By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Dec 12, 2007 11:52 PM
Al-Jazeera’s news coverage of Zimbabwe’s Million Man and Woman March on Dec. 7 showed huge crowds—estimated in the hundreds of thousands—marching, chanting and waving red, black, green and yellow flags. They are the symbol of the Zimbabwe African National Union—People’s Front, the party that has ruled the country since independence.
It was nearly 27 years ago, in the very suburb where this march took place, that Robert Mugabe declared Zimbabwe—formerly Rhodesia—to be free from colonialism. The war of liberation, also known as the “Rhodesian Bush War,” was over and the African people had won. The white-dominated colonial government had been overthrown.
The recent march was led by thousands of veterans of the liberation struggle, who proudly proclaimed that Washington, Downing Street and Wall Street have no right to remove Mugabe, the leader they have chosen.
“Britain has no right to be sitting and discussing us almost every week in their stupid Parliament. Have they no shame?” President Mugabe proclaimed loudly from the podium at the rally. His speech gained thundering applause from the massed crowds of workers and farmers.
Marchers converged on the capital city of Harare from every corner of Zimbabwe, coming by bus, train and even on foot. Songs of the revolution were sung, and chants supporting Mugabe and in defense of the revolution rang out.
The march was endorsed by the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, which represents thousands of workers. The ZFTU has had differences with Mugabe and ZANU-PF in the past, but, according to the Herald—the main newspaper of Zimbabwe, it was in full support of the Dec. 7 march.
The leader of ZFTU issued a statement in which he proclaimed that Mugabe is “a leader whose ideals are focused on the welfare of his people.”
Mugabe has become the object of scorn by the Western capitalists due to his policy of redistributing the land back to the African people, from whom it was stolen by the colonial powers and given to white farmers. Britain, in particular, the country which once held Zimbabwe in its colonial clutches, has, to no surprise, expressed disapproval of the land redistribution that Mugabe has championed.
But the hundreds of thousands of marchers on Dec. 7 made it clear that they would not allow the British, U.S. and other Western powers to steal their revolution away. Their message was that they stand behind Mugabe and national liberation 100 percent.
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