Hands off VOA! Protest rally against censorship

Ethiopians in residing in the Washington DC Metro Area will hold a rally at the VOA on Monday morning, July 25 starting at 9 AM to protest against recent attempts by the khat-addicted dictator in Ethiopia and his paid ($50,000 per month) lobbyists in the U.S. to censor news broadcasts to Ethiopia. The protesters also speak out against the squandering and mismanagement of Ethiopia’s resources that is currently exposing over 10 million Ethiopians to famine.

Place: VOA, 330 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC
Time/Date: 9:00 AM, Monday, July 25, 2011

24 thoughts on “Hands off VOA! Protest rally against censorship

  1. Anonymous on

    Dear Elias

    You Face Book and other share link don’t work. Please revisit your website.

  2. Money talks on

    Elias, Please contact PBS, NPR, Independent Media like Democracy Now, International Association of Journalists, CNN, MSNBC, Current TV and others. The despicable act of dictator Meles in and outside of Ethiopia should be heard all over the world and investigated how the illegitimate TPLF government work day in and day out to muzzle Ethiopians in and out side of Ethiopia possibly paying bribes around the world.

  3. Elias on

    Why you didn’t posted the list of Ethiopians demanded by Birket not to be interviwed by VOA. Is it because you name was not listed?

  4. yegermal on

    This is a big opportunity for ethiopians to show the world how the media is silenced in ethiopia under many excuses.So,the organizers should seize the opprtunity to widely publicize the case by invinting powerful medias to cover the event and by preparing people who can give powerful interviews.

  5. Tadias on

    My trip to ETHIOPIA

    By Misraq » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:10 am

    My reason for a the trip was for my cousin wedding. but, i took the opportunity to assess on my future aim of relocating back home by conversing with fellow relatives who are there and successful in business. as you all know, i am Tigrayan but happen to live in the west for a while. my political support for meles priviously based on kinship than quality of leadership. my trip to Ethiopia had changed my perspective completely and i will reaterate it below the best i could.

    First of all, i would like to apologize to minilik. I used to call him Budaw. I hope Minilik won’t take my past biased attitude towards him. But now i have learnt a big deal thanks to my trip that showed me the true picture on why Many Ethiopians have reservation on the current administration and the party it holds. My trip thought me to tolerate those who oppose Meles and his leadership. I was sickened to realize that what i was told about how marvelous Meles is including the brothers who are ruling the nation are not really what i assumed and expected. I have realized that Meles + the Sheik + greedy Tigrayans are pushing the nation to the edge of eminent danger. I have seen millions of destitute people. The double digit the regime talks about is now where to be seen. unemployment is very high. prostitution also become rampant. There is a total news blackout about the starvation. most people in major towns haven’t heard it. There is no effort to contain the famine from the government side.

    I was also surprised that my father offered to connect me with top TPLF leadership members who are the sole kings of that land incase i chose to relocate back home and think about doing business. Most of my extended cousines are millionairs already. I do not know how they get it but surely, they are wealthy since i was invited to those family members through out my stay over there. But people who i grew up walk with two( Oromo and One Amhara) a near useless shoe and torn t-shirts. they struggle to put the food on the table for their families. I was sickened to realize that the weyanne revolution didn’t bring social and economic justice. rather, it brought inequalities since i myself was offered many business if i can afford it. …. for the first time, i was ashamed to call myself as a tigrayan. .

    …. Napoleon once said about China like this..”When China wakes up, the whole world will be shaken.” He was true when he predicted that china will sit on the front seat of world powers some day. it was an excellent and accurate prediction of the sleeping gaint CHINA. I raised this to warn members of the current ruling system that the rest of Ethiopia sleeping as it may seem to be now, will wake up. Just like the Chinease found it very hard to reconcile with Japanease till this day, the ruling class in ethiopia is making it irreconcilable for any future relationship between Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia. I went down on the streets of addis in cafes and chatted with any one about politics. most wouldn’t open the first time, but a few minutes and hours after they get to know you, they tell their non-stop grievances.. The system effectively sidelined the majority endangering their livelyhood and survival. One individual told me that his sister left to Metemma, Gondar in transit to Juba (South Sudan) in search of maid job. He told me that they have few aging family who need to eat 3 times a day and need urgent medical care. The girl sacrificed herself by paying 15,000 ethiopian birr just to get to Metemma and then to the Sudan. It shows how the girl sacrificed her womanhood to save the life of her immidiate aging family and her diabetic brother whom i was talking to.

    The man also explained to me that i should go to the immigration office next to Tikur Anbessa hospital to witness myself on the amount of female citezens trying to make similar risky journeys. i went to the place the other day just to witness myself and i have seen lines of more than 1000 girls waiting for the door to open so that they can get the necessary document to leave the country. almost all of the girls have covered their face similar to the muslim tradition but a good majority of them are not muslims. women with the name of Lidya change their name to something like kedija etc. It was shamefull for me to see fellow country women whom i went to school at early child hood forced to leave their respected way of life and opt to this dangerous way of life. I didn’t blame them. similar to the girl who left to metemma to rescue her family, all this thousands lining in the immigration office have their own very reason to risk themselves. it was visible for me to see that the leadership i used to admire here is nowhere near to understand, manage and safegaurd a nation as large as Ethiopia. In short, the group that is leading the nation is not capable of leading and managing one small Awraga. One thing the Meles leadership good at it is invoking nationalism amongst unsuspecting and often ridiculously stuupid people. I was in that category once. but thanks to my own eyes, i have made a good use of my judgment to decide and share my experience with you.

    One of the most disturbing thing that i saw is on my travel outside Addis Ababa on route through small towns and villages. most people still walk barefooted. women carrying woods on their back walking miles after miles on scorching sun is visible. It was this people the Meles regime call Neftegna/Timkehtegna or oromo Ashebari/Terrorists. The ETV has virtually no audiences except the entertainment part. it is full of propoganda about small industries while it was visible that there is no employment opportunities at all. the harsh living condition also encouraged greedy merchants to punish the population in a very cruel way. For instance it is common that “Berbere” merchents to sell it mixing with clay or red soil. It is also the same for Butter sellers sell it mixing it with other substances like banana in which you would have no way of knowing it. it is very hard to scribe the social catestroph that is happening right now. the contempt within the population will explode one day and the display will be very ugly. The current ignorant leadership has no way of telling the future like Napoleon and it would be too late by then. ……………………to be continued

  6. Anonymous on

    Money talks, I am hoping you are just kidding when you suggested those media outlets to be invited, otherwise I will say you are naïve. NPR, CNN, MSNBC will only come there if you tell them that homosexual people are being mistreated in Ethiopia, as they are homosexual advocators otherwise you are on your own my good friend. I will recommended fox news: as they are anti-obama.

  7. Daba on

    The fascist and racist Meles Zenawi is resposible for the lives of the millions of lives endangered by the famine. He has been lying to and misleading the world that the economy is growing fast and producing enough food. Besides,he is discrminating the victims based on their ethnic groupings and denying them humanitarin aid.

  8. Chaso on

    I really liked reading your insightful observation. It impressed me since I am planning to go back home in near future for a short family visit. Based on some info I have so far, your observation is mostly realistic. I can’t wait to see your next writings. If my plan becomes practical, I will try to come up with similar observations.

    I think, you could publish your real observations in the form of article instead of writing it on the comment thread. Diaspora media should give you an opportunity to present your observations as a good headline so that many Ethiopians would be able to read and realize the actual fact.

  9. Anonymous on

    Interesting read. Thank God you finally came to your senses. At the same time, I am surprised a person like you who seems to have conscience took you this long to notice the brutality of TPLF regime that have tortured, incarcerated, looted and killed Ethiopians for the last twenty years. You remember the massacre in 2005 and that poor woman who lost two of her sons right at her front door. Why in God’s name so many people still choose to close their ears and eyes when it comes to Meles’s atrocities?

  10. Tezibt on

    Tadias Mesrak

    How are you? Nice to hear from you. By the way in comparison to the trip to Ethiopia, how did you find your trip few months ago to Eritrea? It may be a little better or similar I guess. I remember high school and how you used to be a good student. Other that maths, you were good in all subjects.

  11. Anonymous on

    #9, FOX NEWS? If you think I’m naive, God only knows what you are. Don’t you know all the corporations and all the Law Firms in DC that work for dictators like Meles are owned and operated by die hard Republicans that are supported by FOX NEWS? Come on! Before you start calling someone naive, you need to examine what you’re saying.

  12. Temari Feleqe on

    This is a terrible shame to VOA, a news organization I respect so highly has declined so far below to the point of such level. I heard Peter Heihnlein is the new de-facto information deputy minister in TPLF led regime. You all know Paul Heinz was the brain behind TPLF bandits till he died few weeks ago. Meles Zenawi is surrounded by people he considers favorable to his agenda, and that agenda is breaking Ethiopia into many piecese. Whe gave land to Sudan no one risen to stop it, and then he sold Ethiopia’s land, NOT TIGRAY’S land everyone tolerated him, now he is killing Somalis in Ogaden and no one is rising to the safety of these defensless people.

    In that effert, he killed two WFP workers and two more were saved by ONLF and safely delivered to World Food Program in Kenya, then transported to Addis. Thw tow World Food Program workers told horrifying story, where TPLF gangsters come at night wearing black hood to mask their faces and take the husband and kill and take the wife and make her sex slave and always kill the women at the end. The US knows well about this massacre going on in Ogadenia, but they have chosen to alligne with TPLF knowing well what Meles does.

  13. Tibebeu on

    My friend: Money talks,

    All the media outlets you listed are not independents when the issue concerning is an African one. We must learn that nobody is going to bring us freedom but us. We must start planning to eject the waynnie by force or live in serfdoms for ever.

  14. Anonymous on

    My friend #14, I am not saying FOX News will come ether, as I am strong believer that no US media outlets will come and cover a balanced report, as they are not free Medias. Go listen to NPR African correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, while she mention Somalia drought and war, she did not mention the Ethiopian Ogadeany who are suffering on the hand of Woyane and dying of starvation and some crossing to Kenya, she was simply repeating what the US officialls said. so when I said FOX I was just saying they are against Obama, therefore; if anyone comes to report, with the aim of damaging Obama’s credibility, it will be FOX NEWS not NPR, or CNN, yet I don’t believe Fox will come.

  15. Money talks on

    #16 & 17, thanks for the INF. I am well aware how these news medias run their businesses, but it won’t hurt to try at least New York times, Democracy Now and others like them. We have to try every means to expose the crimes of these ruthless TPLF members starting with their evil mastermind tyrant Meles. PEACE!

  16. Sam on

    Tadias, all I want to say is I am so glad you realized what Woyanne is doing to Ethiopia and Ethiopians including Tigrayans!

  17. Grace on

    I think demonstration is at this time important b/c the dectator meles regime violate even the constitution in this case we work for unity for motherland for example fb abyot exercise or implement God Beless Ethiopia!

  18. Seble on

    VOA Amharic program was not working as an independent news organization at all for a very long time. Even if that was what it is suppose to do. It has turned itself into a direct mouthpiece for current Ethiopian government opposers. Either parties or individuals. You can tune in to VOA and won’t be able to tell if you are listening to an opposition party radio program or international news agency. May be you will remember it is VOA when they say ‘this is voice or America’ at the begging or ending of programs. So I say independent media has to stick to being what it is. The employees have to realize that they are hired there for their Amharic and stop using it to express their personal political feelings.

  19. Heartless Woyane! on

    #21, you are a pointless immature child, just read your bed time story and go to bed.

  20. Gedlu metaferia on

    I was amazed to read part of the law governing the VOA in a democratic society. This may broaden our understanding of VOA.

    Quote from Wikipedia.

    “Under }501 of the Smith Mundit Act of 1948, the Voice of America is forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens. The intent of the legistlation is to protect the American public from propaganda actions by its own government (34. Although VOA does not broadcast domestically, Americans can access the programs through short wave and streaming audio over the internet”.

    Ido not know how oppositions and proponents of any region or country take this law into consideration. Other comparisons may be the BBC, Deutche Welle. The problem to ask is “WHEN IS THE NEWS” in a planet of censorship and propaganda.

    Gedlu Metaferia

  21. Gedlu metaferia on

    part of my quote above must read “WHEN IS THE NEWS NEWS? IS “ZIMITA MELKAM NEW” self-censorship in a world gone mad?

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