Feyissa Lellisa made a courageous historic decision in his life as he run marathon and earned a silver medal at Rio Olympics on August 21, 2016. The Oromo Communities in North America are elated by his marathon victory, but above all, grateful for his courageous decision to bring the sufferings of the Oromo people to the attention of the world community. After his victory Feyissa could have taken his medal home, celebrated his hard-won victory and continued his life quietly. But, he decided to use the moment to inform the global community what his Oromo relatives in O)Oromia-Ethiopia are enduring every day. He couldn’t keep quiet when his brothers and sisters are beaten, arrested and killed for participating in peaceful protests. Instead, he crossed his arms above his head (symbol of Oromo resistance) and protested openly as completed his marathon race. He repeated the same protest sign at the press conference after the award ceremony. Then he told journalists “[The] Ethiopian government [is] killing my people. So wherever I stand, [I stand] with Oromo protest anywhere because….all my relatives [are] in prison. Daily I worry…If you talk, you write [about the protest], they kill you. So, I stand with Oromo protest anywhere.”
Fayissa: Oromo Communities in North America admire your selfless sacrifice. You raised your arms, protested against injustice, lifted our spirits and elevated the cause of the Oromo people to a global stage. History will never forget what you did in Rio!
Oromo Communities Association in North America (OCA-NA)