I Hope Life in Eritrea Goes Back to Normal
Selam: Did you expect the EYC-EYSC to grow as fast it did since it start?
Daniel: It's only been 3 months since the merger of EYC and EYSC to form EYC-EYSC. Our unity has inspired many young people to join in or start their own. Even though that was intention, it is nice when things work out beyond what you expect them to be. But this is just the beginning and the best is yet to come.
Selam: I think there are tens of thousands Eritreans originally living in DC, but don’t participate in the demonstrations as such. Why do you think that is? And what have you done differently this time to increase the number of the demonstrators?
Daniel: The demonstration is a few days from today. The demonstration organizers have done a fabulous job preparing for the event and our team members everywhere have done their best to publicize the event. It's also being conducted in coordination with other youth groups from around the world.
It's true that the number of Eritreans who live in the larger DC area is quite large, yet so far the silent majority has not wake up. We hope we are getting closer to that.
Selam: How many people do you think will join the demonstration?
Daniel: Very hard to say, but we know that hundreds will be attending the conference and the demonstration. Many people are travelling from Europe, Canada and the United States just for this, so I hope it a record breaking number. And if the turnout is lower than expected, it just means we need to work harder.
Selam: How would you go about motivating the Eritreans in the DC area to come out and demonstrate?
Daniel: We have been informing people about the event and letting them know that this is the last push to get rid of the dictatorship in our country. But everyone has to have their own motivation. It is a historic event and it's great to be part of history. I think a lot of people are aware of that and they want to be part of it.
Selam: What do you think should be the action oriented strategy to defeat the Isaias regime?
Daniel: I think the best and sustainable change must come from inside the country. I believe there Eritrean Defence Forces are quite capable of saving the country. But the right conditions must be created for them. It is important that they know the Eritrean public inside and outside the country will be along their side.
But no matter what, the dictatorship will be defeated by the will power of the people. In the long run, all tyrants and despots get defeated.
Selam: How do you think to implement such kind of strategy in Eritrea from abroad?
Daniel: Those of us living outside the country cannot defeat the system alone. What we can do is act as a catalyst and emboldens those who can take a swift action inside the country. But the first step toward that is to stand united against the regime and use the freedoms and laws we live under to minimize the influence of the PFDJ abroad.
Selam. How do you see the youth organization or movement in 5 years from now?
Daniel: I sincerely hope that in fairly a short time the grassroots youth movements around the world are able to inspire their brothers and sisters back home and bring about the badly needed change. In 5 years time, I hope life in Eritrea goes back to normal so that the youth can plan their future, start businesses, concentrate on their studies and serve their families and country. For that to happen, we must all help end repression right away.