Standing still is suicide – Zimbabwe Vigil protest, Thursday 14th July 2016

The second day of solidarity demonstrations outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London drew even more people that attended on Wednesday when about 150 gathered to express support for Pastor Evan Mawarire’s call for a two-day shutdown in Zimbabwe.

Peter Tatchell addresses the protest

Peter Tatchell addresses the protest

Photolinks:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28202027052/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27691862933/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27690296783/sizes/m/

It was one of the biggest gatherings held by the Zimbabwe Vigil in 14 years of campaigning for an end to human rights abuses and free and fair elections. Our banners strung between the four maple trees where we stage the weekly vigils were obscured today by the pressing crowd.

We were joined by gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.  famous for his attempt to make a citizen’s arrest of Mugabe on visits to London in 1999 and Brussels in 2001 when he was savagely beaten by Mugabe’s bodyguards (see: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/mar/06/zimbabwe.andrewosborn). He paid tribute to the persistence of the Vigil and spoke of the ‘awesome’ courage of the demonstrators in Zimbabwe adding, ‘no tyranny lasts forever’ (see video: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos/vb.301811392835/10154288724147836/?type=2&theater). Peter joined in the dancing (see video: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28206729172/in/album-72157668189852073/).

We were also joined by a white Zimbabwean family who brought a striking poster reading ‘ Moving forward is perilous, moving backwards is cowardice, staying still is suicide’.

Vigil founder member and President of ROHR (Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe) Ephraim Tapa spoke of the suffering in Zimbabwe and said it was a man-made disaster caused by Mugabe (see video: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27694083494/in/album-72157668189852073/).

After the Vigil on Saturday our forum will discuss our future activities in support of protest back home. For details of the meeting see below.

Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th July from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the southside of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It’s next door to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn. ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

Thanks to Vimbai Karumbidza and Roseline Mukucha for looking after the register – Vimbai on Wednesday and Roseline on Thursday. Thanks to Cathrine Musa for bringing and distributing flyers to publicise the ZAF meeting on Saturday evening.

For photos and videos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157668189852073 and https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo. Shingisai Suluma singing #ThisFlag is highly recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMzx5UxLWWs

Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http:/www.zimvigil.co.uk.

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