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UK activists support WOZA and the People's Charter
WOZA Solidarity
February 18, 2007

Zimbabweans in the UK were out in force on Saturday in support of WOZA (Women of Zimbabwe Arise) and their People's Charter. During 2006, Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) conducted countrywide consultations on social justice, which led to the birth of the People's Charter. Now they are demanding leaders who can deliver what the people want and they have called for the solidarity of Zimbabweans in the diaspora in their Charter Campaign. `We wish to challenge Zimbabweans that if Muzarabane and Kezi can be planning to launch the Charter then so can Zimbabweans in Pretoria, Gabarone or London` stated WOZA when they launched the charter at the end of last year.

WOZA Solidarity, a UK support group for WOZA in Zimbabwe, have taken up the challenge and on Saturday they joined forces with organisers of the vigil held outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London to hold a charter launch event. Hundreds of passers by stopped to find out more about WOZA and sign endorsements commending the courage of Zimbabweans in demanding social justice through the People's Charter. Tokunbo Oke, from the African Liberation Support Network told the crowd that Zimbabwe's problem was an African problem, congratulated WOZA on their charter initiative and stressed, to loud applause, that fellow Africans (Tokunbo is from Nigeria) were no longer taken in by Mubabe's liberation rhetoric.

Earlier in the week nearly 2000 WOZA activists had taken to the streets of Harare and Bulawayo in Valentine's Day actions dedicated to the People's Charter. Traditionally on Valentine's Day WOZA march under the slogan `the power of love can conquer the love of power` but this week they noted that the power of love had those that love power seriously concerned when water cannons were seen on the streets of Bulawayo waiting to deal with the love marchers. As in previous years, hundreds were arrested in spite of their tender message and in the UK Zimbabweans and sympathisers responded by telephoning the seven police stations holding WOZA women and men. By 4pm on the day after the arrests Bulawayo Central were no longer answering their phones and although the WOZA activists were due to be charged with `intent to promote public violence` police appeared unwilling to put the statements together that would enable charges to be brought. It seems they too just can't help respecting WOZA and their social justice campaign.

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