Sunday, 10.14.2012, 10:04am (GMT)
by Bonnie K. Holcomb | October 13, 2012
Keynote Remarks, Oromo Studies Association
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
July 14-15, 2012
The Oromo wants dignity, self-expression, self-governance.
The Oromo wants their voices to be heard.
The Oromo wants sovereignty
They want to live together in peace with their neighbors, who themselves also live in freedom exercising their own sovereignty.
The Oromo want friends and allies across the world who will work with them to protect their forests from decimation, their water from pollution, their animals from starvation, their minerals from exploitation, their sons and daughters from capture.
The Oromo wants to protect from the dispossession of their ancient homelands,The Oromo wants control of their own story.
The Oromo wants security,The Oromo wants healthy babies.,They want a clean water supply, and even plumbing.
They want to be free of AIDS, thyroid diseases, malaria and toxin-borne diseases introduced by unregulated industries.
The Oromo wants to live in and govern their own land filled with their own trees, in which love the birds whose calls they know well.
They want freedom of communication ,They want access to the Internet, a window on the world – which requires electricity, education, languages, spelling ,Oromo wants to be part of the global conversation
They want to form their own associations.,The Oromo wants experts and specialists to assist them on their terms rather than impose alien ways on them.
Oromo wants cell phones, Oromo wants an education.,Oromo wants freedom to express their culture.
- They want to dance without fear
- Dress in ways that they find beautiful, comfortable and meaningful.
- To hear and respond to the cries and interpretations of their pets and their musicians without fear of reprisal
- They want to drink their own coffee.
They want jobs.
Their list is the list of aspirations of those who suffer oppression and injustice worldwide. How do they get it? Let’s talk about that in terms restricted to this association.
When the world hears the Oromo aspirations and grievances loud and clear, they will stand with the Oromo as they did with the protesters in the Arab Spring. The Oromo will know that they are not alone that others do stand behind them. But Oromos must also stand with others, make connections, establish two-way streets in the formation of alliances. How can this come to pass? What is the role of the association of Oromo Studies?
The natural allies of the Oromo are everywhere. Oromia is a case study in the major issues of the day, but her voice is not clearly heard. OSA is now strong enough to consider taking on initiatives which encourage and equip activists to join forces with others internationally who suffer and with those who work to bring justice and peace.
–Full Report OSA Annual Meeting July 14-15 2012 Partial Report