New Year Resolution: Don’t agonize organize
By Petros Tesgagherghis There is persistent talk that the Eritrean political parties should hand over leadership to the youth. But it is not possible to hand over leadership in a silver plate. Leaders emerge or evolve
By Petros Tesgagherghis
There is persistent talk that the Eritrean political parties should hand over leadership to the youth. But it is not possible to hand over leadership in a silver plate. Leaders emerge or evolve in the process of organised activities.
So my New Year resolution is “Don’t agonize, organize”. This was a slogan of a ground breaking conference of South African Students in Diaspora during Apartheid South Africa. The concern of the South African youth – is to search an effective tool to carry out their struggle. That is to identify an effective organisation.
Youth movements are not to grap power. They are not political parties – They are agents of change. Their ideology, their vision are geared to raise the level of consciousness of the youth. They preach the values of justice, freedom of expression, freedom of worship and association. They empower the people with these values. Once they are empowered they can join or support political parties that stood up for these values.
While South Africa’s Nelson Mandela was into direct politics, Steve Biko belongs to the youth (student) movement. He tried to empower the oppressed black people by preaching “Black Consciousness”. To fight the prevailing white supremacy by first believing in self. Once they realize that they are not inferior to the white man, then they can use their discovered power to transform the South African Society into a democratic society that belongs to all people. In this mind-set to divide the people on the basis of race has no place.
When it comes to the Eritrean reality the challenge for the youth is to find an effective organisation that the youth can easily relate to and be members or staunch supporters. There is no need to expect some old generation fighters to hand them political power.
But first few committed individuals can draft the constitution or manifesto. Then it can be circulated to all chapters or towns for discussion in the course of which they put down working notes to clarify the character and activity of their organisation and the necessity of its relationship to the Diaspora political parties. It means they must maintain their independence to any political parties or any organs of a government even if PFDJ is ousted.
The youth manifesto or constitution can bring into focus – what the youth movement is all about: understanding the depth of the gross violations of human rights that is destroying the fabric of the Eritreans society, so they can stand up and fight for justice. Also understanding the political, economic and social changes reshaping our world – in particular – the interference of PFDJ in the civil war in Yemen that ushered in geo-political change in the Horn. And also the implication of the EU and others to prop up the PFDJ regime and the activities to paint PFDJ a humane face.
They need to come up with transparent structure that enables the organisation capable of acting in a politically centralized manner, with speed and effectiveness, as they are confronted with the unpredictable challenges created daily as the interest of the West is growing because of huge mineral, gas and oil deposits in Eritrea.
The resolution of the New Year is to live up to the challenges: Get organise and not agonize.