The Zimbabwe crisis is spinning even further out of control, but the international response is gaining steam.
In less than a week, more than 120,000 people from 215 countries and territories--including thousands from across Africa--have signed the Avaaz petition demanding the release of the election results. On Wednesday, as world leaders enter the United Nations for a special summit chaired by South Africa, a plane hired by Avaaz will soar above them pulling a massive aerial banner reading "MBEKI: TIME TO ACT--DEMOCRACY FOR ZIMBABWE."
To make this message count, can you help us reach 150,000 signatures by the end of the day? Forward this email to your friends and family, and urge them to sign the petition at this link:
Yesterday, the Zimbabwe High Court ruled against requiring the immediate release of the results of the March 29 Presidential election. In response, opposition called for a nationwide strike, and Mugabe deployed police throughout the country.
All of this came just after South African President Thabo Mbeki--who, more than anyone else in the world, could influence Mugabe's actions--said on Saturday that "there is no crisis in Zimbabwe."
But Mbeki isn't off the hook just yet. Tomorrow (Wednesday), he will chair a special United Nations Security Council meeting, where diplomats have promised to raise the Zimbabwe crisis. If he looks up as he enters the United Nations headquarters, Mbeki will see a 280 square metre (3000 square foot) banner amplifying the voices of Avaaz members around the world--and if he doesn't see it then, you can be sure he'll see it in the newspapers the next day. International press have already begun to report on the planned fly-over of the banner.
Throughout the day, Avaaz will update reporters in Southern Africa and at the United Nations on the growth of the petition. If all of us forward this email to friends, co-workers, and relatives, we can add tens of thousands of new signatures in one day, and show Mbeki and Mugabe that the world is watching--and supporting the people of Zimbabwe as they demand democracy.
It's easy to sign at this link:
This Friday, the 18th of April, marks Zimbabwe's Day of Independence from colonial rule. Amidst the worsening poverty and danger, civil society organisations across Zimbabwe are gearing up for nonviolent resistance to Mugabe's regime, calling for local actions and urging supporters to wear white in solidarity. And Zimbabwean media organisations--many now operating outside the borders--are broadcasting news about the international support that Zimbabwe's people are receiving.
Mugabe was once the hero of Zimbabwe's liberation. Now his own people embody the principles he once championed. For those of us around the world, it is our privilege and our responsibility to stand with them.
Ben, Ricken, Galit, Paul, Milena, Graziela, Pascal, Iain, and Milena--the Avaaz.org team
AFP: Zimbabwe opposition strikers face police crackdown http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hwWRGDpJdG0A1GFJ6SSTbcP_MP8w
Zimbabwe is not in crisis, says Thabo Mbeki http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/12/wzim412.xml
Reuters: US, Britain want UN council to tackle Zimbabwe. (See final paragraph.) http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/4/15/worldupdates/2008-04-15T023403Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-330394-1&sec=Worldupdates
Zimbabwe National Association of Non Governmental Organizations
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.
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