In the aftermath of the US elections, the world has become a more dangerous place for marginalized communities, voices of dissent, and those challenging corrupt governments and corporate powers.
Sadly, this work is not new to us.
For well over 12 years, the Oakland Institute has worked to support the struggles of communities around the world for their land and livelihoods. In the face of repression, corruption, and injustice we have reframed the debate, raised the voices of those most impacted, and mobilized for change.
The election of Donald Trump has reignited and reconfirmed our commitment to this work – at home and abroad. And we need your help.
Let me share with you one example, which illustrates how we make local to global connections in our work.
Our work in Ethiopia started 8 years ago with a focus on land grabs. Through that work, we built relationships with courageous land rights defenders. Today, these activists are in jail for simply raising their voices against harmful policies supported by the United States and the World Bank that favor corporate investors over local communities.
A year ago, Oromo protests began to challenge land grabs by the Ethiopian government, but quickly grew to larger calls for human rights and democracy. Millions have taken to the streets. Sadly, these peaceful protests have been met with bloodshed, mass arrests, and a shocking crack down on civil liberties.
As the Ethiopian government continues to rule with an iron fist, our work has expanded to challenge the US support for the country, its key ally on the continent.
In January, we released a legal analysis of Ethiopia’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Law, which has been used to jail indigenous leaders, journalists, and human rights defenders. The report has been used in numerous court cases in Ethiopia, and submitted as an Amicus Curiae brief to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
But our work did not end there.
This year, we also pressured the US government to include clear language in the annual Appropriations Bill stating that development aid cannot be used for programs associated with forced displacements. For the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, we worked with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, to help organize (and then testify at) a briefing on human rights abuses in Ethiopia. We also drafted a House Resolution on human rights that is before Congress right now.
Your generous tax-deductible donation will ensure that we can continue to push for justice and democracy—in Africa and the US—regardless of who sits in the White House!
Thanks to individual donors like you, the Oakland Institute is a nimble organization. We direct our efforts where they are most needed, providing tools of truth to impacted communities to stand up to big money and power. As we look to the months and year ahead, we have renewed our commitment to raising voices, reframing debate, mobilizing for change, and speaking truth to power.
We literally can’t do this work without you. This #GivingTuesday, please give generously to the Oakland Institute and join us in the struggle for dignity, justice, and political freedom for all communities.