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.  

Occupiers, Ethiopia Activists Protest G8 Summiti
|| 0:00:00
X
Nico Colombant
May 20, 2012 11:54 AM
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
"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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid