British-Eritreans gathered in a peaceful demonstration on Downing Street with the goal of addressing challenges that included harassment and intimidation attempts by certain groups, as well as the sudden cancellation of lawful cultural events by local authorities.
The British-Eritrean Communities and Organizations Network (BECON) extends its heartfelt congratulations and admiration to the British-Eritrean community for their remarkable unity in securing their rights and celebrating their rich culture.
On Friday, September 22, 2023, British-Eritreans from across the United Kingdom, including North, East, West, and South London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Southampton, Leicester, Nottingham, Glasgow, and Cardiff, came together in a powerful demonstration in front of Downing Street.
BECON wishes to express its deep appreciation for the dedication and commitment demonstrated by the young British-Eritreans and stewards who arrived early on Friday morning to ensure the peaceful conduct of the event. Their unwavering commitment played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the demonstration.
The Metropolitan Police also deserves special recognition for their professionalism and diligence in protecting the demonstrators and upholding their fundamental right to peaceful assembly. The police’s dedication to preserving the rights of law-abiding citizens and preventing harassment or
terrorization was commendable.
The peaceful demonstration was marked by a delegation of demonstrators who had the privilege of presenting our Prime Minister, Rushi Sunak, with a comprehensive overview of the challenges faced by British Eritreans. These challenges include harassment and terrorization attempts by certain elements, as well as the cancellation of lawful and peaceful cultural events by local authorities. There has also been concern about the underestimation of these issues by some law enforcement agencies.
BECON would like to acknowledge the courtesy and responsiveness of the Prime Minister’s office, which pledged to pass the letter addressing the concerns raised during the demonstration to Prime Minster; and assuring us that we will get the response of our letter from the Prime Minister.
Following the response from the Prime Minister’s office, the demonstrators convened to pass a series of resolutions, including:
1) Rejecting Unfounded Allegations:
A categorical rejection of attempts to label British Eritreans solely as supporters of the Eritrean government.
2) Upholding British Values:
A firm belief that British Eritreans should enjoy their rights to assemble, raise their children in safe environments, and celebrate their heritage in unity, in line with British values.
3) Demanding Truthful Narratives:
An emphasis on the importance of accurate narratives that address the unprovoked attacks on British Eritreans, rather than framing them as internal disputes.
4) Advocating for Police Actions:
A call for law enforcement agencies to take swift and decisive action against these attacks, recognizing them as criminal activities.
5) Asserting Our Rights:
A reaffirmation of the fundamental rights of British Eritreans to live without fear, celebrate their culture, and participate as law-abiding British citizens.
6) Staying United:
A pledge to remain united as a community, respecting diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, recognizing that unity is our strength.
7) Advocating Continuously:
A determination to raise awareness, advocate for rights, and work toward positive change without wavering.
8) Condemning Council Actions:
A condemnation of actions by local councils especially Harrow Council that penalize festivals and celebrations through cancellations, which harm the community and culture.
9) Committing to Ongoing Action:
A commitment to continuing advocating for the rights of the British Eritrean community and future generations until these rights are protected and narratives that deny the right to assemble and celebrate are countered.
The day concluded peacefully, with demonstrators returning to their respective cities filled with a sense of accomplishment and unity, celebrating their vibrant culture through cheers and dancing.
BECON remains committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of the British Eritrean community and will continue working toward a more inclusive and safer environment for all.
The British Eritrean Communities and Organizations Network (BECON) is an umbrella organization whose collective platform is dedicated to representing and advocating for the interests of British Eritreans. BECON works to foster unity, celebrate cultural diversity, and uphold the rights and values that contribute to the vibrant tapestry of British society.
British Eritrean Communities and Organizations Network
London, Friday, 22nd of September 2023