– On Sunday May 11, 2014, over 300 members from the Ogaden and Oromo communities of San Diego, California, came out in protest against the atrocities and repression waged against their peoples by the Ethiopian regime led by the EPRDF. The protest in San Diego was among many that have taken place around the world in response to the recent massacres against students and civilians in many parts of Oromia and Ogaden. The protest took place in the East African Community Center on Fairmont Avenue where Ethiopian government officials were attempting to host a fundraising event for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Couple of dozens of people was escorted into the meeting by private security guards hired by the Ethiopian government, and more than 50 police officers from City Heights were called in to monitor the situation; however, no arrests were made and the protest proceeded peacefully for over 4 hours.
The genocidal massacres and indiscriminate killings of civilians and peaceful protestors in the Ogaden and Oromia regions have gained international condemnation and attention. Diaspora based Community leaders from both the Ogaden and Oromo have worked diligently in raising awareness and advocacy and putting pressure on Western Nations and global financial institutions such as the World Bank to stop funding the repressive authoritarian regime in Ethiopia.
Were some of the many slogans heard in the City Heights district/neighborhood of San Diego where one of the largest concentrations of Ogaden and Oromo communities reside in the country. The protest attracted local media, such as Channel 10 News that interviewed many of the protestors and other local media were present with news helicopters hovering over them. Overall the protest that took place in San Diego on Sunday was first of its kind in City Heights and has attracted many ordinary Americans and local policy makers to get involved and take action and has very much highlighted the plights of the peoples of Ogaden and Oromia and the repression in Ethiopia.
ONA/Abdi Ali

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