Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Another reminder of what crushing dissent really means. Hint, it is not being disinvited to a party or being booed off stage or having sales of your book/cd/movie tank.

Today's seen the second national strike there in under a month - this one organised by the country's largest union. The last one, organised by the opposition MDC group shut down an estimated 80 per cent of industry and became one of the largest protests against Mugabe's 23-year rule.

But it also led to the death of Tonderai Machiridza: an MDC supporter who died because of the severity of the beating he was given when he was arrested a few days later. We spoke to him before his death.

Just 24-hours after these pictures were taken, Tonderai Machiridza was dead. He had, it is alleged, been beaten by armed police. With booted feet, truncheons and handcuffs. In whatever way they were sustained, his injuries were severe. More severe than anyone realised at the time.

At the headquarters of Zimbabwe's opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, Tonderai gave permission for the filming. He wanted to be interviewed.

He said that 25 policemen came to his house in the night and assaulted both him and his wife. They accused him, he said, of burning a Marco Polo bus.

Three other MDC members were arrested at the same time - they, too, wanted their injuries shown. This film was this morning secretly flown out of Harare.

Tonderai's beating and death is not an isolated case. The MDC claims that 600 of its supporters have been tortured in police custody this year - although those figures cannot be verified.

The "dissidents" here in America who think they are brve for "telling it like it is" about the Bush "junta" need to get a grip on reality. When you face oppression like this you can tell me about how the US is a fascist terrorist state.

< email | 4/23/2003 04:30:00 PM | link

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