Dallas Held a Candle Light Vigil for Birtukan
A candlelight vigil was held on the anniversary of the International Woman’s Day, March 8th, 2009 starting from 4:00 pm at the Radisson Hotel, located at the southwest Corner I-75 & Campbell Road in Richardson, Texas. (more…)
A candlelight vigil was held on the anniversary of the International Woman’s Day, March 8th, 2009 starting from 4:00 pm at the Radisson Hotel, located at the southwest Corner I-75 & Campbell Road in Richardson, Texas. The event was attended by both Ethiopians as well as by American advocates of Human Rights from the DFW area. Of particular importance was the attendance by a representative from the Honorable Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Office, a staffer from the Local Obama Campaign team, a Staff Writer from the Dallas Morning News and Officers and members from the Ethiopian Women Organization in Dallas.
The guests were welcome by Dejene Asaaye, the Chairman of the Andinet-Dallas chapter. In his address, he asked the American and Ethiopian-American guests in the audience to urge their representatives in Texas, the State Department and the White House to demand for the immediate and unconditional release of Birtukan. He also emphasized that Birtukan’s incarceration is a manifestation of systemic repression in Ethiopia. He therefore reminded the audience that our request to our representatives at all level of government should also include urging them to support legislative initiative in the US House of Representatives and the Senate such as HR 2003 and S3457 that deal with Human Rights, Democracy and Accountability in Ethiopia. He gave a reasoned argument showing that such an action by the US is not only good for the Ethiopian people but also is critical for the US’s goal of achieving peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.
Following his address, a 15 minute slide show was presented to the guests. The slide show was focused on the difficult journey Birtukan travelled starting from the May 2005 election, going though the first Kaliti days, her first visit in the US, her reconstitution struggle of UDJ from CUDP, her trip to Europe and back to Kaliti prison again. The slide show was used to tell the pattern of repressive rule of Meles’s regime for the past 18 years through the political life of Birtukan.
The audience also heard words of encouragement from Special Assistant to Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Mrs. Janis Brooke and Mrs. Gillian Parrillo of the local Obama campaign team. Finally the Chairwoman and Secretary of Ethiopian Woman Organization Mrs. Etalemahu and Mrs. Mulu respectively addressed the audience with solidarity message to Birtukan and the significance of March 8 to woman all over the world and particularly to women in Ethiopia.
Quite prayer, somber music, candle lights and poetry were pervasive throughout the event.
March 9, 2009
Organizers of the event: Andinet-Dallas, Dejen le Democracy, EPRP-D and Human Rights activists from DFW area