A group of young Eritrean refugees protested against the presence of the Eritrean ambassador during a sporting event in Manchester organised by the ruling party, the PFDJ.
The event began peacefully enough, with good-natured chatting between the refugees and the PFDJ officials.
The event had been publicly advertised, with a slick video.
Young Eritreans, many of whom had been traumatised by their fraught escape from their country’s dictatorship, decided to make their views known.
But when the ambassador arrived and the young people wanted to present him with a letter they had written, things became very nasty indeed.
The refugees were pushed around by members of the PFDJ.
Hot chilli sauce was thrown in their faces and they were assaulted with flying bottles and cans.
One activist, supporting the young men and women who have been settled in Northern England, says she warned the police before the event that there might be trouble.
“This is an event planned and staged by the ruling party that has abused these young people: of course there could be opposition. That’s what I told the police,” she says.
It is believed the event was organised by the PFJD and that it was supported by some members of a notorious group – ‘EriBlood’ – that has previously been involved in attacks on members of the opposition in other European country.
Some Eritrean embassy staff including the ambassador were also present, and the entire event was filmed by camera men from the embassy.
Protestors stress that there was no intention for the demonstration to turn violent and blames the clash on the hostility of the PFDJ and members of EriBlood.
The videos below show that the protesters intended the protest to be peaceful, and was so until they attempted to speak to the ambassador inside the event.