Oct. 25 is Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Day. That day was marked in New York City by the December 12th Movement, which led a militant march and rally at midday outside the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
Carrying Zimbabwean and African liberation flags, the well-organized marchers chanted: “Fight on, ZANU-PF!” and “Sanctions are murder! End the sanctions now!”
The day of protest was launched three years ago when the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) passed a resolution demanding an end to devastating economic sanctions imposed on the African country by the United States, Britain and the European Union. SADC comprises the nations of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The world’s imperialist powers have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe for nearly 20 years. Western ruling classes were outraged when the country’s elected government, led by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), redistributed land stolen by British settlers to landless Zimbabwean freedom fighters.
From 1964 to 1979, ZANU-PF waged a liberation war to free the country from white settler minority rule. Under the 1980 agreement that ended the war, Britain was supposed to pay white landowners to give back land their ancestors had stolen from African people at the point of British guns.
But Britain broke the agreement. So in 2000, Zimbabwe’s revolutionary government asserted its rightful sovereignty over Zimbabwean land.
The sanctions, begun by the George W. Bush regime, were tightened by the Obama administration and made even harsher under Trump. Despite the overwhelming opposition of the countries of Africa and around the world, the Biden White House has refused to end them.
At the rally in New York, members of the December 12th Movement read statements condemning the sanctions by the foreign ministers of SADC states, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and the foreign ministers of China, Cuba and the Russian Federation.
Addressing the rally, D12 Chair, Viola Plummer, stressed that sanctions are murder. She said they are designed to deny Zimbabwe, a country rich in natural resources, the right to economic development. She pointed out that the poverty inflicted deliberately on Black communities in the U.S., the denial of access to resources, amounts to sanctions by another name.
Members of the Socialist Unity Party and Struggle-La Lucha newspaper participated in the demonstration.
The very wealth plundered from Africa by the U.S., British and other Western ruling classes gives them the power to inflict sanctions on African countries. That stolen wealth must be returned. The people of Zimbabwe have a right to control their own land and resources.
Hands off Zimbabwe! Reparations not sanctions!