#OromoProtests Solidarity Rally in Canberra, Australia
(June 2, 2014) Oromo activists across Victoria, NSW, QLD, TAS, SA and WA gathered at Canberra’s Parliament house on June 2, 2014, in a bid to expose the Ethiopian government’s recent human rights violations dubbed “Oromo Protests.”
Since April 25, leaked photographs and videos show Ethiopian security forces shooting live ammunition at unarmed students in universities across Oromia. Reports of 85 students are confirmed as dead; 500 protestors wounded; and over 5000 people detained in unknown camp locations as the Ethiopian government restriction of public media is in full force.
In response, more than 30 international cities, including Washington, Oslo, Tel Aviv and London, have staged mass peace protests, picking up interest globally and trending heavily on social media. U.S. Minnesota Legislators have also released a resolution in May 2014 to publicly condemn the violence perpetrated by the Ethiopian government against its people as well as publicly acknowledge and urge the Ethiopian government to respect human rights and democratic processes.
The government violence in Ethiopia continues to escalate in a bid to silence dissentients for the proposed land grabbing in the capital city Finfinne (Addis Ababa). The “Master Plan Expansion” seeks to dispossess Oromo farmers and displace them from their 1.1 million hectares of land.
Ethiopia’s human rights abuses are well documented by Human Rights Watch and U.S. State Department, and the current Oromo protests has renewed support to launch an international investigation to bring the responsible perpetrators to justice.
Federal Melbourne MP, Adam Bandt, has also called for support of the Oromo people during Oromo protests held at Victoria’s State Parliament House on May 9, 2014.
On Monday, June 2, 2014, Australian Oromo communities called up on the Australian government to set an example by using its influence in the United Nations to put political, economic and diplomatic pressures upon the Ethiopian government to stop its continued attacks on Oromo lives, their political organisations, educational establishments and respect their right to self-determination.