On the conclusion of their protests, Eritreans in Australia directed a further blow to the PFDJ regime:

Farajat – Melbourne
January 6, 2007

Eritrean Australians protesting against the PFDJ festival for the fifth consecutive year have achieved a new victory by gaining much sympathy and solidarity from the Australian public. The second night of protests witnessed in addition to the press release issued by the Organizing Committee, the distribution of more publications that condemn human rights violations in Eritrea.

In a move that reflects the great success achieved by the demonstration, many non-Eritrean citizens who joined the rally volunteered to assist in the campaign to collect signatures to prevent the PFDJ from using public facilities and halls in Australia in the future and stop them from raising funds under the guise of cultural festivals.

One female participant personally collected more than forty signatures in a bid to reflect the extent of the Australian people’s solidarity with the Eritrean citizens who are suffering from the scourge of oppression and dictatorship.

Another reflection of the successes achieved by the demonstration this year, the participation of youth and children in the distribution of publications and statements denouncing the PFDJ system, which has had a considerable impact in Australian streets. The Eritrean Youth Action Network, EritrYANA, played a great role in this years’ demonstrations.

The demonstration this year also saw the participation of a number of Australian organizations that sent representatives who participated in the two days respectively. Mr. Ben Courtice representing the coalition of  The Socialist Alliance, who told Farajat that he participated in the demonstration in solidarity with the Eritrean people in their struggle for the establishment of democracy and the rule of law. He commended the precision and organization of the campaign, which was characterized by the demonstration, and said that it was pleasing to see the Australian public positive response to the demonstrators and their just demands.

And in a brief discussion, Miss. Rachel, from Community Radio Australia said she was participating in the demonstration to express her position and support of Australians of Eritrean origin to shed light on the poor conditions in Eritrea, adding that it is important that Australians know what is going on there.

Farajat also met during the demonstration Mr. Basheer Saleh Hamde visiting from the United States, who said he was joining in the march in solidarity with the brothers and sisters persecuted in Eritrea.

It is also worth mentioning, in the PFDJ venue, the Australian police ordered the PFDJ Organizers to vacate the concert Hall immediately after a fight and clashes with fists and seats started which a security guard was slightly injured. No one knows the causes of the outbreak, however witnesses have reported seeing squabbling group of children rush out of the room in a state of severe panic.

It appears that some guests objected to the constant political speeches and rhetoric which they described as “boring” and this may have led to the eruption of clashes between those who were heading to the dance floor, and some extreme supporters of PFDJ who tried to exploit the occasion to pump more lies.

At the conclusion of the demonstration, all protesters, Eritreans and their friends danced together to the music of musician Hashim Samra and songs and lyricists of Eritrean artist musician Ahmed Abdelrehim and Burundian musician William who sung for freedom, tolerance and Justice.

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