Today on the 11th August 2021 we had TWO Vigils/Demonstrations. One in London outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, the other in the City centre of Newcastle.
In London the modest Wednesday Vigil was graced with Natasha Dyer, who was looking into xenophobia and discrimination for a research project. Focusing on the effect on women in particular. The Women at the Vigil spoke on the issues that they have faced in the UK. In their everyday lives, work and particularly in the asylum process. Natasha was referred to us by Diane Taylor, at the Guardian Newspaper. During this discrimination against Zimbabweans [and Jamaicans, Vietnamese, Afghans etc as well] today Diane at the Guardian reported that just 7 Jamaicans left this morning on a chartered plane, which was estimated to have cost the British Tax-Payer £43,000 for each Jamaican Forcibly removed. A great deal of money, ostensibly to make a "Political Statement".
In London, songs were sung, drums and shakers were played to accompany the verbal insults to the Zanu PF 'so-called' leadership in Zimbabwe. We have to keep pointing out that the tragedy in Zimbabwe is exclusively the responsibility of the ruling Zanu PF political Party. But please, don't just take our word for it. This is PART of a report by the US Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, concerning several aspects of the realities in Zimbabwe. The Full Report is available CLICK HERE
“Significant human rights issues included: unlawful or arbitrary killings of civilians by security forces; torture and arbitrary detention by security forces; cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; political prisoners or detainees; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious government restrictions on free expression, press, and the internet, including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists, censorship, site blocking, and the existence of criminal libel laws; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; restrictions on freedom of movement; restrictions on political participation; widespread acts of corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting women and girls, and the existence of laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults, although not enforced.”
“Impunity remained a problem. The government took very few steps to identify or investigate officials who committed human rights abuses, and there were no reported arrests or prosecutions of such persons.”
In addition Amnesty International aslo produced a 2020 retport on Zimbabwe. The Full Report is available CLICK HERE they said;
“The authorities used COVID-19 regulations to justify severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. They deployed security forces to abduct, assault and torture perceived critics, and opposition members and leaders. Police and security agents killed at least 10 people. Women were denied access to essential maternal health care, and violence against women and girls was widespread.”
“A joint team comprised of agents of the police, military, the Central Intelligence Organisation, and the Office of the President, known as the “Ferret Team”, terrorized government critics, opposition leaders and activists, and their family members. Many, including several members of the main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-A), were abducted from police custody, tortured and dumped far from their homes.”
Newcastle City Centre
Daisy, her 3 children were joined in the Newcastle demonstration by her husband, Moses, newly released from detention - here he is brandishing a microphone to talk about the injustice of the UK Asylum process. Supported by "Status Now" the family that demo's together, stays together! So a big shout out to Daisy and family for braving the cold of Newcastle today!
We were supported by Northeast against Racism (Unice and his beautiful wife Rachel) for support. They brought their microphone and speaker which we were thankful for. Also joined in the protest from BAME society (Josephine: Josephine Mudzingwa Siziba) and husband. Massive support from them thank you. We had interest from different groups that have approached us, requesting that our next protest they would like to be informed on time so they can prepare to come along which was really good. Towards the end of the protest we had lots of people standing around and asking questions, no one out there is aware of these deportations, so lots of forks were actually shocked of the charter flights and the expenditure that is involved.
So Priti Patel get ready we are here to get you! [Written by Daisy]
Those in attendance were: John Burke, Rashiwe Bayisayi, Phillip Mahlahla, Bridget Mupotsa, Marlene Mtandagai, Violet Makomo, Mary Muteyerwa, Kudzai Chikowore, Tapiwa Muskwe, Emmaculate Tshuma. And researcher from Edinburgh University Natasha Dyer