Our Voices Will Liberate Our People!

A Call to Participate in a Peaceful Demonstration!
Washington, DC, USA

October 30, 2006
Dear Eritrean brothers and sisters in all corners of the world:

Greetings and best wishes!

Under normal circumstances, as foundations of mutual goodwill, best wishes and greetings would be used for rare occasions during New Year, Easter and Ramadan. We would use them to say, “Happy New Year! Happy Returns! Let’s keep in touch! Same time next year!” But these are not the usual times. Our call is not to merely extend greetings, but to share with you, as our conscience and our culture make it incumbent upon us, the urgency for us to come together and be the voice of our silenced people.

As people and a nation we are not doing fine at all. We are not talking about putting food or clothing. We are talking beyond our belly, and groceries.  In the fundamental sense, to be human implies having the duty to think of one’s parents, brothers, sisters, extended relatives and fellow country men and women.  In essence, when one says he or she lives for his or her country, it simply means that one lives for the honor, justice, basic rights and respect of his or her people.

We are obliged to share our people’s pain and suffering. But along with the pain and suffering we have the obligation to ask, “Why are our people suffering? Why are they hungry? Why are the youth leaving the country in droves – a country whose parents shed their blood and gave their lives for? What is the cause for all this suffering?” And, ultimately, we must find answers to these unavoidable questions.

We are certain that you share our heart-felt concern and our people’s cries for help. The excruciating national pain and suffering are shared experiences. We sincerely believe that you – our elders, our peers, and our  younger siblings – feel and share our people’s pain and suffering .   To those of us living free of fear and terror in America, Europe, Asia, Australia and some African states, our mothers daily tears, our father’s endless agonizing, the relentless repression of our youth and children; the endless incarceration of thousands of Eritreans; the full-fledged attack on our celebrated Eritrean spirit and love for justice is a concentrated and coordinated attack on Eritreanism.

Our forefathers said it all: as long as you are with your people, even shared misery can quench your thirst (for justice and peace). We are living in foreign lands away from the direct attack and repression of our people. What are we doing to let our people know that we have not abandoned our ancestors’ teaching and wisdom? How are we to reassure our people that we clearly understand that togetherness brings about empathy, advocacy, encouragement, protection for our people, and our strong solidarity that cannot be overwhelmed by tyranny?

Our inability to stand together and our indifference brings about what we are witnessing at present time: apathy in the face of our people’s suffering. Apathy has its victims: Eritreans who are being exiled to Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, and Kenya – destined to live under the yoke of others.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Those of us Eritreans who live in the developed nations – going to work each morning; collecting our salaries; enjoying the fruits of our labor and education – are doing so thanks to the foundation established by the wise and the hardworking people of our adopted countries.

Dear Eritrean youth:

Are you aware that every day and every year, your brother, your peer, your classmate, your father, your uncle, nay the entire Eritrean people are enduring increasingly worsening abuse of the PFDJ Government?  Are you aware that they are hungry, cold, agitated, angry and restless?
Have you heard that everyday, youth like you, are crossing deserts and wilderness to seek refuge?

Have you heard that instead of a carefree life that all youth are entitled to, they are being beaten in jails throughout the country?

Please tell your peers why you haven’t gotten up to speak up for them and say, “Here I am for you!” reassuring them their suffering was not in vain.

My dear young Eritrea lady, wherever you may be, we wish for you a dignified family life. But, as you are getting ready to go to bed at the end of your day, do you think of the young ladies, yes ladies as beautiful as you, whose lives are like that of the flower which can’t blossom and the fruit that can’t ripen?

Here is a golden opportunity for you to resoundingly show your solidarity with your people in a public and transparent way. October 30th is organized to remind us of our responsibility.

A demonstration has been scheduled for us to remember them.  Please come and join us – especially if you live around Washington, DC!  Do come and bring along your friends, relatives and anyone you know.  Come and enrich our party!   Our mothers and sisters in Eritrea will be so proud and they will exclaim, “Yes! They may be in America but they haven’t forgotten us.  Attagirl!”

So do come over, young Eritrean lady! If we join hands, let alone Isaias, who is only human; let alone PFDJ, who are only people, we can level mountains and hills.  Even if it is just for one hour – please come and raise your voice for truth, for your brothers and sisters.

Dear parents, fathers, mothers and elders:

Whether due to nature or nurture, an Eritrean is a person of good-will: kind, generous, hospitable and forgiving.  History is a testament, that in addition to kindness and generosity, the Eritrean character is defined by courage and outspokenness.  But looking at the landscape now, would it be too bold to ask if the Eritrean tradition and culture of courage and outspokenness have been emasculated?

We dare say this when we observe the behavior of the self-appointed regime and the reaction of the people.  As the regime arrests men and women, as it violates the dignity of the elderly and the children; as it abuses the youth; as it hoodwinks the sheik and the priest, have those of us who reside in lands of education and justice developed sufficient capability to live up to our heritage and say, ” Stop! What you are doing is the work of outlaws! Let our people go!”

We have been postponing what should be done today, for tomorrow and the day after.  It is possible that we have been confused for a while.  But now, when the regime’s transgressions are as visible as the mountains of Eritrea, only those who have silenced their conscience and their beating hearts can feign deafness.

And so, let’s bear witness to the misery in Eritrea and let’s be cognizant that things could be even worse than they are now and, before it is too late, let’s use October 30 as an occasion to unseal out mouths and loudly proclaim our solidarity with our people.

Dear educated Eritreans:

There is no moral ambiguity on tyranny; and justice does not require philosophizing.  The time of bleaching the dark spots and whitewashing the evil is long gone. Use your education and knowledge for the betterment of the people and to usher in an era of peace, justice and tranquility.  If you are physically able, attend the October 30th demonstration; if you can’t, provide your resources to those who can.

Dear Eritrean brothers in general:

This is an open call to everyone for we do not see any irreconcilable differences between us.

Those of you who were born in Sahel, sons of martyrs; and those who were born after independence – the youth numbering over 100,000… are you there?  Are you aware of the condition of your brothers who are living a miserable life after seeking refuge in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda?
If you can please come and add your voice in our demonstration to spare the younger siblings of the refugees the same fate.
The families of those who have perished in the deserts and the oceans…are you there?  If you can please come to the demonstration and let’s do something.

How about the families, friends, peers and relatives of the thousands of Eritreans who are languishing in the prisons of PFDJ… are you there?  If you can read this, come to demand an end to it and to add your voice to the voiceless.

Come over, brothers, and let’s say enough is enough.  Come one and come all- male and females of all nationalities and faiths.  Let’s put on our forefathers brave masks and collectively find a cure to our disease. Let’s raise our voices in unison and shake the jails of the PFDJ regime.
Dear Diaspora Eritreans:

We can’t say the truth is veiled from you. We can’t say you object to raising your voice. We can’t say you are afraid.  We can’t say you are not worried about your family.  But we are sad that, to this day, as you witness the tears of your mother and the humiliation of your father, you have yet to try to put a stop to it.

And thus:

(1)Aware that the Eritrean people are suffering unbearable pain;
(2)Understanding that the cause of all this suffering is the PFDJ regime – meaning Mr. Isaias and a few of his apostles;
(3)Cognizant of the fact that the opportunities to unite, organize, and raise a banner of “We are with our people! No to oppression!” may be slipping by us;

We say, “Come one! Come all” and reverse a situation that is forcing our parents to die in grief; our youth to perish in the deserts and the oceans, Come! Come! And walk the freedom avenues of America and provide a respite to the youth who are being crushed by the burden of the PFDJ!
Come! Come! Come Eritrean citizen – raise your voice to expose the nature of PFDJ; pave the paths for change.  Come, please, to tell the rich countries that enable the torturers of your parents by sending money to the PFDJ, ” No! Please don’t aggravate the pain of my family! The regime in Eritrea is an outlaw clique!  Don’t befriend and don’t extend the life of the oppressor!”  The day that a thousand united Eritreans raise their voice in unison demanding their right is the day the PFDJ will be buried.  So, don’t wait; let the bravery you inherited be your guide and come to Washington, DC on October 30th— a historic demonstration that will expedite the demise of the PFDJ.

Finally, to the opposition organizations and human rights advocates it gives us pleasure to say the following:

Although you do not expect compliments and gratitude for your steadfast opposition to the one-man regime as it tramples over the rights of the people, we salute all your efforts on behalf of the rights of the Eritrean people.  Whatever banner and program you advocate, since it is all for the rights of Eritreans, your initiatives are worthy of our praise and we wish you all the best. Since you are part and parcel of the people, we add to our well wishes an open invitation for you to join the demonstration and enrich it.

Those of us writing this message are individuals and institutions who are driven to call the demonstration by our helplessness in witnessing the tears, mass exile and death of our people – and we consider what we are doing complementary and empowering to the organized struggle that you conduct. Our work is the initiative of the gathering strength of individuals.  No doubt, there are mistakes and shortcomings in the organization of this demonstration.  But the shortcomings do not take away from the principle, and it is our humble call that you overlook the mistakes, cover them with your goodwill and treat this demonstration as if you organized it and exert all efforts to make it successful.  Regardless of who invited whom; who initiated and who organized it, what matters is the cause: for the sake of rights and justice of the Eritrean people; to bring forth the goals of the opposition organizations and to strengthen them; to return the honor and dignity of the people.  Similarly, we appeal to all Eritrean media outlets who work for the betterment of the Eritrean people to disseminate this information in any manner they deem.

Our Voices Shall Bring About Our Liberation!
Our unity shall bring forth our rights!

Members of October 30 Demonstration Committee

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Posted by on Oct 26 2006 Filed under News, Resistance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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