Eskinder Nega’s non-violent resistance to Tyranny By Teodros Kiros

October 10th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Serkalem Fassil, our Ethiopian hero, the beloved wife of Eskinder said it all. I could not say it better, except add a few reflections on her reflections. She writes:

I know for sure that one day the security men who stalked Eskinder round the clock will one day testify that Eskinder is innocent, that he has nothing to do with terrorism. Testimony or not, Eskinder is unstoppable from pursuing his goals. He attaches great values to human rights, democracy and justice.

As Prime Minister Meles Zenawi quit his university education to join a rebel group that helped him achieve his goals, so Eskinder will give up his personal comfort in order to achieve what he considers are lofty principles of humanity.

The only difference between him and the prime minister is while the prime minister joined an armed struggle to achieve his goals, Eskinder has chosen the path of nonviolence. (Ethiomedia, October 9, 2011).

Indeed the forces of tyranny have jailed the voice of Ethiopian resistance, a particularly courageous voice of youth. His resistance reminds me of Socrates’ resistance in the Apology, in which Socrates tried very hard to convince his accusers that he has done no wrong, except interrogate all those Athenians who professed to know that they do not know, and that knowledge begins with the humble admission that one does not know, but would like to know.

The historic Socrates was the voice of reason, who attempted to engage his accusers to enter into dialogue through the force of the forceless power of reason.

Similarly our Eskinder is our Ethiopian Socrates who refuse to abandon the use of his mighty pen and in series of brilliant columns sought to reason with the forces of tyranny, a tyranny that finally determined to arrest him in the name of “revolutionary democracy”, which is sadly neither democratic nor revolutionary.

The arrest of Eskinder, our hero, however need not deter us to change our non-violent uprising, nor should we be so frustrated to resort to violent armed struggle as the founders of revolutionary democracy did.

No. Ours is a future model of a non-violent resistance, which will resist tyranny through our mighty pens, principled tongues, and millions of Ethiopians who will one day the flood the streets, and shantytowns of the historic Ethiopia and assert their Ethiopianity.

This is a matter of time and we stay the course of non-violence as Serkalem wisely advises us.

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

  1. Zerayakob Yared
    | #1

    June 27th 2011, From Zerayakob Yared to Ghelaw..

    “ዛሬ በቀኙ ሳይሆን በግራው ጎንዬ ነውና የተነሳሁት,ስለሆነም በስመ ኣብ ወልድ ወዘመንፈስ-ቅዱስ ብዬ ከመጀመር ይልቅ,
    በአባታችሁ-በእናታችሁ- በወዘየሁላችን የመንፈሰ ህሊና አባታችን ዘዘርአያዕቆብ ይሁንባችሁ ብዬ ልማለዳችሁ እና, ከእንደዚህ አይነት ቅዱስ ነገር ጋራ ለመጋተር በምትነሱበት ጊዜ ሁለት ነገሮችን አስተውሉ::
    1. Was bekannt ist, ist nicht unbedingt erkannt; (ማለትም በአማርኛችን: የሚታወቅ ነገር ሁሉ የግዴታ ስር መሰረታዊ ግንዛቤን አግኝትዋል ማለት አይደለም::)Hegel
    2. ሌላ ቦታ ላይ ደግሞ ይሄው ሄግል ስለ ሶቅራጦስ መሞት ጉዳይ ሲገመግም: “የአቴንስ መንግስትም(State)ትክክለኛ ነው, ሶቅራጦስም ትክክል ነው” ይላል:: ማለትም መንግስት ጽፎ ያሰፈረውን ህግ በስራ መተግበር አለበት, ሶቅራጦስ ደግሞ ህሊናውን ከማጠፍ ይልቅ ሞትን ከመምረጥ በስተቀር ሌላ መፍትሄ አልታየውም:: ስለሆነም ወዳጆቹ ያቀረቡለትን የመሸሽ ትብብር ሃሳብን ተቀብሎና, ወደ ሌላ ደሴት ተሰዶ ሄዶ መኖርን እንደ በራስ ህሊና ላይ ክህደትን ማካሄድ ሆኖ ስለተሰማው(ሸሽቶ ቢሆን ኖሮ የአቴንስ መንግስትም እንዳላየ ሆኖ ችላ ይለው ነበር) የቀረበለትን መርዝ ተቀብሎ በመጠጣት ሂይወቱ አለፈ:: ለዚህ ሁሉ ያበቃው “ወንጀል” ወጣቶችን በመጀመርያ የራሳቸውን መብት ማስጠበቅን ማስቀደም እንዳለባቸው በማንቃት በአቴንስ መንግስት ላይ እንዲነሳሱ አነቃቅትዋቸዋል ነው! ኢንተለክቱን ተጠቅሞ ወጣቶቹን ለመብታችሁ ተነሱ አላቸው ከሚል ነገር ጋራም ሆነ የአገርን ጉዳይ በሚመለከት ነገር ላይ:
    መስፍን ወልደማርያምና እንድርያስ እሼቴ ምንም ይዘት ያለው ነገር ለሰው ልጅ ስለ አላበረከቱ,ኢንተለክትን ከሚመለከት ጉዳይ ጋር እነሱን ባታነሱ ጥሩ ነው:: ሁለቱም አካዳሚሽያንስ ናቸው:: ከዚያ በላይ ግን እንተለክችዋልስ ሳይሆኑ, መስፍን ዘላለሙን ‘የበሬ ችኩል ቀንድ ይንክሳል’ ስግብግብ እንደሆነ እድሜው ያለቀበት ሲሆን, እንድርያስ ደግሞ ከላይ ከፍ ብሎ አንዱ ተቺ ወንድማችን እንዳለው intellectual prostitute ነውና ! ህዝቤን ከድቸ ገንዘብ ማሳደድን መረጥኩኝ አይነት loosers ብቻ ናቸው::
    ይሄን ስል ግን መስፍንንም ሆነ እንድርያስን እንዲገደሉ ውይንም ራሳቸውን እንዲገድሉ በቀጥታም ሆነ በተዘዋዋሪ በሃሳቤ እያንሸራሸርኩኝ አይደለም:: የማይገባቸውን ነገር አትለጥፉባቸው ብቻ ነው ለማለት እየሞከርኩኝ ያለሁት !
    የእኛዎቹን የDiasporaችን ‘ደሴቶችንም’ እያስተዋልኩዋቸው ነው !”

    የ’June’ንን ለ’October ሓ.P’ውነቱን ለማስታወስ ያህል ብቻ ነው!

  2. koster
    | #2

    It is very unfortunate but the reality is that Meles missed the chance for peacefull transition of power in 2005. He preferred to kill and stay in power until being killed. He will be dragged out of office dead or alive with his greedy wife like the communist leader of Romania by hungry/angry Ethiopians.

  3. bonger
    | #3

    The Tigre People liberation Front, is a violent organisation born out of violence and that intends to stay in power through violence. They seized power by violence and murder and they will not leave power unless forced to do so.

    the strategy of the TPLF is simple, yet, cunning and callous – incite inter-ethnic violence and keep the people divided. In the early days of the TPLF and right upto this moment the TPLF has been using the amhara as the scapegoat for the resistance against their ethno-centric,ethno-fascist policy of divide and rule., and the TPLF and those who were fooled by this fascist group went on a killing spreee of the amhara living in southern Ethiopia.

    True to its cunning and callous nature, the TPLF then turned its guns on other ethnic groups and has been murdering, jailing, and harrassing many people in turn, each time targeting certain ethnic groups.

    What many saw as the liberation of their ethnic group at the start turned out to be a nightmare for the likes of OLF, ALLF. ONLF, PLPF etc.

    What many people did not realise at the time was that the Tigre People Liberation Front was a fascist organisation intent on the one point of dismantling Ethiopia and was far from being an ethnic liberation front.

    Carrying the tag of ‘Tigre People Liberation Front’, it is still massacring, jailing and torturing the Ethiopian public, and looting and selling the country without any concern for the wellbeing and future of the country.

    Hunger/famine, unemployment, disease, violation of the peoples’ basic human rights are as common in Ethiopia as an under developed poor third world country could be.
    The country has become a police state with upto 78% more spending on spies, security agents, specialist plain clothed government agents operating at distric and local levels and recruited to maintain the police state and the security of the TPLF politbureau and their cadres.

    It is a matter of time before the people say enough is enough and rise in mass. History is on the side of the Ethiopian people.

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