On 28th of September 2013, successful fundraising was conducted for Ginbot 7 Popular Force (G7pf), recently established and struggling against the woyane junta. The fundraising event, staged from 4:00 – 12:00 p.m. local time, was coordinated by a taskforce established by Democratic Change in Ethiopia Support Organization in Norway (DCESON). The event was able to attract many participants from all over Norway and other European countries. The event was one of the success stories in the history of fundraising in terms of both participation and raised amount of money.
The official announcement of the founding of the Ginbot 7 people`s force has been a positive development and was welcomed by most Ethiopians living in Norway. Ginbot 7 popular force has added a momentum to the struggle and elevated the moral and hope of many Ethiopians living in Norway. The formation of this force marks a new and decisive phase in the struggle against the racist and fascist rule of the Tigray People`s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Ethiopia. Hence, the enthusiasm, inspiration and increased degree of engagement that were witnessed during the event reflected the aspirations and commitments of the participants. Besides, it shows that the force has been able to garner an increasing and widespread support in Norway and inevitably in other parts of the Diaspora at the moment.
The DCESON has been supporting the struggle for democracy, freedom and justice in Ethiopia starting from the pre-kinijit time. The current fundraising event is purely the initiative of DCESON and it was conducted by forming a taskforce consisting of its committed members. DCESON took this mission as a national and timely one and undertook extensive planning and mobilization tasks. On the other hand, the agents of the TPLF and their supporters made futile attempts and campaigns to undermine and hamper this event. This shows that the formation of an armed Ethiopian resistance force has frightened and alarmed the TPLF camp and regime.
Ato Andargachew Tsege, the secretary of the Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice and Freedom and Democracy and Commander Assefa Maru, chief of Ginbot 7 Popular Force, were the guests of the event. The guests received a standing ovation in the event hall which was decorated with the Ethiopian flag and symbols of the popular force.
The event had a series of programs which went on as planned. After the program of the day was announced by Ato Abi Amare, leader of the PR group, opening remarks were given by preventative of the taskforce, Ato Worku Tadesse. A keynote address was given by the chairperson of the DCESON Ato Dawit Mekonnen. Representatives of the Ethiopian asylum seekers` association, w/t Sara Girma, DCESON women’s branch, w/o Guenet Worku, Chairperson of DCESON-Women’s section, W/t Lemlem Andarge, DCESON-Bergen branch, Ato Shume Werku gave speeches to the audience. In addition, W/t Kalkidan Kassahun from Steinskjer, Ato Sally Abraham from Vestness, also held speeches that focused on the significance of the event and the need for increased struggle against the TPLF rule in Ethiopia. Moreover, the representative of the Tigray People Democratic Movement (TPDM) in Norway, Ato Haile Asmamaw, addressed the event and played the audiovisual message to all Ethiopians sent from the field.
The younger members of the DCESON in fatigues were a unique addition to the event.
Ato Andargachew outlined the tasks and current activities of the force and presented footage showing the training and preparations of the force out in the field. He also mentioned the cooperation with the Tigray People`s Democratic Movement (TPDM), hardships the members of the force undergo and the sacrifices they pay.
Commander Assefa Maru spoke on his part about the objectives, tasks and missions of the force. In his speech, he explained the importance of an armed force and resistance to remove the TPLF from power and pave the way for a democratic and an all-inclusive political system in Ethiopia. He underscored the commitment of the force to achieve its goal and necessity of offering help and support to the force.
The audience learnt from the two guests that Ginbot 7 Popular Force is established by freedom-loving Ethiopians, including youngsters and intellectuals and it is working to remove TPLF by force and to create a peaceful transition period enabling establishment of non-partisan and constitutional defense, police, security, judiciary, etc. which are crucial for a healthy playground for different political parties aspiring power in the country. Among the current G7PF members are many intellectuals who joined this force abandoning their relatively comfortable living, families and professional jobs. This is one of the peculiarities of the G7PF compared to traditional armed struggles in Ethiopia where mainly farmers and other non-intellectuals comprise the main components of the foot soldiers. Presence of skillful leadership on the ground is told to highly assist G7PF members equip not only with armament but also with political, social, cultural knowledge about Ethiopia which is important to build a force that understands why and whom they are fighting for and paying sacrifices.
Food and refreshments were served during the event. Ethiopian music and live performances were staged to make the event entertaining and enjoyable. A short drama showing the atrocities of the TPLF regime in Ethiopia, written by w/t Mihret Ashine, was also presented.
The latter parts of the event were devoted to auctions meant for raising money as planned. The inspiration and enthusiasm of auction hosts, Ato Million Abebe and Ato Amsal Kasie, was the driving force for the high sum of money raised during the auction. The financial contributions of the participants and others, including attendants of the Ethiopian Current Affairs Discussion Forum (ECADF) were high and laudable.
The successful staging of the event was made possible through the cooperation and contributions of the participants as a whole. This event demonstrated what Ethiopians in the diaspora can achieve through cooperation and working together for a common goal.
The fundraising taskforce and DCESON extend their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all the participants, contributors and huge thanks to all Ethiopians from all over Norway.
Ginbot 7 Popular Force fundraising taskforce in Norway
October 22, 2013
- Ethiopians in Norway vowed to stand beside Ginbot 7 popular force (addisuwond.wordpress.com)
- Democracy, Tolerance, and G7′s position towards Eritrea (sebhatamare.wordpress.com)