WOZA Urges People to Stand up.

WOZA Urges People to Stand up.

WOZA urges people to stand up for their children in
the streets of Bulawayo today.

Hundreds of members of WOZA and MOZA took to the
streets of Bulawayo at lunchtime today, 12th February,
to mark WOZA’s sixth Valentine’s Campaign. No arrests
have been reported as yet.               The aim of the peaceful protest was to encourage
Zimbabweans to stand up for their children in these
times of extreme hardship and as an election looms.
WOZA was formed in 2003 amidst severe political
violence to demonstrate love and courage to all
Zimbabweans. In 2008 this motivation is still equally
relevant.800 men and women processed for four city blocks
through central Bulawayo, singing and handing out red
roses and Valentine cards to passers-by. The response
from people was exceptional with huge groups forming
on pavements and motorists hooting to encourage the
procession. Many people stepped forward to receive the
cards and roses.As the procession stopped for slogans outside the
police administrative headquarters, bicycle police
attempted to stop the procession but were informed
that they would cause a pandemonium and that they
should stand aside and allow the procession to reach
its final destination. Those holding the banner
proceeded to raise it up and over the police and
continued to march.                       A block later a senior ranking police officer arrived
at the front of the procession and consulted with WOZA
leader, Jenni Williams, who informed him that the
march was under control. Obviously wanting to be
reasonable, the officer allowed the group to reach
their final dispersing point. He and several other
officers then escorted the jubilant group to the main
taxi rank to ensure that they did disperse. Later a
truck load of riot police equipped with baton sticks
and shields, as well as two carloads of plain-clothed
officers were later observed moving through the rank.
No arrests or assaults have been reported to date.             All WOZA and MOZA leaders were able to evade being
arrested as they dispersed. In WOZA’s experience, it
is often individual officers who try to be ‘heroes’
and arrest leaders after a call for peaceful dispersal
would have already been made.


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