Quebec City Marathon Winner Replicates Olympic Medallist’s Political Protest

Ebisa Ejigu of Ethiopia performed a sign of protest against his home country’s government as he won the Quebec City Marathon on Sunday.

By Tim Huebsch,

Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia made headlines last Sunday when he finished second in the men’s marathon at the Olympics with his arms crossed above his head. The gesture, which was done in solidarity with the Oromo people’s anti-government protests in his home region, led Lilesa to say “If I go back to Ethiopia, they will kill me.”

On Sunday, the winner of the Quebec City Marathon crossed the finish line in an almost-identical fashion as Lilesa did one week earlier in Brazil. Ebisa Ejigu, who is from Addis Ababa, ran 2:30:40 to win the SSQ Quebec City Marathon and formed an “X” with his arms across the line and into the finisher’s zone.

Forming an “X” with their arms is a sign of protest against the government’s treatment of the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa. The protests were sparked after the government began extending the municipal boundary of the country’s capital, threatening parts of Oromia and the people’s land rights.

The protests began in a small town named Ginchi, approximately 80 kilometres outside of the capital. Both Lilesa and Ejigu are from Addis Ababa or the surrounding area.

Ejigu is a regular on the Canadian running scene having run the Toronto Waterfront 10K in June and winning the Mississauga Marathon in May. According to Sportstats, Ejigu has listed his place of residence as Toronto since June 25. In Quebec City, he was wearing a Toronto Olympic Club singlet. He has a lifetime marathon best of 2:12:03.

Since November 2015, Human Rights Watch reports that 400 people have been killed by the government’s security forces as part of the protests. An additional 100 people are believed to have been killed in August, according to BBC News.

Lilesa, the Olympic silver medallist, did not return to Ethiopia as scheduled after the Rio Games and is seeking asylum. The decision to not board the flight came after the government said that Lilesa would get a “heroic welcome” in Ethiopia. A crowdfunding page has raised US$157,438 in the 26-year-old’s name to cover travel costs and provide support for his wife and two children in Ethiopia.

Ebisa Ejigu Replicates Feyisa Lilesa by tesfanews

18 thoughts on “Quebec City Marathon Winner Replicates Olympic Medallist’s Political Protest


    Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Race

    East Africa has produced many great mid and long distance runners that have dominated for decades. Feyisa
    Lilesa became the first athlete to speak up against his oppressive government to show the world the injustice
    imprisonment and killings of the innocent Oromo people in Ethiopia.

    The African Sports Federation (ASF) is honoring the determination, courage and the act of bravery by Feyisa Lilesa which took place in the Rio Olympics 2016. As he was crossing the finish line of the Men’s Marathon, winning his silver medal he raised his arms over his head, wrists crossed in gesture of solidarity with protestors against the
    killings of the Oromo people in his home country of Ethiopia. Beyond that he explained he was protesting for people everywhere who have no freedom. That defining moment at the finish line will forever live on as a gesture that defended human dignity on one of the biggest stages in the world.

    ASF second annual 5k race will be named after Feyisa Lilesa, the Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run. Not only do we want to display our gratitude to Lilesa but we also want to encourage other athletes to stand up for what they believe in.

    The Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Race will take place during the championship game of the 2016 Seattle African Cup presented by African Sports Federation. The ASF would like to extend our invitation to all people out there to celebrate this heroic act.

    August 28th, 2016.
    Sunday 5pm Foster High School
    4242 S 144thSt
    Tukwila WA 98168

  2. Helen Hailu, the racist, pathological liar and ignorant Tigrayan cheat, who migrated to the U.S. by stealing an Eritrean “Yodit Welderufael” refugee identity is now denying she is a Tigrayan at all. She said, she is from ethnic KUNAMA. wink wink.

    Is this one of her cheap attempt to cover up the already exposed crime of “identity theft” or is it an attempt to shift the blame on the unsuspecting Kunamas (away from Tigrayans) following her anti-Amahara and Oromo people racist rant?

    1. I thought it was the ramblings of someone young and inexperience. Till more and more information came out. I just can’t believe the unbridled shamelessness of these people.

      1. It is good to exchange views when such kind of ramblings are on air. The speech has no substance and is full of contradiction but is it really the same person who is making this speech or else is intended to disseminate disinformation? The video clip I heard initially was saying that she is Tigre (Tigray Ethiopian) and is proud of herself and also were some empty boasting. I didn’t give it value and listen to the end taught that she is provoked by some people but the above video says something else and I feel it is escalated to a different direction for she mention that she is from Kunama and is not Yeshabia telalaki. I heard a response given to her by another Ethiopian lady but her response strike me and asked myself who initate it, why and what is the end result of this hatred propaganda. From her response there is a statement which says “heji wedezemedoche”. This is a devious saying which I think is referring to totally long time hatred and felt this lady(the responder) has lost her compass. Further more, the following comment (..Eritrean who suffered and lost many family members under the brute rule of Oromos and Amharas …the majority of Derg soldiers were from Oromos and were happily brandishing their weapons to kill the Tigre..) I guess is a drama orchestrated by ignorant person or else people because the present Ethiopians and Ertrieans never be fooled by such provokation. We need only to live peacefully. So everybody has to watch out!

    2. This Agame weyane What on earth is she talking week she was Tgray,now all of the sadden you become kunama ??? Fannyyyyyyyyyy.

  3. no wonder to talk now about majority after the Oromos and Amharas decimated the Other ethnic groups to their current numbers.As Eritrean who suffered and lost many family members under the brute rule of Oromos and Amharas …the majority of Derg soldiers were from Oromos and were happily brandishing their weapons to kill the Tigre…

      1. No, TN should not delete the comment so that other people can see how some Tigrians are complex ridden they are shy to tell where they come from or who, what his/her name is like the lady above, it is high time for Tigray population to feel proud of who they are respect their culture and their identity regardless of the lies they peddle and hatred they create!!!

  4. – ወደ አዲአርቃይ ሲጓዝ የነበረና 550 ሳጥን ዳሽን ቢራ የጫነ ከባድ መኪና አምባ ጊዮርጊስ ላይ በህዝብ ተቃውሞ ወደመ። የቢራ ሳጥኖቹ መንገድ ለመዝጋት መዋላቸውን በቪዲዮ ተደግፎ ለኢሳት የደረሰው መረጃ ያመለክታል።

    – ባህር ዳር በተቃውሞ እየተናወጠች ባለችበት በዛሬው ዕለት አንዳንድ የክልሉ መንግስት ሃላፊዎች ከተማዋን ለቀው መውጣታቸው ተገለጸ። ኢሳት ማረጋገጪያ ባያገኝም አቶ ገዱ አንዳርጋቸው የወከሏቸው አቶ ያየህ አዲስ ቤተሰቦቻቸው ይዘው በአውሮፕላን ከባህር ዳር መውጣታቸውን ለጉዳዩ ቅርበት ያላቸው አንድ ነዋሪ ገልጸዋል። በዛሬው የባህር ዳር ተቃውሞ 4 ሰዎች እንደተገደሉ ይነገራል።

Comments are closed.