This Saturday, thousands of trade unionists and citizen groups will
march on a Southern Africa leadership summit, waving red cards to
signal that Mugabe must go. Stand with the marchers and the people of
Zimbabwe -- send a red card now!
CLICK HERE TO SEND A RED CARD
Hopes are slipping away for a deal to resolve Zimbabwe's political
crisis. Yesterday, Robert Mugabe announced plans to ignore the ongoing
negotiations with the opposition MDC party, form a sham "Government of
National Unity" with a breakaway opposition faction, and open
parliament next week.
This weekend, when Southern Africa's 15 leaders, including Mugabe,
meet at a major summit in Johannesburg, they will look out upon a sea
of red. Thousands of Southern African trade unionists and other
citizens will march to the summit waving red cards -- the football
penalty symbol for expulsion -- and call for Mugabe to go. The
organisers have appealed to Avaaz for international support, and will
carry signs at the march representing the "red cards" sent by Avaaz
The region's powerful trade unions have threatened that unless
Southern African leaders take action now, they will refuse to handle
goods coming to or from Zimbabwe and will squeeze Mugabe out. A
massive march this weekend backed by 100,000 supporters from around
the world will be a overwhelming signal to Southern African leaders
that they must act now before the crisis becomes even more desperate
-- to announce that the Mbeki-led negotiations have failed, and to
launch a new and fairer negotiating process immediately. Click below
to send a red card, and pass this message along to friends and family!
Four and a half months have passed since the people of Zimbabwe voted
for Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change on 29
March. Hyperinflation has exploded to an unimaginable 40,000,000%, and
millions now face starvation. The EU, US, and UK have pledged a $1.9bn
financial aid package to stabilise Zimbabwe's economy, feed the hungry
and combat hyperinflation -- but only if Mugabe is removed.
Meanwhile, distribution of food aid by local and international
humanitarian agencies has been prohibited by Mugabe's government.
Torture camps remain in operation, political violence continues in
some rural provinces, and 12 opposition MPs languish in jail on
trumped-up charges. The Mbeki-led talks are collapsing, as Mugabe and
his military high command insist on retaining control.
The people of Zimbabwe need strong allies willing to take bold action.
Already, more than 300,000 Avaaz members -- including tens of
thousands in Africa -- have signed petitions, donated funds, and
written to their leaders in global campaigns for democracy and
justice. After Avaaz flew a 280-square-metre banner over an
Mbeki-chaired United Nations meeting, South Africa finally called for
the release of elections results. In April, trade unions and civil
society groups including Avaaz led a successful campaign to block a
Chinese arms shipment to Zimbabwe. Now, as the crisis accelerates, our
voices matter more than ever -- we can send an electronic wave of red
cards to Johannesburg and bolster the efforts of on-the-ground
advocates pressing for change.
Join the global outcry now, and then pass this message along!
Ben, Alice, Ricken, Brett, Paul, Iain, Pascal, Graziela, Veronique,
and Milena -- the Avaaz.org team
PS: For a report on Avaaz's campaigning so far, see:
PSS: Here are links to sources for this alert:
Mugabe rival 'barred from travel' - BBC News, 14 August 2008:
"Zimbabwe: Mugabe set to keep power amid rumours of breakaway deal" -
The Guardian, 14 August 2008
Information on the march - COSATU / SW Radio Africa
"South Africa: Unions Bid to Halt Zimbabwe Arms Ship" - Business Day
(Johannesburg), 22 April 2008
"No arms for Zimbabwe" - Avaaz campaign
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