About 75 people from the Oromo ethnic group demonstrated against the Ethiopian government Thursday afternoon in Downtown Columbus, blocking Broad and High Streets for about an hour.
The city’s main Downtown intersection -- which has been the staging ground since May 28 for Black Lives Matter protests in Columbus following the death of George Floyd on May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police officers -- was shut down for about an hour between 3 and 4 p.m.
There were no arrests during the peaceful protest. Columbus police blocked off traffic leading to Broad and High Streets.The local protest was one of many conducted around the nation. Ibsitu Ahmed, 32, of Pickerington, helped to organize the local protest.
Ahmed said the purpose of the local protest is to raise awareness of the plight of the Oromo people, who live within the country of Ethiopia in the Oromia region and consider themselves a separate nationality.
Mass protests broke out in Ethiopia after Haacaaluu Hundeessa, an Oromo singer and human rights activist, was fatally shot on Monday in Addis Ababa. At least 81 people died as a result of the immediate protests within Ethiopia.
In addition to the death of Hundeessa, prominent leaders among the Oromo people were arrested. Ahmed said that Internet and phone lines were shut down, preventing communication.
Amed said protesters want an independent investigation of Hundessa’s death and for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to resign.
Other demands include the release of political prisoners, the end to extrajudicial killings of civilians and free and fair elections this year.