Resistance resulting from violation of rights

About Eritrea - History & Culture

The Haileselasie regime in Ethiopia with the full backing of the US started to amass its army in a bid to demolish the federal status and annex Eritrea. The regime also denied the right of any kind of publication. It abolished the official languages of the federal government and introduced Amharic as an official language. It replaced members of the federal parliament with that of its stooges. The power of the Governor was reduced and assumed full power of the affairs of Eritrea. The federal budget was looted and the federal flag was replaced with that of Ethiopia. During this time besides denying the basic rights of the citizens the economy of Eritrea was totally damaged beyond repair. Unemployment was to its highest stage; price of basic commodities was sky scraping; the salary of the few employees was cut and with rampant inflation citizens were unable to buy their daily bread.

The Eritrean workers were very much alert on the ongoing situation and were showing some resistance against the political and economic crimes being taken by the Ethiopian regime. In February 1953 workers from Asmara and Massawa conducted demonstration. In January 1954 around 2600 workers of the railway conducted another demonstration that went for two weeks. At a time the Ethiopian regime confiscated in 1954, through the so-called federal government, the transportation and communication, ports, the railway, roads and telecommunication it also closed the office of the workers’ union. Workers of the telecommunications and printing press conducted a demonstration in 1956. All these led to the major uprising that was conducted in 10 March 1958 that included many workers from different cities, students and the youths that demanded higher price.