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  • 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, 2007 - Index of articles

  • WOZA marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence with Bulawayo street protest
    Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
    November 27, 2007

    Visit the index of articles on 16 Days of Activism

    AT noon today, approximately 1,000 members of WOZA and MOZA marched through central Bulawayo to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The peaceful protest also commemorated the anniversary of the 29 November launch of the People's Charter last year where hundreds of members were brutally assaulted by riot police at Mhlahlandlela. The late Maria Moyo, who was holding the banner that fateful day last November and who recently passed away after the trauma of being abducted by police, was also in the minds and hearts of members today.

    The peaceful group processed for four blocks from the High Court to Mhlahlandlela Government Complex, singing and chanting slogans. Despite the serious occasion, there was almost a carnival atmosphere with exuberant dancing and enthusiastic handing out of flyers to passersby. At Mhlahlandlela, the singing group was approached by two police officers, including the Officer Commanding of Bulawayo Central Police Station, Sithole. He informed them that they were too early to mark the 16 Days as the official government launch is only taking place tomorrow, 28th November, and that they should come back then. He then instructed the group to disperse.

    Happy to have received an invitation to return to the streets by a police officer, the group obliged. They were escorted by uniformed police officers to the closest taxi terminus to ensure that everyone left peacefully however. Riot police also attended the scene but there have been no reports of arrests to date.

    WOZA is pleased that our brothers and sisters in the police chose to respect the rights of WOZA members to demonstrate peacefully today and hope that this behaviour will continue in the future. We remember however that they have not always been so understanding but know that they also want the social justice contained in the People's Charter and so encourage them to continue to side with their fellow citizens.

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