The Ethiopians – Martyr’s Voice By Ewnetu Sime
I read “Legacy by Ethiopian martyrs written in blood – Robele Ababya” posted on several websites (3/23/12). It brought to mind the martyrs in red terror passed through 1974 (G.C.) revolutionary upheaval, and historical Ethiopians patriotic deeds to defend our country from external aggression lead me to share this short opinion.
The voices of the Martyrs and patriots have called us to create unity to fight against TPLF’s oppression. The Martyrs knew that their good effort of being socially responsible was a noble and just cause, and always wishes to endure for decades to come. They believed that their generation is not afraid to stand up for Ethiopians rights just like their forefathers did by fighting the Italian aggression. They were certain that their children’s children also to inherit their aspiration and light a freedom torches to build a better society. They reject the notion that oppression cannot sustain for long time. They were too committed to achieve real political, economic and social justice, benefit all citizens and paid with ultimate sacrifice for the better livelihood of all Ethiopians. No doubt, it is inevitable the future belongs to those vanguards who sacrificed themselves for the interest of majority of people and country.
Our 1974 revolution marked by experience and plenty of failures before seeing any lasting success. The Martyrs efforts were not in vain, the struggle will continue until freedom is achieved. Given Ethiopia is multinational state; I have confined my analysis with several questions concerning current political activities. What is better strategy to end oppression? Should we reexamine the struggle through ethnic ideology or class ideology perspective ?Why most young generation and intellectual in diaspora become less enthusiasm to keep the political dialogue going forward? Is it the absence credible leadership?
In 70s most youth were inspired in reading revolutionary books or local popular political magazines such as “Goh”, “Tseday” etc. They participated in being part of the making of history to free the oppressed people of Ethiopia. The commitment and contribution to the struggle is monumental. Namely, among many, the organized formidable forces were EPRP and Meison. Their organizational skills and the objectives and aspiration were so powerful. They had support of large numbers of youth. In this regard, the 60s or 70s youth seemed had in depth political awareness, deep desire to change the existing system. The youth began organized at home and abroad under an umbrella of Ethiopia Student Union. The students union analyzed the autocratic system in terms of class ideology (in most cases), or ethnic ideology and articulated how to struggle to free a society. They were never able to settle a class or an ethnic ideology differences. They were divided then on these two ideologies, the effect remained with us with unintended consequence.
I believed that current generation has the same pride as previous one for history of Ethiopia and shall carry on the responsibility in making a history of change that benefits the mass of our people. Perhaps it might be helpful for collective action if a class ideology is revisited by this generation. It is evident ethnic ideology is destroying the social and economic fabric of our society. Practically no possibility to have meaningful political solution under ethnic ideology. The result is destructive and exclusives. But a class ideology consciousness by virtue will lead to common interest, override ethnic interest, aware of conflicting interest, and final would lead to end of national oppression. What should be the next step? Many of us undoubtedly ask this question.
In addition to supporting the opposition political parties, civic organizations, activities group etc. We should continue to have regular political discussion forum as seen recently in several States. It is minimum thing for those of us outside the country live in freedom can do. “The function of freedom is to free someone else” as they say. We should take this freedom opportunity at hand.
It is suggested by many compatriots to renew the past dissenting Ethiopian Students Movement model, at most basic level, to form a small study groups or book clubs at the area we live, and to prepare list of reading books including our own history, politics, economics, commentary articles, including materials or books written by TPLF’s regime, and then to give a reading assignments to the group. By having a regularly scheduled meeting to share and discuss our thoughts on the assigned reading materials. This approach proven to be working in 70s, definitely it will enhanced our political outlook, assist in reconcile the difference; create feeling of solidarity, mutual respect, acceptance and tolerance. As the study group grows from local, regional and then to State chapter level, passion and skills will gradually develop. At the end, self-assertion, and more credible political leaders may emerge in the process. It can be consider an “investment” to many of us and would be a good start in addressing the problems so often contribute to all society’s ills. The young generations shall pursue to be part of the making history. The study group concept may be used as foundation for establishing or joining political organization group. Given the TPLF repressive regime participating from a distance shall not be an option.
Everyone knows that the political future of Ethiopia may well hinge upon each of us how we are united in fighting dictatorship rule in order to change for better Ethiopia. Political conscience without indoctration is likely to be short lived. So it goes without saying that study group is a key to move forward. It is time to reassess study group format to build higher political conscience, to form a class alliance and to be more outspoken on burning issues. With the coordinated efforts with the progressive elites and with various political organizations the fighting to the common enemy will progress inefficient manner.