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Friday, 30 April 2010

Solidarity with Chris Flaherty !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

Chris Flaherty, the producer of Migration of Beauty is challenging the Ethiopian diaspora to join him on his hunger strike to start on Monday May 3 in front of the White House to urge President Obama, recognize Birtukan Mediksa as a prisoner of conscience and call for her immediate release. The nine minutes video of Chris Flaherty is posted on oppositions websites and worth listening it.

The timing of his hunger strike unfortunately with the oil leak disaster in USA Gulf Coast might not get enough media attention but we can counter that if the thousands of Ethiopians who are residing in DC area join Chris 24/7 on his hunger strike. Let the young Ethiopians discuss this hunger strike on the weekend and present effective way of participating in it.

The strategy here is to get enough media coverage and for that to happen we need many people to participate. The most important thing is to join Chris twenty four hours. As days go by Chris' energy will dwindle and make sure to be with him for any emergency situation. Ethiopians in the taxi businesses have great role to play by spreading the news to all including many tourists  of this brave man on their normal routine.

We can also mobilize our business communities especially Ethiopian Restaurants for the first day of the hunger strike. Let all Ethiopian Restaurants show their solidarity by closing their doors for the first day of the hunger strike that is May 3. Yes they will lose business and that is a simple sacrifice to pay as an Ethiopian compared to putting yourself in great danger of hunger strike for honorable cause.

Ethiopian religious establishments, Christians of a all denominations and Ethiopian Muslims to pray for Almighty to give strength for Chris Flaherty's honorable cause each day  in front of the White House. All these actions will draw media attentions no doubt. I sincerely hope  brave Ethiopians will join  Chris Flaherty by directly participating on the hunger strike.

President Obama though distracted by emergency situation of the oil leak disaster can not ignore this hunger strike because it is in front of his residence. Michelle Obama will also be educated that another mother in a distant place is suffering for standing for freedom isolated from her five year old daughter for more than one and half year in jail in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We admire and love Chris Flaherty for standing with Birtukan Mediksa while the USA policy makers are only giving lip service for freedom in our country. We are calling the Ethiopian regime critics in the Congress to come out and show their solidarity with the hunger strike. Birtukan Mediksa has to be freed without any precondition to be with her daughter and mother. Above all with millions of Ethiopians for whom she is their symbol of resistance, Ethiopian Mandela.