News / USA

Activists Protest G8 Summit

Ethiopian protesters in Thurmont, Maryland, said aid to Ethiopia would not work if their country does not have democracy. (VOA / Nico Colombant)
Ethiopian protesters in Thurmont, Maryland, said aid to Ethiopia would not work if their country does not have democracy. (VOA / Nico Colombant)
Nico Colombant
THURMONT, Maryland - As U.S. President Barack Obama finished meetings with leaders from the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations and African heads of state at the Camp David retreat in Maryland, demonstrations erupted in nearby towns. The protesters involved regulars of the Occupy movement as well as anti-government Ethiopian activists.  

​Several hundred Ethiopian activists came from across the United States to protest meetings involving Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who has been in power since 1991.  The United States is a major aid contributor to Ethiopia, whose leader has been accused of restricting freedoms, including those of the media.   

Discussions with African leaders have focused on boosting outside agricultural investment, but one protester, Mohamed Abdo, warned against pouring any outside money into Ethiopia.  

"They use this money to buy and to supress the people, not for the benefit of the people, so first of all we need to have a free election," he said.  "It should be supported by the people so that whatever kind of policy, it should be the people's policy, it should not be a one person policy, that is our message." 

Ethiopian protesters called on President Obama to stop helping authoritarian leaders in Africa. (VOA / Nico Colombant)Ethiopian protesters called on President Obama to stop helping authoritarian leaders in Africa. (VOA / Nico Colombant)
x
Ethiopian protesters called on President Obama to stop helping authoritarian leaders in Africa. (VOA / Nico Colombant)
Ethiopian protesters called on President Obama to stop helping authoritarian leaders in Africa. (VOA / Nico Colombant)
Another protester, Tsegaye, said Americans should be concerned their tax dollars are being misspent on projects involving undemocratic countries, regardless of whether they are considered security allies. 

"If you don't have a transparent government, if you dont have rule of law, you do not know how those contracts are executed.  Are they in the best interest of the Ethiopian people? In the long run, we do not know,"  Tsegaye said.

Another protest, called the Counter Group of Eight Community Block Party, was held in nearby Frederick, Maryland.  

Replicas of drones were on display to criticize current U.S. military actions.  

Brian Henry, a regular of so-called Occupy protests in the United States against wealth disparity, said he had little respect for the talks at Camp David. 

 "I do not know if I care to speculate," noted Henry, "but my opinion is that they talk about how to make the rich of their countries richer." 

Police were on the lookout at both events, to make sure there was no violence or public disturbance.  Several protesters said they had tried to enter Camp David, but were turned away.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Aschalew Worku from: AA
May 24, 2012 2:38 PM
Let us respect our country and our leaders in front of the international community. Violent and wild reactions arenot qualities of civilized democratic society. The aid from US government is for Ethiopians, not for individuals. To stand against this means to be enemy for Ethiopians! Violence is for lost personal interest not for public benefit. In my opinion, the future is bright for Ethiopia and Ethiopians!!!

by: kir from: eth
May 22, 2012 7:35 AM
those who oppose the PM's speech are not real ethiopians.from the very beggining of our history we are starting to awake from our long sleep.especially our poor farmer is changing thiar life and for this change ,our PM is the main actor. so, those who oppose our PM's speech are those who does not want our people's change.they dream only to hold power as feudals. os we ethiopians donot want to here protesters(kids) like the so called Abebe......... wuch hunew hodachew eyemelu yeEthiopia rehab yemifelgu.

by: Anonymous from: Arba Minch
May 21, 2012 6:09 AM
if u try more in home town u will be discarded.guys oops!

by: Tezeta Hailu from: Spain
May 21, 2012 4:11 AM
Abebe's action inside G-8 meeting was heroic, because the Ethiopian people is living under the brutla oppresion of the TPLF regime, in the actual conditions we don't have even the right to elect freely our leaders, we are living with the regime like a political, economical and ratial(aparthide) junta, the PM Zenawi has comitted a lot of crimes against humanity using his security forces in diffrent parts of the country.

by: Mamush D. from: Ethiopia
May 21, 2012 3:27 AM
Birds of same feather flock together. Obama is a mini or beginner dictator who give blind eye and deaf ear to the majority (99%) of the US people, so he can not hate dictators like Meles,

by: Optimist from: Everywhere
May 21, 2012 1:54 AM
Currently, Meles Zenawi is massacring tens of thousands of people in Ogaden. There has been a military lockdown of the region, since 2007. No journalist is allowed to enter the region, two Swidish journalists caught in a military operation are in jail, because they discovered mass extermination. Their trial was a joke, their lawyer was stunned when the verdict was read without giving him time to prepare a rebuttal to the prosecution. They are being denied of release because they have information that would expose the number of people that have been killed. Political opposition leaders all left the country, some of them after being jailed and the others due to fear for their lives. Frmr Supreme Court Judge Birtukan Mideksa (UDJ leader) was jailed twice, two years each time a total of four years, for standing up to the government bullying tactic.When we see the US funding this repressive regime makes us think State Department is a collaborator to mass extermination in Ethiopia. We think this needs to stop, stop funneling US taxpayers' money for mass extermination purposes.

by: Ethiopiawi from: Ethiopia
May 20, 2012 6:46 PM
Why doesn't VOA report the supporters who marched? Ethiopians are getting behind their PM, because of his many accomplishments including the fact Ethiopia is the third fastest growing economy in THE WORLD. Many of the Ethiopians who protest in U.S.A are after Green Card, and FAKE political asylem seekers, who are selling their country for Green Card. The few vocalist are after money, as shown in their past history. If PM Meles's government was really bad, the Ethiopian people would have thrown him out yesterday, without needing the assistance of U.S. or any vocalist. We in Ethiopia now what is good for us, right now the PM is doing a good job, and God bless him for making Ethiopia be a big player in the international arena.

by: iu
May 20, 2012 11:46 AM
Why Ethiopians don't make a week long or so kind of protest until America take a measure to counter the brutality? Why they don't challenge the presidents to be elected about their policy towards Ethiopia as Jewish does during election campaign? Don't only protest just one day and then disappear like "Mesekel wef". Be consistent and strong. I think we need a well organized protest. I don't mean the current protest is not contributing. It does and actually the greatest of all time. The heroic job by Abebe inside G-8 meeting was terrefic. But I am saying we can do better if we organize ourselves for longer protest which will get wider media coverage and ask, challenge and vote for those presidents who contribute to the democracy of Ethiopia as the other nations are doing. Let us think about it. I am in!!!

by: Anonymous
May 20, 2012 8:46 AM
This NEWS misses the major event related Ethiopians’ antigovernment protests. The Interruption of Ethiopian leader by Ethiopian-born journalist Abebe Gelaw was the climax of this protest that the VOA omitted.
Anonymous

by: ethiopian from: jimma
May 20, 2012 3:43 AM
why don't u do a real thing than shouting on streets....it's us who know exact situations weather bad or good,it's us who suffer from maladminstration but there r things we give priority 1st peace,then ecnomic development,democracy,fair election bla bla we'll be asked after bread.who gave u a right to represent us ...ur no longer ethiopians coz u don't know what ETHIOPIANS feel. ETHIOPIA TEKDEM

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More