July 17, 2016

hISTORY eNDS EVERYWHERE:

Social media activism just helped Zimbabwe's anti-Mugabe movement score a major victory (Lynsey Chutel, July 14, 2016 Quartz)

Evan Mawarire, a Zimbabwean pastor instrumental in organizing recent mass anti-government protests in the country, was released from prison yesterday (July 13) after protests over his arrest mounted on social media. Mawarire's quick release, one day after his arrest, was no small feat in a country known for crackdowns on activists.

A social media protest campaign under the hastag #ThisFlag began in the country in April after Mawarire posted a spoken word performance to YouTube. In the piece, Mawarire lamented issues like corruption, joblessness, a failed currency and mass emigration, that he says have become synonymous with the Zimbabwean flag. The campaign went viral, as Zimbabweans posted pictures of themselves with their flag, demanding that the country's pride be restored.

Emboldened by social media and further infuriated by a law banning vital imports, delayed salaries and endless roadblocks, Zimbabweans last week staged the largest protests since contested elections in 2008, paralyzing major cities either by staying home or blocking roads. They began as a call for change in the desperate economy, but soon became braver, calling for President Robert Mugabe to step down.

Posted by at July 17, 2016 12:14 PM

  

« THE ART OF THE DEALT: | Main | WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT: »