Crowdvoice: Reporting violence on the #OromoProtests in Ethiopia

The failure of many governments to enforce basic rights and make good on the promises of power holders has impelled people to seek another means by which they may not only demand but also instigate the changes they desire (Jack DuVall, 22 September 2013).

There are hundreds of social movements and campaigns for rights and reform, and against abuses and oppression. Governments are trying to quell dissent by silencing the protesters and censorship. To go around this restriction, activists are raising their voices online.

As a social change activist, I am involved in social media activism where I express my solidarity with protesters in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region. In Oromia, students protesting land grab met with violence. Human Rights Watch has reported that security forces killed more than 400 peaceful protesters since November 2015, while thousands have been arrested in connection to the protests (Human Rights Watch, 15 June 2016).


Since the start of the protests in November 2015, activists have taken to twitter and other platforms under the #OromoProtests campaign. Within one week, the Oromo Protests on Crowd Voice went up online and now acts as a repository of information about the arrests, war crimes, police brutality and other crucial moments related to the protests in Ethiopia.

Crowd Voice is an online platform designed to monitor and amplify calls for change from around the world by curating and contextualizing valuable data, such as eyewitness videos, photos, and reports as a means to facilitate awareness regarding current social justice movements worldwide (Jamie Matross, 21 March 2016)


The platform gathers pictures, Facebook posts, news articles, tweets, images and more into its global archive. As a tool for activists, CrowdVoice has the potential to save valuable data that could otherwise be lost in the web of social media (Jamie Matross, 21 March 2016).


By running the Oromo Protests in Ethiopia campaign on CrowdVoice I try to channel the legitimate question raised by the Oromo people. I believe Oromo questions are Ethiopian questions and I participate in the protest in the social justice movement under the banner ‘#OromoProtests’. I believe that I am supporting the cause of social justice and channeling that voice to those who care to hear.




  1. Stuart

    I find the platform of CrowdVoice an interesting way of cataloging and disseminating information around an issue. In your piece, it seems like a lot of journalists and activists in Ethiopia and also commenting on the situation from around the world are using this platform in tandem with other sites to get around the censorship and restrictions placed on them by the government.
    There have been recent demonstrations about the Ethopian regime in Canada and even more recently, on Monday, the actor Znah-Bzu Tsegaye was reported to be seeking asylum due to “repeated harassment and for being Amhara”. The major source for the story breaking was the Voice of America and also the opposition Zehabesha website. Traditional news outlets picked up the story and remediated a lot of content but none from non-traditional actors as far as I could see. The BBC for example only quoted the interview he gave with VOA and did not use any other information despite a large source of opinion available online. Sites such as CrowdVoice can give a real platform to independent journalists and to opinion that may not make it on to traditional media outlets

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