Thursday, April 21, 2011

Solidarity forum with Zimbabwean democracy activists facing treason charges

Thirty five people attended a forum on April 20 in support of six democracy activists facing treason charges in Zimbabwe. Treason faces a potential death penalty in Zimbabwe.

Fremantle's socialist councilor Sam Wainwright hosted the meeting explaining that the supposed crime committed by the six activists was to show BBC and Al Jazeera news videos about the democracy movement in Egypt. Wainwright pointed out that this exposed the falsity of the idea that Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe was an anti-imperialist figure.

Antoine Bloemen spoke as the father-in-law of Munya Gwisai, one of the accused. He pointed out that since Gwisai is married to an Australian he could potentially take up residency in Australia instead of fighting for democracy and socialism in Zimbabwe. Bloeman argued that this reflected Gwisai's principled character.

The forum was timed to coincide with a court appearance in Zimbabwe. During the forum, it was revealed that July 18 would be the date of the trial.

The forum was organised by Socialist Alliance and the Zimbabwe Information Centre. It was supported by Greens senator Scott Ludlam, ALP parliamentarian Melissa Parke and independent Adele Carles.

The "In My Community" website has a report of the issue here.