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Live from the Zenawi protest—and counterprotest

As protesters line Broadway to protest controversial WLF speaker Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, we bring you the scene. Videos below, and more photos after the jump as they come in.

UPDATE: According to news reporter Finn Vigeland, there are about 200 people in front of Morton Williams and Pinnacle chanting, yelling, blowing horns, playing African drums, holding signs, and waving Ethiopian flags. NYPD has restrained them within blue police barricades.

UPDATE (2:40): Important to note that there are two sides to this—and from what we're hearing, the crowd supporting Zenawi is larger, louder, and appears to be better-organized. Videos of both groups coming in a moment.

UPDATE (4:14): Both masses of protesters have grown in size, and it's no longer true that the pro-Zenawi group outnumbers the anti-Zenawi group—if anything, the throng of people protesting Zenawi is slightly larger. The din from the two protests can be heard from College Walk.

Below, the anti-Zenawi crowd, north of 115 St. in front of Morton Williams.

And the crowd in support, south of 115th St. by Pinnacle:

Nilkanth Patel / Spec

Sam Levin / Spec

Spec

Spec

Nilkanth Patel / Spec

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Concerned posted on

Message for those who are opposing against Meles!

First of all you should know that Meles is a qualified leader. He is invited for such a prestigious gathering because of his talents and excellence in his studies. Nothing comes by shouting. Those of you who are shouting, please examine yourselves. Don't expose your lack of knowledge. They say, empty barrel shouts. By shouting you may seem empty. Examine your qualifications! A qualified person can never be led by the likes of Tamagn Beyene. If it were by shouting, Tamagn could have given a key note for Harvard. Abebe Belew for Yale...So, am have some feeling of shame. Meles has two or three degrees with excellence. Please, I beg you all not to expose your ignorance.

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Anonymous posted on

"Restrained" is a bit of an odd word choice. All protests have to file for permits with the city (hence all the policemen on duty here), and they always set up these barriers for sidewalk protests.

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Alamerew posted on

Great Spectators.
This a real student medium.
Zenawi should be banned for good.

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Ethiopia posted on

I think Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs they let the Democratic PM Meles have the forum as a key note speaker of Colombia University as a favor.

Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs your snub of the crimes of the Democratic PM Meles is amazing. I wonder how much he will pay you for your favors when that day comes and you become his consultants to help him keep cooking his economic data?

Dear Columbia University students take a look at http://www.ethiopiantragedy.com and figure out what you would learn from the Democratic PM Meles credentials and experience those that qualified him as a favorite of Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs.

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Tewodros Melchsadic posted on

QS World University Rankings Results 2010 Colombia University rated #11 for the last two years, and # 10 in 2008. Beyond that it is a different story, in 2005 CU rated #20 to me it is a miracle of same sort, within five years to register ten notches , I believe Colombia gat some kind of abracadabra or a rabbit foot in side the left hand, while the rest of them sleeping under spill. 2005, Colombia U. and pm melles of Ethiopia have a lot in common; conceder the achievement. Melles after the election, He become openly butcher in front of the world media. Courtesy of YouTube we witness the hundreds of young African kids slaughtered by raciest Tigris nationalist led by pm Melles and his ranking according to the brutality index went from, “he is one of the fevered young Africa democrats according to world leaders like Tony Blair, George Bush and so on.” - To merciless killer of innocent by- stander kids and the incarcerations of the opposition by tens of thousands openly in day light in front of the EU Parliament observers. Since then he clam 99.6 % vote as well as the high percentage economic growth similar to the number Cu achieved since 2005 .I wonder the co- relation between you to. How you manage to achieve in this short period. Magic numbers, 2005 and # 11.

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jj posted on

please post more pictures, you are doing great thanks

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fvigeland posted on

Perhaps using "restrained" as an active verb coming from the NYPD was not quite accurate -- but still, they are restrained (voluntarily) within the blue pens, and NYPD is on guard. Police will also not let you stand on the street -- you have to keep walking or stay within the barricades.

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Erit_Truth posted on

Melles Zenawi as head of the TPLF mercenary state has turned out to be the best tool of certain quarters bent to dominate and exploit the Horn region. As such, the protest organized by various Ethiopian civic organizations has the backing of all anti-TPLF groups from the Horn of Africa region.

More than that, the invitation extended to the PM by Columbia has, to a certain extent, shown the surreptitious hands that have been supporting this apartheid regime. For this, may be we have to thank Columbia for inadvertently staging this event and hope it will be an eye-opener, especially, to those who have so far been misguided to get involved and take the appropriate steps in supporting those who GENUINELY stand for justice, peace and democracy in the troubled Horn region.

Thanks Columbia Spectrum for a timely coverage.
Go Ethio demonstrators Go!!

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Aratkilo posted on

The ethiopians are pouring from all over the US as we speAK, tHE eTHIOPIANS THAT OPPOSE THE PRESENCE OF THIS DICTATOR CAME FROM ALL OVER THE EASTERN SEABOARD AND YOU WILL SEE, HOW THEY OPPOSE

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Bruck posted on

thx for the update..TPLF will go down soon! Meles is a killer..CU Could do better! how would our American friends feel AAU invited osama binladen? down with meles!

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2disgusted posted on

bruck Meles has spat in the face of America by visiting with Most Wanted man and fellow genocider Bashir of Sudan. it seems Americans don't care

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Tefera posted on

The difference between the two crowds is that Meles' supporters are either bigot tribalists, sold-out sychophans, and cowardly individuals who are blackmailed that they will lose a property or some interest back in Ethiopia. We know how the deceitful, bloody tyrant works. He will not fool Ethiopians, he may hoodwink the Western media.

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Aratkilo posted on

it is quiet a shame that the Butcher of Africa, mles Zenawi is a Speaker in this Great school. ethiopians have been fighting for their freedom and these Great ethiopians will be the voice of the ones muzzled in ethiopia. More Ethiopians opposing the tyranical regime of meles will be out in force. The freedom for dignity and human rights will go on .

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hanna3-1 posted on

I AM PROUD OF THOSE ETHIOPIANS WHOM THEY ARE EXPOSING THE KILLER MELSE. FOR SURE WHO INVITED TO MAKE HIM THIS KILLER DIDNT RECOGNIZE HOW THIS KILLER STUID MELSE IS KILLING OUR PEOPLES AND MAKE IN OUR MOM ETHIOPIA DOWN EVERY MOMENT.
MY ETHIOPIANS YOU ARE DOING GREAT BERTULGHNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
LOVE YOU ALL ETHIOPINA WHO ARE THERE RIGHT NOW .
BANDA KILLER WEYANE MINOR GROUPS GO TO HELL SHAME ON YOU.
Hanna

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Aratkilo posted on

All of the meles supposedly supporters are a mix of people bought for their undying loyality and people who support meles because of his ethnicity ties with them. shame on those that lie about our ethiopian people and make a mockery of Democracy . Shame on Meles supporters, you are also part of the killing machine

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hanna3-1 posted on

It is shame to invite killer melse to make speech in NY but what ever the REAL ETHIOPIANS have the chance to expose killer weyane leader weyane to all over the world. This is a good opportunity FOR you ETHIOPIANS ,but shame on them weyane bandas.....
Our Ethiopians good job bertuleeeennnnnnn
killer weyane melse down with your killer group i hate you forever go to hell yedafchuuuuuu

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Selemon posted on

Hanna- Ethiopia is for Ethiopians. Please go and comment Eritreans related issues!

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hanna3-1 posted on

selemon i am PROUD ETHIOPIAN focus on weyane leave me .Do not have time for u now.

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yinesa petros posted on

Zenawi is a killllllllllllller , Zenawi is murderer ,, Zenawi is a ruthless genocider
Colombia stop the killer challegne the killer ... The Respected colombiya university is not a place for the Devilish Meles
Zenawi
down with Meles zenawi
We need justice freedom democracy ...
Meles go helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

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Meles is a killer posted on

Meles is one of evil person in the world, Shame on you ! NY

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Ethiopia posted on

Yes, Meles is a KILLER!!!

I think Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs they let the Democratic PM Meles have the forum as a key note speaker of Colombia University as a favor.

Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs your snub of the crimes of the Democratic PM Meles is amazing. I wonder how much he will pay you for your favors when that day comes and you become his consultants to help him keep cooking his economic data?

Dear Columbia University students take a look at http://www.ethiopiantragedy.com and figure out what you would learn from the Democratic PM Meles credentials and experience those that qualified him as a favorite of Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs.

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Tefera posted on

I have heard from friends that A bigger crowd is on its way to Newyork by bus and private cars. It will soon swell to a big crowd

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Aratkilo posted on

Since Prof. Stiglitz is interested in having a “conversation”, here are a few topics he should ask Zenawi to talk about. How is it that Ethiopia, under his “seasoned” leadership, managed to rank:

138/159 (most corrupt) countries on the Corruption Index for 2010?
17 among the most failed states (Somalia is No. 1) on the Failed States Index for 2010.

136/179 countries (most repressive) on the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom.

107/183 economies for ease of doing business (investment climate) by The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2010?

37/53 (poorest governance quality) African countries in the 2010 Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

101/128 countries in 2010 on the Bertelsmann Political and Economic Transformation Index, and

141/153 (poorest environmental public health and ecosystem vitality) countries in the 2010 Environmental Performance Index.

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Daniel posted on

Meles represents Africa not only Ethiopia. We are very proud of our leader. Why do you thinking Zenawi's supporters are larger in number? Because that's what we Ethiopians think of the great Meles Zenawi!!! WE ARE PROUD OF MELES ZENAWI!!!!

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Aratkilo posted on

can imagine the audience asking these questions:

Mr. Zenawi, what is the special magical spell you used to win the May 2010 election by 99.6 percent? Answer: “Say ‘abracadabra’ ten times while holding a rabbit’s foot in the left hand at the crack of dawn.”
When will you stop trashing the human rights of Ethiopian citizens? Answer: “As soon as you tell me when they started having human rights.”

Why do you lie about double-digit economic growth by using cooked up numbers from your Central Statistics office?[1] Answer: “There are ‘lies and plausible lies’. Our statistics are of the latter variety.”

Why did you shut down all distance education programs in the country? Answer: “Because education is overrated.”

Why did you wipe out the private independent media in the country? Answer: “They don’t like me.”

Do you really believe the Voice of America is the same as Rwanda’s genocide Radio Mille Collines? Answer: “VOA, VOI (Voice of Interhamwe). It all sounds the same to me.”

What do you think of your critics in the U.S.? Answer: “They are all friggin extremists in the Diaspora. I can’t stand them. Why? Oh! Why don’t they like me?!?”

Do you believe in the rule of law? Answer: “Yep! I am it.”

When will you release Birtukan Midekssa, the only woman political party leader in Ethiopian history, from prison? Answer: “‘There will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.’”

“If there are no more questions, I am outta here!”

Just at that moment, I can imagine President Bollinger leaping to his feet with index finger wagging in righteous indignation and proclaiming: “Mr. Prime Minister, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.”

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Aratkilo posted on

We are All Ears!

Let Zenawi speak! Let’s hear what he has to say. Will it be the usual cascade of lies, half-truths, buzzwords, platitudes, clichés and boiler plate economics hokum bunkum? I have no idea. Over the past several days, Stiglitz and crew have been playing the old switcheroo on the topics Zenawi will be talking about. First, they said Zenawi will speak on “Ethiopia and Africa leadership.” They changed that and said he will talk about “the current global economy and its impact”. Now they say he will be talking about “the current global economy and its impact on Africa”. It is not clear what expertise Zenawi has on globalization or what morsels of wisdom he may be able to impart, but Stiglitz should have no problems writing a nice scholarly-sounding speech for Zenawi to read. After all, the “impact of the global economy on Africa” is the snake oil Joe “The Globalizer” Stiglitz has been peddling for the past decade.

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Meles is a killer posted on

shame on colombia...meles is student killer...he should not have been allowed on colombia grounds...Addis abeba Universite student been killed on street by meles

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Ethiopia posted on

Yes, Meles is a Killer, and hear is the testimony http://www.ethiopiantragedy.com

I think Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs they let the Democratic PM Meles have the forum as a key note speaker of Colombia University as a favor.

Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs your snub of the crimes of the Democratic PM Meles is amazing. I wonder how much he will pay you for your favors when that day comes and you become his consultants to help him keep cooking his economic data?

Dear Columbia University students take a look at http://www.ethiopiantragedy.com and figure out what you would learn from the Democratic PM Meles credentials and experience those that qualified him as a favorite of Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs.

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seyoum posted on

PEOPLE WHO ARE PROTESTING AGAINST MELES ARE 1. Eritreans 2. Somali Al Sabaab sympathisers 3. The previous Ethiopian socialist dicator Mengistu Hailemariam sympathisers!!!!

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hanna3-1 posted on

you stupid hodam weyane seyounm you dont have even one word to talk about this killer melse and his banda members...u both are child killers ,blood seekers. If u think about Ethiopians why dont you let free Hero Birtukan Mideksa???? no confidence at all .You know we Proud Ethiopians will take over you soon dont worry banda hodam huluuuuu
no more 1 second to killers and hodams.
shame on you

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ADDISWORK posted on

Columbia Zenawi is a ruthless genocider What do you learn from a genocider?? shame on you

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Aratkilo posted on

Daniel,

Your Killer leader is afraid of one women, Birtukan mideksa and has killed people in broad daylights, where their only sin was for dignity and self representaion. Shame on you for loving a killer. it says a lot about you !!

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Aratkilo posted on

Seyoum,

No, they are ethiopians, Pure and Simple. They abhor killers, Thats all. meles is a Killer Dictator !! Face it, the person that you love is a killer !!!

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Mahlet posted on

Ethiopia under Zenawi- FACT has a double digit economic growth, is the third fastest growing economy in sub-sahara,child mortality rate halved, better education coverage, greater GDP, less corruption, election for the first time in the country's history!!!! Now TELL WHY ON EARTH AS AN ETHIOPIAN WOULD PROTEST AGAINST HIM??????

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Meles is devil of africa posted on

Meles is animal,

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Shewangezaw posted on

GOD BLESS MELES ZENAWI!!! WE ETHIOPIANS ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL TO HIM!!!!

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Enndelbu posted on

It is amazing Meles Zenawi who killed Ethiopian University students again and again respectfully invited to the great Colombia University. WHAT A SHAME!

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Anonymous posted on

Thanks for the update, good work and pictures.

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teddy afro posted on

hahahahahah mr zenawi we'r proud welcome

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Selemon posted on

Didn't you guys wonder why Meles' supporters are larger in number- SIMPLE MAJORITY OF EHTIOPIAN PEOPLE SUPPORT MELES ZENAWI. It's under his regime that Ethiopia got a certain level of prosperity for the first time!!!!!!!!! INDEED GOD BLESS MELES ZENAWI....GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA!!!!

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hanna3-1 posted on

go to hell banda weyane selemon ok u are hodammmmmmmmmmmmmmm yidfah killer .blood seeker,,,child killer.....

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good hope posted on

I REALY PROUD BY ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE."DEATH FOR MELES".PEACE FOR ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE.
I SUPORT MY ETHIOPIA.

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tolla posted on

Meles Zenawi represented only his Ethnic group which is 4% of the general Ethiopian population, Ethiopia never ever had racist leader like Meles Zenawi .

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devil meles posted on

Fascism has been defined in various ways at various times. Some scholars don’t even consider fascism as a standalone ideology. These scholars point out that fascism selects elements and rejects certain aspects of every major ideology. These elements vary wildly in terms of coherence, appeal, sources and policy. Thus from conservatism, it borrows reverence for authority but rejects the slow pace of change. It has no respect for religious leaders or traditional elites. From liberalism, it incorporates the idea of social Darwinism to the extreme, to the point of exterminating the weak (remember what happened to the Anuak and to the people of wolkait and tegede as well as Tselemt). Yet it rejects individualism and insists on a racial or national community (Tigray first). From Marxism it incorporates a great deal including single party system and control of all aspects of social, cultural, economic and political life (the concept of EPDRF is an attempt to control other groups by TPLF). The ideal society under fascism is then one that is based on race or nationality.

Most scholars agree that fascism exhibits the following characteristics.

• Historically fascism did not come to power in “normal” times and is not voted into power.

This point needs no explanation. meles came to power by force at a time when the Ethiopian people were discouraged by the dictatorial administration of the Derg.

• Fascism’s mass social basis comes disproportionately from the lower middle- class (shop-keepers

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Erit_Truth posted on

Dear Elyee, thanks for the pics, however we would like to see more of the protestors who we think would eventually represent the real "USA and Ethiopia's Freindship and Partnership " not the hired opportunists. Thanks again

Go Ethio demonstrators Go!!

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devil meles posted on

On December 13, 2003, members of the Ethiopian military from the ENDF’s 43rd Division and militias formed from non-Anuak minority groups entered Gambella town in southwestern Ethiopia. Over the course of three days, they sought out, tortured and killed 424 men, burned houses, and scattered families. Since that time, the genocide and crimes against humanity have continued, raising the death toll between 1,500 and 2,500, and causing more than 50,000 Anuak to flee.

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devil meles posted on

Previous to the December 13 massacre, tensions and small skirmishes related to land issues and regional autonomy did exist between minority groups and between the Anuak and the Ethiopian government. Because of this, the Ethiopian government has claimed that the killings have been a result of tribal warfare. However, never before has the scope of fighting been so cruel or large-scale, and through several separate investigations, it has become clear that the Ethiopian government not only authorized the attacks, but planned them as well. The commander of Gambella town’s military garrison, Major Tsegaye Beyene, was in Gambella town throughout the massacre and took no apparent action to stop it; indeed, he appears to have directly taken part in the violence.

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