According to protesters, the Ethiopian Consulate from Los Angeles was barricaded inside the cultural center with an undetermined number of members of the San Diego and Los Angeles Ethiopian Community. The Consulate was attending a widely publicized meeting to promote the purchase of bonds to build a controversial dam in Ethiopia that threatens the livelihood of thousands of indigenous peoples. Protesters maintained that flyers advertising the meeting had been left in City Heights Ethiopian markets and restaurants. One woman told me that when the protesting group entered the cultural center they were met with invectives, hostility and intimidation before being dispersed from the meeting which had been publicized as open to the public.
Protesters were anxious to describe the current conditions in Ethiopia under a government led by the minority Tigray tribe. Someone handed me the 2012 US State Department Human Rights Watch which detailed the Ethiopian government suppression of journalists and bloggers and the alarming incidences of imprisonment and torture. There is no independent press in Ethiopia and dissenting political views are often treated as “terrorism”.
4 Tar Sands Blockaders arrested in Liberty County- demand their release: 9363364500 or 9363369395 #NoKXL— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) January 7, 2013
This is deep, deep Texas:
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Activism is only meaningful if there are results, and no amount of petition drives, votes, or rallies will ever affect an organization that is answerable to shareholders. As long as money flows into an organization without the risk of disruption, it is never going to change, but the slightest indication that their profits or reputation are in jeopardy will engender surprising results. Americans do have power beyond the ballot box, and they have finally started using it to good effect by punishing the groups that can effect real change if they think their wealth is threatened. Money is a powerful motivator, and the love of money causes people to do terrible things, but the thought of losing money is also powerful and the American people have the power to take it away from corporations, radio talk-show hosts, and ALEC’s donors, and now that people realize they control corporate wealth, real change may finally happen. Well thought-out activism is the best of democracy, freedom, and Republicans’ free-market capitalism and it is ironic that decent Americans will use the GOP’s beloved free enterprise to hasten their demise, but they are too busy counting their corporate donations to see it coming.