(Photo: Mel Tewahade) Tadias Magazine By Tadias Staff Updated: Monday, April 25th, 2016 New York (TADIAS) — This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s historic visit to Jamaica in 1966.
Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa (left) at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug.
21, 2016 and American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
(Photo: AP/NBC) Tadias Magazine By Tadias Staff Published: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 New York (TADIAS) — In 1968 three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges during the medal ceremonies in support of the civil rights movement in America despite a ban on political demonstrations at the Olympics.
At Rio 2016 Ethiopian Olympic marathoner & silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa staged an equally daring protest as he crossed the finish line on Sunday, August 21st holding his arms over his head, with wrists crossed, in a gesture of solidarity with non-violent protestors in Ethiopia regarding government plans to reallocate farmland and freedom of expression.
He repeated the protest at a press conference and on the podium. A black man with his fists raised in the air, his arms crossed like an X.
It was even more striking given that this man was standing on the medal stand at the Rio Olympics and not on an American street corner protesting in the name of Black Lives Matter.
It was a protest for black lives nonetheless, those about 6,000 miles away in Ethiopia.” NBC quotes Feyisa as having told reporters on Sunday after the marathon race: “In the last nine months, more than 1,000 people died. It’s a very dangerous situation among Oromo people in Ethiopia.” reports.
“During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, two American sprinters named Tommie Smith and John Carlos won the gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter dash, with Smith setting a World and Olympic record on the way to victory.
But it was what they did after that won the hearts of some and the scorn of others.
The two black men took to the podium as the Star Spangled Banner played, wearing black socks and no shoes.
Their heads were bowed low and each raised a gloved fist. Both were worn in memory of lynching victims in the United States.