the fact. Read on, Aite Teodros.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Protesters Absent as Ethiopia Marks Anniversary of Meles Rule
    By Peter Heinlein, VOA | May 29, 2011

    ADDIS ABABA – Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have turned out in Addis Ababa’s main square to mark Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s 20th anniversary in power. A “day of rage” counterdemonstration planned by democracy activists failed to materialize.

    A random sampling of public opinion on the streets of Addis Ababa Saturday found most people going about their regular business, staying clear of the demonstration. The capital is known as a hotbed of anti-government sentiment, but residents expressed little enthusiasm for public protests.

    http://ethiomedia.com/andnen/2540.html

  5. Shegeritu
    | #5

    Sahele, may be it is invincible to some of you. I know a good eye doctor just in case……..I think you need one.

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