I Stand for My People – Northern California
San Jose, California. November 24, 2019: The last three years have been the most difficult time for our people in Ethiopia, especially so for the people of Tigray. The government, the extremist opposition parties, and their media outlets have been blackmailing and blaming the people of Tigray for all real and perceived wrongdoings of the Ethiopian government. The main objective of the campaign was and is to dehumanize, demoralize and isolate the people of Tigray from the rest of Ethiopia.
The displacement of more than 120,000 Tegaru from different parts of Ethiopia, the closure of highways, the economic blockade and the slowing down of the economy of the country due to the breakdown of law and order is exacerbating the unemployment of the youth in Tigray. This has caused people to live in precarious and dire conditions.
When our people made the call for help, Tegaru residents of Northern California responded in record-breaking numbers. Angered by the mistreatment of Tegaru and inspired by the successful telethon that started in Tigray and followed globally in a show of solidarity, the Northern California Tegaru community held a successful fundraising event on November 16, 2019.
What made the fundraising campaign special was the fact that it was truly a grassroots-based campaign. The community pledged to raise close to $130,000 of which most were collected during the event. Close to three hundred people contributed to the fundraising campaign.
Besides raising a much-needed financial support to our people in the homeland, the fundraising campaign has created a vibrant spirit in our communities. The campaign also help reveal our potential as to what we can do to support ourselves here in the Diaspora. After all, having self-sustaining communities here in Diaspora would have a far-reaching impact on our people in the homeland.
The renowned civil rights leader Martin Luther King once said the true character of people is revealed during times of challenge and controversy. Tegaru residents of Northern California, as well as globally, have once again risen to the challenge to stand on the side of their people.
The I Stand for My People Northern California organizing committee is overwhelmed by the generous public support. The committee extends a heartfelt appreciation to everyone involved in the campaign. The committee is very thankful to artist Temesgen Zegeye with his band as well as DJ Girmay who made the event fun and a memorable one.