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

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