OROMO BENEFIT CONCERT PRESS RELEASE


The Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association (MTA) would like to announce that on March 19, 2016, it will be hosting a benefit concert featuring famous Oromo artists, namely, Hacaaluu Hundessa, Jambo Jote, Tuujii Mudde, Abdi Nuressa, and Dawite Mekonnen. It will take place at the Fillmore Silver Spring Concert Hall, a nationally renowned venue in the Washington, DC area. This benefit concert is a fundraiser particularly focused on providing much needed financial assistance to the Oromo victims of state violence and their families.

During these past couple of years since the student protests began in 2014, Oromo individuals and communities across North America and Europe have been financially contributing to the MTA to assist Oromo victims of state violence. Since Fall 2014 to present, MTA has sent over $60,000 to Oromos in Oromia, Kenya, Egypt, and the Middle East. These funds were sent to assist families of the deceased, rehabilitate the injured, support those in prison to get legal counsel, medical expenses, and general assistance with food and shelter. Now, MTA is appealing to all Oromos in the Diaspora to continue contributing more funds and to attend the Oromo Benefit Concert so that more Oromo victims can be reached and assisted.

MTA’s very founding and history is rooted in supporting and mobilizing the Oromo people to solve their political, cultural and economic problems. The unrelenting subjugation in the 1960s by the Ethiopian government of the Oromo people, forced a few Oromo individuals who worked within Ethiopian government institutions (such as schools, the parliament, the military, and the administration), and Oromo merchants started to think about ways of improving the well-being of the Oromo and protecting their rights and liberties. During its founding days, the association had two main objectives. The first was the establishment of schools and health clinics and the construction of roads in Oromia. The second was the construction of churches and mosques and the provision of financial and legal assistance for disabled and unemployed persons. These objectives expanded exponentially to create the current role of the MTA, which is helping Oromo victims of state violence from every walk of life, in every way possible.

In 1963 and 1964, the core of Oromo nationalists, including Haile-Mariam Gamada, a lawyer, and Alemu Qixxeesa, a retired colonel, and others joined their small self-help associations together to form the MTA. The emergence of General Taddasa Biru and Captain Mamo Mezemir as its prominent leaders increased the reputation of the association. The creation of this self-help association and the development of Oromo national leadership marked the modern rise of Oromo nationalism. Throughout those decades to recent years, MTA carried out relief activities such as financially supporting those without housing or work, providing legal assistance to unjustly imprisoned Oromos, helping college students, and even paying transportation costs for individuals who could not afford it. The MTA USA was formed after the banning MTA in Oromia by the Ethiopian government in 2011 to continue the objectives of the association with the support of the entire Oromo Diaspora. The sense of nationalism that MTA was founded on is the revolutionary Oromo flame that would eventually ignite across Oromia, although it would take decades to reach its current level.

Today, as Oromo youth, their parents, farmers, teachers, and all continue to sacrifice their precious lives to demand their rights and liberate their nation, the Oromo Diaspora have moral and historical obligations to stand with their heroines and heroes and to support them by any means. We must stand with our people and support them during this time of horror and darkness so that they can reach the light. Please come to the MTA-hosted benefit concert and join us in supporting our Oromo brothers and sisters in our collective struggle for our rights, human dignity and self-determination.

If you are not able to attend the benefit concert, you can show solidarity and support in other ways:

  • Share information about this event with your network, send out an email through your list-serve, and encourage your others to attend
  • Buy Tickets online at www.universe.com/oromobenefitconcert
  • Make a money transfer to the
    Macha-Tulama Association Emergency Fund
    Bank of America
    Account #: 446031130697 Routing #: 052001633
  • Mail a donation to the Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA. Send your check or money order, payable to MTA USA, to 811 Upshur St. NW, Washington, DC 20011.
  • Donate or become a member online at www.machatulama.org
  • If you would like to send a donation on behalf of your organization to this event, to show our appreciation, your organization’s name and donation amount will be acknowledged on stage the night of the benefit concert.

Dr. Asafa Jalata
Board Chairman, Macha-Tulama Association

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