At the time when political consciousness was at lowest level, number of Oromo students that participated in Ethiopian student movement and contributed in exposing overt and covert abuses, committed against peoples was insignificant. Though knowledge was thriftily imparted, it has enabled them to understand the machination going on better than their parents. As a result they were able to expose the harm being conducted in every corner, by feudal and colonial administration, which the victims knew not how to express. They were able to shake from the roots that government, which was said to have been anointed by almighty, through hue and cry at a time when there was no modern means of communication.
They were students of the only university in Finfinnee that made uninterrupted movement. As time went on, students of High Schools started to participate. It was after that that student movement covered all corners like wild fire. Children marched under great slogans like, “Land to the tiller” “Bread to the hungry” etc. Oromo farmers got stronger and continued the struggle started by their fathers. They rose from different places and started to reclaim land robbed from them a century ago. That did not happen without sacrifices. In the university discussions went on different issues. The national question which was so far abstained from was opened by a student called Walalliny Makonnin. The gaining of strength of this and the peasant movement shocked not expecting Habasha elites.
At last the increasing gas price and issuing of a draft education policy, Sector Review, that is said to limit peasant children to third grade made student, teachers and taxi drivers to march together and subsequently joined by the people. How much weaponry deployed it could not suppress the uprising. The time was not good for the Emperor; economic crises that were shaking the world also came to him and turned his people against him. Shaggar was shaken; the people warned that no vehicle moves in the streets . Movement in town was paralyzed. The oppressive system decayed and started to crumble. The land and education question were particularly of more concerns to the Oromo. The king’s getting too old worried the Habashaa more. Disaster was looming over the empire, unless they put him out of the way and look for his replacement superiority they built over a century is doomed to crumble. Worst of all soldiers started to ask for salary increase. To weaken student movement, it claimed being socialist and scattered all youth above tenth grade all over rural areas from urban centers. That gave breathing space, which it used to consolidate its power. Youth that were organizing themselves in different ways raised their resistance to higher level. When some stood with the soldiers others went to the opposite side. The soldiers called themselves “Darg” and started to trample over human rights. It started wiping out all in its front that it assumed to be the enemy, saying “revolution devours her children”. Struggle promised to be “Bloodless” caused blood to flow like flood. In history Habasha state never lead a peaceful country. Leave alone others it started to kill its own buddies. To save peoples’ revolution from setback, from among youth that were organized, the Habashaa ones left for Habasha land, those that are Oromo left for Oromiyaa jungle. From among those, known were OLF,EPRP, TPLF and EDU. ELF left during the Emperor.
All the change mentioned above was brought about by student movements. Many were sacrificed to reach there. Darg massacred a lot and ruled for seventeen years without being able to establish peace. They now know that it is impossible to govern the Oromo with gun forever. One denied right may remain gaged for the time being, but it cannot remain long without erupting. That is natural law. The time will come when existing and not existing loses its difference. If one’s labor and resources cannot be used for own use, it could raise the doubt of being human. That is what is happening in Oromiyaa. . There are many peoples in the empire, the Habashaa and the colonies. If a kid grows seeing only aliens in command, it is possible that it assumes being subhuman. Land of the colonizer’s country belongs to the people. The people farm and consume. Land of the colonized belongs to colonial government. The government sells and consumes. The government is not theirs. The aliens drive them as aliens like. No one asks them what the people feel about it. Resistance is inevitable to erupt if they continue being treated as subhuman.
That colonizer’s outlook of “you must obey what I say” is out of date, can be seen from the rebellions it generated. Oromo youth being denied to be masters on their own land, their people being seen as subhuman, its identity being denied, and selling Oromo land simulating Oromo by putting on OPDO mask are challenges that one cannot bear as human being without appropriate response. As a result the fire of revolution is bursting into flames in all corners of Oromiyaa. It must not be difficult to learn from experience that resistance never stops until blood unjustly spilt effects independence of Oromiyaa and freedom for Oromo people sprouting. Hence forth Oromo has no tears for its heroes for it has cried too much. The so called “Master Plan” is what they call “the last straw that broke the camel’s back”. This time is one that is testing all Oromo. Student movement is bringing with it, burying one’s dead, treating the wounded, looking for ones missing, sheltering the retreating, visiting families of the imprisoned and serving those that are hungry and thirsty. Those require going for help with labor, resources, capabilities and intellect.
Unless the rest hurry for the rescue, all the sacrifices will remain fruitless. Even for those in service of the enemy, the time to go and help compatriots is now, if there is grain of honor, stamina and courage of Oromummaa left in them. If they are not “Bandaa” what more are they waiting for? There is big difference in outlook between some Oromo organizations. However, the situation now is such that it is going to destroy them together not because of outlook but Oromummaa. For this reason it becomes national imperative to ally to save Oromummaa from perishing. As long as there is struggle for independence of Oromiyaa, whatever oath one takes no body is going to believe any Oromo. And the struggle for independence is not going to stop until the enemy kneels down. OLF, on which destruction is aimed at internally and externally, is rather flourishing with blood of determined Oromo patriots rather than being destroyed. It has become spirit of the nation. For now, it is stronger as spirit more than in its temporal existence. Therefore until one is able to get back to luxury of outlook debate, there is no alternative than fighting back in unison except for slavery.
Student movement was no more alone for the people have joined it. Their children are their future; they cannot stand by and see when their future is darkening. What else would the oppressor expect if they cannot see hope in their future? This time, when people’s movement is shaking the ground, should have been the time when all those that claim to be Oromo organizations lead people’s movements not lead by them. It is expected from them to strengthen their organization and provide shelter for the retreating and defend those being persecuted. Otherwise the result of Oromo struggle is going to be snatched from their hands as in the past by those who are more organized. The force occupying Oromiyaa is not strong. It is the inability of Oromo organizations to overcome their weaknesses that gave it semblance of strength. If the compressed erupts there will be no return, one that compressed it will be destroyed by it. We wish strength for Patriots that are falling with bullets of the oppressor, the wounded that need treatment, those being tortured in alien prisons, all those crying for help from nooks and corners of Oromiyaa, their families and the people of Oromiyaa. When the stranglehold breaks the energy to be release will certainly be detrimental for the enemy and revitalization for the revolution. It will not be far off when our children see independent Oromiyaa. The struggle shall not stop.
Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!