Nov 2 , 2019
By Eden Sahle
While walking on the streets of London a few months back, I found myself in the middle of a rally against Brexit. The protestors had slogans, were marching and shouted loud chants. Police followed the crowd as a precaution. I stood where the security forces were to observe the rally. The crowd did not scare me at all. What I witnessed was people trying to send their message out in a civilized and peaceful way.
The demonstration did not interrupt anything. People were walking freely, and businesses were operating as usual, with no fear. The gathering was nothing like what I had observed in Ethiopia. The admirable situation in London gave me a different perspective about rallies, unlike what I witnessed in my country where many people and security forces are vicious to each other.
Finding oneself in an Ethiopian rally is a nightmare, as nothing good comes out of it. In the midst of a lack of effective security, justice and an enlightened public, Ethiopia is finding it impossible to exercise civilized and disciplined free expression essential for the respect of human dignity.
The incident in the recent rally around Ethiopia was just the latest case of horrific attacks against people. As always, I am filled with horror when I hear the loss of over 67 human lives. It breaks my heart that they are people whose country failed to keep them safe.
While the government yet again promises to bring the brutal perpetrators to justice and the actual number of those affected is not accurately known, we can only imagine when we will see a safe and peaceful Ethiopia.
It never is clear why the government is failing at its most basic job of establishing peace and security within the country. Criminal and brutal behaviours will only thrive so long as the government is unable to keep the public safe once and for all. The disregard authorities and security forces have shown to prevent crimes is baffling. This has enabled hostile individuals to kill, abuse and violate their fellow citizens’ rights with impunity. This is immoral and heart breaking.
It is the government’s failure that people do not feel safe in their own country. They need to care more for public safety, foresee and prevent dangers.
Problems do not solve themselves but require a system and strategy that can put violence and uncivilized mindsets under control. It is the government’s duty to create a free and democratic nation by strictly and habitually enforcing the law.
Citizens should be enlightened and learn about democracy, prosperity and equal human rights from nations that have nurtured it. The rally participants in London can be our remarkable real-life portrait of how a demonstration should be done in peaceful manner.
The developed world did not just start from where they are now. They had to put intentional effort and constructive actions that led them to focus on the bigger picture, which is building their nation.
They are civilized enough to understand that destroying businesses is doing harm to the country not the government. Political differences did not entice them to deprive people of their life, liberty and human rights. In a free world such as the United Kingdom, citizens express their various views respectfully, doing no harm to anyone. Their parliament members debate questions and challenge leaders in a respectful manner.
There are lots of lessons to learn there. The Ethiopian public should exercise the constitutional right of demonstration and hold an opinion and belief in a respectful and civilized manner without violating people's constitutional right to life, liberty, security, equality and protection from inhumane treatment. Our leaders and members of the parliament must also learn to end the empty praise and start debating and bringing good policies and systems that benefit the public.
Government, members of parliament and politicians should take their responsibility with high regard; otherwise, everyone will lose. My way or no way is a failed creed. The public should be taught to act and live responsibly and according to the law. The attitude of looking down on others and the feeling of superiority should be stopped before it destroys the nation irreparably.
It is vital for everyone to be restrained, halt harsh and generalized conclusions and make better informed decisions to work together. Violence-mongering and the loss of life should embarrass us all.
People should ask themselves why they are doing what they are doing and the public should not add fuel to the fire. What the public needs to defend is good polices, systems and political views that bring good value and solutions to the deep economic problems Ethiopians face.
PUBLISHED ON Nov 02,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1018]
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