A protestor holds a sign that reads "Open Humanitarian Corridor" behind local Tegaru youth that led the march.

PHOTO ESSAY: Tegaru Community March Against Continued War in Tigray

by Ronnie Estoque

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission. 

Last Saturday, the local Tegaru community gathered from across the Tigrean Community Center on East Yesler Way to protest the continuing war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Last December, the Emerald covered a candlelight vigil that was organized by the community to honor those killed in a conflict that began Nov. 4 after the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front of ambushing a federal military base.

According to protestors in attendance, the situation since then has only intensified, with persisting blackouts in Tigray preventing families from checking up on their relatives that have been fleeing the conflict.

Speeches were given at the protest by several local community members, which were then followed up by a march down East Yesler Way. Local youth led the march by holding banners up front. “Stop ethnic cleansing in Tigray!” was a chant that rang through the streets as protestors marched, alongside calls for international intervention to help halt the war. According to Al Jazeera, thousands have died in the conflict thus far with around two million people having to flee their community as refugees. Protest organizers also encouraged attendees to financially support their people in need during this time by donating to a GoFundMe set up by the Tigray Development Association.

Protestors advocate for international intervention in the Tigray region. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Fre Fukur stands wearing a garment representing Tigray. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local community member Weyni Teklu shares a speech during the protest. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A man holds a Tigray flag while listening to a speech during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local community member Nahom Kahsay leads calls and response chants with protestors. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A man livestreams the protest to social media from his phone. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Protestors begin to fill the street outside of the Tigrean Community Center on East Yesler Way. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A man waves a Tigray flag on the bed of a truck that helped clear the road for protestors. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Protestors chanted and held up banners and Tigray flags as they marched. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A man holds up a Tigray flag during the march. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A woman livestreams the march down Easter Yesler Way to social media. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Ronnie Estoque is a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.

📸 Featured Image: A protestor holds a sign behind local Tegaru youth that led the march down East Yesler Way. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

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