Protestors gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday to ask the Obama administration to "stop supporting dictatorial regimes in the continent and in Ethiopia." Speakers urged Congress to stop all kinds of all aid, including military aid, to the government of Ethiopia which they charge with genocide. The Ethiopian embassy in Washington DC declined to comment.
The event, "March for Freedom", was attended mostly by Ethiopians. Ethiopian ethnic groups were represented, including Tigray, Amhara, Oromo and Agnuak.
Thirty-six organizations sponsored the event. The Agnuak Justice Council, founded by activist Obang Meto, was one of the organizers of the protest. Other sponsors included Africa Action and Transparency Africa.
One of the speakers, Genocide Watch President Dr. Greg Stanton, derscribed research conducted by his organization on the deaths of more than 400 unarmed Agnuak in Gambella in 2003. Stanton Stanton and others have called it a massacre by Ethiopian troops. Stanton also said similar actions are being taken by the Ethiopian government in other parts of the country.
Ahmed Hussein of Minneapolis also spoke at the protest about unity against tyranny. Ahmed quoted an Oromo saying that "People who erect the same hut don't fight over the grass for the roof. We are one people, and we are here for the same cause."
The organizers said that the crowd was estimated over 1,000 people.