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Nine hurt including children and arrests made as protesters storm festival celebrating Eritrean cycling

Organisers insist the festival which was using the Tameside Cycle Circuit - which has had to be cancelled - had nothing to do with the country’s Government Children were among 12 people hurt when up to

Organisers insist the festival which was using the Tameside Cycle Circuit – which has had to be cancelled – had nothing to do with the country’s Government

Children were among 12 people hurt when up to 30 protesters stormed an event held in Ashton to celebrate cycling in an African country.

About 60 people attended the first Eritrean Cycle Festival which was held at the Curzon Ashton football stadium complex on Saturday afternoon, with ex-pat former professional cyclists from the east-African country and fans coming from all over England and northern Europe.

But a band of up to 30 male protesters, also believed to have Eritrean connections, stormed the event and are said to have attacked people and thrown beer bottles and kegs, believing the event was connected to the government of Eritrea.

Organisers insist the festival which was using the Tameside Cycle Circuit – which has had to be cancelled – had nothing to do with the country’s Government.

Police were called and made a number of arrests.

Paramedics treated 12 people at the scene including some children. One woman believed to have suffered a cut was taken to Tameside District General Hospital.

Abel Goitom, 38, who travelled up from London for the event and who had helped organisers, described how a band of up to 30 men stormed the event.

He told the M.E.N: “They were outside protesting and then they came in, throwing things and throwing bottles and food. They were against the government but this has nothing to do with the government. They started breaking things. It was mad.

We told them this was a cycling festival. People had to defend themselves. They tried to break a window but it was too strong.”

He said the festival goers were left angry and upset.

He said he believed the protesters targeted the festival after seeing promotional material about the event which featured the flag of Eritrea.

Another witness said: “There were about 15 or 16 police cars, eight ambulances and two or three riot vans.

“We heard one police officer say it had come through as a riot call. We just drove in but then we couldn’t get out.


“I saw quite a few people getting arrested. They were bringing people out in handcuffs. I saw a taxi driver with a bloody nose.

“It’s the first time anything like this has happened here.

“There’s usually football events but nothing like this ever happens, it’s usually quite quiet.”

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: “At around 3.15pm today (Saturday 16 June 2018) police received reports of a large disorder at Tameside Stadium.

“Officers attended and a number of people were arrested at the scene.

“Several people are believed to be injured.

“Officers are currently working to understand the circumstances and enquiries are ongoing.”


Review overview
  • sarah June 17, 2018

    Evening News Manchester should be ashamed for posting one sided news! They never asked people from the otherside why this happened. What were the embassy staff doing while all this was unfolding?

  • Hagherawi June 17, 2018

    Eritrean Embassies in Europe and elsewhere are using local communities to raise money for projects sponsored by the ruling party in Eritrea. Usually, this is done with the help of local community leaders who work with Embassy. Eritrean refugees know this very well . Therefore, it’s not true that the event has nothing to do with the government of Eritrea.
    Eritrea has one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world. Most of what they want be passed as social activity is organized by State security branches working from Embassies.

  • Hidat June 17, 2018

    ከምቶም ተኣኪቦም ዘድመዑ ተኣኪብኩም ስለ ዘየድማዕኩም ኣብ ዝኮነ ኣኬባታት ኬድካ ምዕግርጋር ደለይቲ ፍትሒ ኣየብለኩምን እዩ እንትርፎ ዘረግቲ ከምቲ ናይ ሆላንድ ኢኩም ደጊምኩም ዉጽኢቱተ ከኣ ርኢኩሞ ኢኩም።ከም ቀደም ይመስለክን ዉሕጅ ይወስደክን ሎሚ ሃገራት ኤዉሮፓ ብብዝሒ ስደተኛ ኣብ ንሕድሕደን ዝካሰሳሉ ዘለዋ እዋን ነዚ ከምዚ ዝበለ ዕግርግር ንምህዳእ ንፖሊስ ንሕክምና ዘዉጽእዎ ገንዘብ እቲ መንግስታዊ ኣካል ዘይኮነ ተራ ሕዝቢ ይሐተሉ ጀሚሩ ስለ ዘሎ እዚ ዉን መዓልቱ ሓልዩ ዘፍ ክብል እዩ።

    • Sol June 18, 2018


      In many countries around the world those who oppose a certain policy of their governments protest against it inside their country and abroad but since our country is being ruled by a middle age like system protesting is not tolerated

  • Hidat June 17, 2018

    ኣብ ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ዕግርግር ኣይግበሮ እምበር ትንፋስ ሰብ ክሓልፍ ይክእል ኢዩ ስለዚ ነዚ ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ኣብ ሓድሕድ ዝክሰት ናዕቢከም ሓደ ዓወት ኣምሲልካ አብ መራከቢ ብዙሓን ምቅላሕ ዓገብ።

  • Tes June 17, 2018

    Hahaa community activities in diaspora? It is always those PFDG gathering carried out under the guise of community activity or gathering.The truth is that they were planning and carried out by the embassy. After all the Eritrea embassy is not like other countries embassy. Its key task is to put under its government lash to all communities in diaspora. Hope those fought against that gathering get enough help from thier solicitor and justfy thier action of outrage. Those angry youngsters are the very vitim of HGDF, they were right to get bissed off with their community and to take action. Those community leader were the ones who were at fault. If they’re really community not affilliated with pfdj, they should have approached to the protestors and explain and ask them to participate. The truth is that they are not community run by the regime. They are croock and as usual they’re trying deceitfully tricks . Oh we are just community and those hurmed were children. Typical hgdef!

  • hgdf 000000 June 18, 2018

    ኣየ ህግደፍ ኣብ ኤርትራ ህዝቢ ዓፊንካ ኣጥሚኻ ሕዝካስ ብዓል ናይ ፕሽክለታ፡በዓል ነጻነት፡ ከይነዘኽትሞም ስድራበት ስውኣት 20 ሰነ እንዳበልካ ኣብ ድያስፓራ ርፍራፍ ባኒ ምልማን ክሳብ መዓስ መንግስትስ ስራሕ ናይ መንግስቲ እንተሰረሐ እዩ እምበር ብክዮናት ዘውጽአ ወርቂ ቢሻ ኣበይ ኣበለ ኣስተብህል ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ….,.ህግደፍ ዓፍራ እዮም …….