Friday, February 23, 2007

Protesters defy Mugabe, police loyalty wanes

There is a ban on demonstrations...

The clampdown — in the 27th year of President Mugabe’s rule — is taking place as opposition groups begin campaigns for presidential elections due next year. Rival factions within the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have promised to continue public protests in defiance of the prohibitions.

“This is a de facto state of emergency,” said Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the larger faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, the former national trade union head. “We are going to go ahead with our meetings. If they want to beat us up, they can beat us up. We will not give up.” Nothing would be achieved “unless we get arrested, beaten up and shot at”.

Article then points out police actually allowed last week's demonstration in Bulawayo...

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