Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 11th February 2006

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LONDON – The space between the four maple trees outside Zimbabwe House has become too small. We are now regularly spilling outside our bannered enclosure into the rest of the small piazza in front of the Embassy. It makes our presence even more of a challenge to people from Charing Cross station passing by on their way to the attractions of Covent Garden.

To some this week we were a small sideshow to the big demonstration in nearby Trafalgar Square, attended by thousands of Muslims protesting in dignified manner about what they see as “Islamaphobia”.

We were glad to welcome Patricia, the daughter of Jairos Jiri, who did so much for the disabled in Zimbabwe. The fact that we are becoming a fixture was driven home at the end of a typically boisterous day when one of the notoriously strict parking attendants let us off a parking ticket in recognition of what we are doing.

Next week the Vigil is to be preceded by a demonstration at Zimbabwe House from noon to 2 pm in support of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who stage an annual protest to mark Valentine’s Day. Their theme this year is inspired by the “Bread and Roses” strike led and won by American women workers in 1912.

For WOZA in 2006, bread symbolizes their need for affordable food and roses signify the need to be dignified and the call for social justice. Please come and support them. For the record: 69 signed the register today.

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