Western Media Glorify TPLF Mob Violence against Eritrean Festivals


Ann Garrison | The Grayzone - TRANSCEND Media Service

A club-wielding Brigade N’Hamedu mob in Seattle/Tacoma, August 5

19 Aug 2023 – This summer, violent mobs associated with the US-backed Tigray People’s Liberation Front assaulted Eritrean festivals across the US and Europe. Western media is now spinning the targeted mob violence as legitimate protest against Eritrea’s government.

For 40 years, Eritrean Festivals have been held around the world to sustain the diaspora community’s connections to their homeland and to one another. But this year, a violent, well-coordinated international campaign of sabotage left festival goers badly injured and property damaged.

Major Western media reported the pogrom-style attacks as “clashes,” “riots,” “fights” and “violence” in a way that implied these had broken out between two sides, masking the reality – that hooligans had attacked peaceful festival goers. They also implied that the violence was warranted because Eritrea is run by a “repressive” government on the wrong side of the new Cold War.

In the afternoon of Saturday, August 5, I exited the Marriott Hotel in Seattle/Tacoma to see a fire truck, half a dozen cops, an ambulance, and police cars circling around the hotel. As a journalist who has reported from Eritrea, I was there as a guest of the annual Eritrean American Festival.

Bystanders told me that hooligans in blue shirts had assaulted Eritrean Americans attending the festival. Two women were in the ambulance, soon to be on their way to the hospital. One of the victims was elderly. The attendant inside the ambulance told me I couldn’t go in to speak to them as a matter of privacy.

One bystander told me that one of the attackers had kicked a young child.

At 6 AM on the day of the assaults, the mob had invaded the outdoor festival exhibition area to tear down canopies and scatter merchandise while waving American flags.

The exhibition area also included a playground with trampolines and other diversions for young children attending with their Eritrean American parents.


I later spoke with Yemane Ghdey, an auto mechanic from Chicago, who said that he and his friend Ghebar Gebreyesus, who lives in Seattle, had also been assaulted. Ghebar had been bludgeoned in the head and was bleeding from his scalp when he was taken to the hospital, where he was given a CT scan and kept under observation while Yemane remained with him. Ghebar filed an assault complaint with the Tacoma Police Department.

Yemane told me that one thug had kicked him in the privates but that he backed off when he threatened to throw hot coffee in his face. He said he elected not to file a complaint because he had to return to Chicago.

He said they met the women who had been assaulted at the hospital.

I filed a public records request about both assaults and vandalism with the Tacoma Police Department and was notified that, as of August 15, there were five incidents under investigation but that details were not yet public because the investigations were ongoing.

Politicizing a Cultural Festival

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