The Ethiopian colonialists had never ceased from their heinous objective that “we are after the land and not after the people of Eritrea” from the day they set their foot in the country. And the main instrument for their existence was killing and detaining people, burning houses, destroying property, killing animals, looting and raping women. The Ethiopian colonial regime continued with great scale such atrocities on the people of Eritrea after the strategic withdrawal. However, the people of Eritrea did not take the enemy atrocities as Manna from the sky. They responded with strengthening participation in the armed struggle. People under the siege of the enemy were also responding through peaceful means. The people who were under the siege of the enemy were demonstrating their resistance against the enemy through different means. Factory workers by slowing down production and demanding the replacement of notorious officials. People from the country side were also demonstrating their resistance through different means.
The resistance of workers had different dimensions. Boycotting going to work and selecting representatives that would contact Derge officials to present their cases were frequented. Such activities were conducted 30 times in 1980-1983.
In the cities, the main instruments for the Derge were the Kebeles. Realizing the intentions of the Kebeles there was strong opposition on their formation. However, they were established by force and the opposition continued in different forms. Strong opposition was witnessed in the cities and villages. For example, from 1980 to 1983 eight opposition protests were conducted in many different villages. The protests were conducted against the formation of Kebeles, land distribution, detention, killings, raping, looting property and forced conscription.
The people who were living under the siege of the enemy began conducting opposition protests in 1979 under the influence of the armed struggle. The opposition grew in 1980. The opposition protests that witnessed from 1981 to 1982 in the cities had a big influence to the protests that were being conducted in villages in 1983. Those protests were thorns in the foot to the enemy and a big contribution to the armed struggle for independence.