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Nurturing popular participation (Part I)

The main effort of the EPLF was to ensure the popular participation of the Eritrean people in the armed struggle for independence. Because it fully understood that without the participation of the people the struggle for independence would not hit its target, the liberation of the country. That‘s what makes the EPLF popular. People have endless capacity to do things.  The existence of an organization among its people would be superficial unless it ensures the interest and rights and listens to the heart beat of the people. Ultimately it is the organization that gives priority to the interest and that fulfills the aspiration of the people that would finally emerge victorious. Confidence on ones people is the foundation for success.

The EPLF worked hard in order the people have national awareness. Agitation campaigns have ben conducted to acquaint the people with its history and national programs. The campaigns were not only confined with those clandestine members. Large seminars and meeting were being organized and briefings were conducted through raising important issues and motivating participants to discuss that the people had to understand and comprehend. Magazines and pamphlets aimed at raising the awareness of the people were also being distributed. In the places where meetings and seminars could not be conducted it was through the Voice of Masses that important messages were disseminated.

The other effort was to establish and strengthen popular associations. And with that the National Farmer’s Association, National Women Association, National Workers Association and the National Students Association conducted launching congress at a national level. The first three conducted their second congress in 1983. These associations have played an important role in ensuring the participation of the people and reinforcing the armed struggle for independence. They also played an important role in increasing the awareness of the people towards the struggle. They also made financial and material contribution aimed at strengthening the armed struggle. Many of their members also joined the armed struggle. The national associations have played a big role in nurturing dedicated citizens.

Efforts have been exerted to organize national according to their profession. The Eritrean Medical Association was one of them. Efforts have been also made to organize other professional associations through which Eritrean workers could struggle for their rights, nurture their national identity and culture. These are what we call Eritrean “communities”. Eritrean communities were organized in many European and American countries and have played a significant role.

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