Ato Berhe Desta

The Concept of the Eritrean Mass Movement & Its Advantages. 


At a time when the political situation inside Eritrea was one of great concern, the Eritrean people, inside the country and in the Diaspora, could not exactly know how to challenge the criminal acts of the unconstitutional government in Asmara which had committed horrendous crimes, with extreme cruelty, against its own people.  The socio-economic and political situation in Eritrea reached un-imaginable proportions. The Eritrean people have been denied of their Rights for free Speech, free movement, freedom to assemble and to run a normal day-to-day life, since their national independence of 1991. 


As a result of such unbearable life situation inside Eritrea, and especially when about 360 Eritreans, consisting of men, women, children and infants, escaping the horrors of life in Eritrea and seeking freedom in Europe, vanished in a sinking ship in the Mediterranean Sea, by the shores of the Italian Sea coast of Lampadusa, on October 13th, 2013, many horrified Eritreans, the world over, rose up by raising their fists high, and singing the slogans of " Isayas Must Go!" , and yes indeed, he must Go !!  That caused the birth of the Movement, and they started to organize themselves, starting on a city by city level, all over the world. In consideration of the complexity of eventual system integration concerns at the global stage, the initial call to organize at the local level is made for the whole community, as an aggregate, not on the basis of a fragmented demography approach. And one the Ground Rules is to first educate the Masses about the Concept of the Mass Movement, so that they can make informed decisions. 


A  temporary By Laws were drafted, in order to legally guide them at the local level, and for formalizing the organizing process, on the basis of a "one person one vote" membership setting (principle), which guarantees every member equal rights, opportunities and privileges, in the ownership of the movement. That means, the concept of the Movement is termed as a "Movement of the people, by the people, for the people." Justice and Democracy start right there.  This Movement is only a task force (a means not an end ), not an organization which ultimately grabs political power. Its main purpose is to educate, mobilize and organize the public, and optimize the participation of the more than 90% of Eritreans who are not yet politically organized to the membership fold. The Mass Movement is not a replacement of or in competition with any political organization. On the contrary, it empowers and strengths them, by bringing in many new participants to the Eritrean public Forums.   


The Mass organizing process involves three stages moving on a single path to fruition : 1) It starts at local,  city-by-city organizing process. 2) Centralization of all the fully organized cities within a subject country, under a single leadership, at a national level, and finally, 3) All organized countries, the world over, will send their representatives to a centrally convenient city for all of them, for the purpose of forming a national Assembly (Bayto), for a transitional government, in absentia. Political sharing at this stage by all Eritrean demographics, will be on the basis of the  qualified, (with significant grassroots base) limited number of political organizations, measured by a pre-defined set of criteria. The Assembly should have the mandate to revisit and reassess the qualifications of the organizations, who claim to be valid political entities, in order to ascertain whether they have the defined minimum number of members base.    



The vision of the Eritrean Mass Movement is:  to organize all Eritreans on a city by city, national, and international level, for the purpose of bringing a political change in Eritrea, and upon which, to create a democratic new Eritrea , where all Eritreans can peacefully and democratically live in harmony. 



The goal of the Eritrean Mass Movement is: To fully organize all Eritreans, the world over, locally, nationally, and globally, upon which, a peoples' government can be created in Eritrea by uniting the forces for change inside Eritrea, and those in the Diaspora, within the shortest time possible.



The approach of the Eritrean Mass Movement is to be a task force, which organizes all Eritreans on a city by city basis, and it inclusively organizes them, whether they already belong to an organization or not. The organizing process continues from the city (locally), to a national level (country), and from the national level to an international level.

However, any existing organization(s) will be allowed to continue with its / their existing organizational agendas, without being interrupted by the actions of the Mass Movement. But it is also a common benefits that some of their members, if not all, also join hands with the political dynamics of the Mass Movement. 



The advantages of the Eritrean Mass Movement are:

1)     Organizing the Masses on a city by city level approach provides a better opportunity to easily recognize  who can be better representatives of the interests of each group, and that of the majority of Eritreans within that city.  

2)     The Eritrean Mass Movement is only a task force, which has the best vision and know-how to wisely educate, organize and bring the more than 90 % of the not-yet-organized Eritreans to the public forum, for National Salvation. 

3)     The concept of the Eritrean Mass Movement, if properly implemented, can organize the  already organized and those not organized Masses, in harmony, at a city by city level, within the subject country will be centralized, under a single leadership, from which, will proceed to the third stage, which is the global level, within the shortest time. 

 4)     The concept of the Eritrean Mass Movement is the politics "of the people by the people for the people," which guarantees each member equal rights, opportunities and privileges in the ownership of the task force, and follows the from a bottom up progression.

 5) The Mass Movement provides membership opportunities for those who already have other memberships with other Eritrean organization(s), in addition to its own.

  6) The concept has the best harnessing mechanism of the interests of the different 

       participating organizations, at the global level. 



1)     The Eritrean Mass Movement is only a task force, not a political organization that ultimately assumes power.   

2)  The organizing process starts on a city by city level, on the principle of a one person, one vote membership rule, and from a bottom up progression. 

3)     No membership is allowed at group or organizational levels. 

4)     For the purpose of legality, and convenience, a minimum membership fee of $10.00 will be assessed against members. 

5)     In order for members to qualify for voting and to be elected, their minimum age must be 18 years.

6)     Community representatives who are delegated for a defined purpose(s) like seminars or demonstrations, cannot represent their city on any other task responsibilities for which they are not delegated, except to bring back any messages or proposals to their constituents. 

7)   When administrative body decisions conflict with that of the Masses, the voice of the 

      Masses override.   



The Eritrean Mass Movement started its mission about six years ago, by Eritreans for Justice and Democracy around the world.  The Movement evolved as a result of the unending misery, mass arrests, imprisonment, and lingering impoverishment of almost all Eritreans inside their country.  That situation compelled many Eritreans, from different countries in the Diaspora, to at once rise up with their slogans, " Isayas Must Go," in loud tones, and made an immediate move to organize themselves, on a city by city, and on individual membership basis, on a bottom up progression.


The organizing process involves three stages: The Local (city) level, the National (centralized) level, and the global level, where, upon electing global delegates from each involved country, a national Assembly will be formed.  At that stage (3rd level), the work of the task force will end. The delegates from each country, at the global stage, will meet at a centrally chosen country, for the purpose of forming a national Assembly and each one of the reps. should posses extraordinary skills and experiences,in order to be able to handle the tremendous challenges of the global unity system integration..  


The responsibility of devising the right formulae for fairly and equitably distributing the political power to the qualified number of political organizations, reflective of the true color of all the demographics of the Eritrean society, without leaving out any segment of the populace will rely on the abilities of this Assembly, and due to the complexity of the involved  tasks, the Assembly members will consider too many variables to juggle with. Therefore, it is imperative for the Eritrean people to make it easier for them, from the beginning (locally), by making their call to all Eritreans, as a single community (as an aggregate), and when the people respond to the community call, they will get organized as a united task force, under a single leadership, and by doing that, they will minimize the number of group  participants. Upon being organized locally, centralization will take place nationally, with the guide a new inclusive By Laws, and eventually, will proceed to the international Forum, where each organization will vie for its share of the political pie. All the task-force members who made it possible for most Eritreans to optimally organize and engage in the national Salvation efforts, and others, like the professionals, artists, intellectuals, etc. have the opportunity to secure their  positions as well, by individually joining any recognized political organizations, of their choice.    


By scientifically crafting a democratically meaningful representation of the political power, we can come up with a constitutional and truly democratic new Eritrea, that every citizen can finally embrace and enjoy, will be created. The Concept of the Eritrean Mass Movement, which evolved as a Panacea to the lingering inability of the multiple Eritrean political organizations to unite, should  be adopted, globally.    


Tomorrow's new Eritrea rightfully belongs to the younger generation, and those of them who have demonstrated their unwavering dedication and commitments for the service of their people and country should be ready to reclaim the Mantle.  Meantime, recognition of the efforts of those who kept our struggle alive, for so long, is overdue. 


Two equally important items to consider are:  1) To involve every Eritrean in out-of-pocket financial contributions and to raise enough funds for the national cause, and 2) To internationalize Eritrea’s lingering problems of gross Human Rights Violations and National Sovereignty. 


Lastly, for  our ultimate success, the Eritrean people must adamantly be bigger than fear !! 


Berhe Desta / Seattle, Washington, USA 


A chart, reflecting practical applications of the Mass Organizing process on a city by city approach, is attached.

December 07, 2019 at 11am - 2pm
Smerrr for Justice & Democracy Room
Berhe Desta · · 206-271-3656
Mengistab Teklai

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