The demonstrators on Friday morning in Berlin reject violence at their cultural festivals - at least that's what they keep chanting: "No to hatred and agitation!" and "Violent criminals behind bars!" At first, the crowd behind the scaffolding of the Christmas market on Potsdamer Platz barely drops on. As the morning progresses, more and more people join the demonstration, so it quickly becomes impossible to miss. The demonstrators come from all over Germany and some have traveled specifically for the event. Signs from Eritrean clubs and organizations from Hamburg, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe and Pforzheim, but also Berlin, stand out. In the past there were riots at an Eritrean festival not only in Stuttgart, but also in Giessen .
A group of demonstrators traveled from Stuttgart. They wrap themselves in an Eritrean flag and protect themselves from the cold wind. Despite the almost freezing temperatures, they are here for a serious cause. A demonstrator says: “The violence at our festivals is disturbing.” Some families from Eritrea have been living in Germany for the third generation. He has no understanding for the escalations at Eritrean festivals. Some of the perpetrators of violence are opposition supporters, but some are also Ethiopians posing as Eritreans, he says. There have been repeated armed conflicts between the two bordering countries in the past.
A demonstrator at the demo on October 20th, 2023
We are trying to build schools there.