27 June 2008

Zimbabwe: Crowds Gather in London to Mourn the Death of Democracy

As Zimbabwe's one man poll went ahead on Friday, a coalition of Zimbabwean groups gathered in London to protest against the ongoing violence that has plagued the country since the March elections, as well as to protest the "sham" election run off.

The group, including the Vigil, MDC UK and Ireland, the Zimbabwe Association and the Zimbabwe Community Group, started their protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, before moving to the South African High Commission later on Friday afternoon.

The Vigil's Rose Benton told Newsreel that the vocal, singing crowd was led by a group carrying a coffin to symbolise the deaths at the hands of Mugabe's regime. She said the group also carried hundreds of banners, reading "How many more must die?" and listing the names of many of the deceased.

The group then marched in their masses to the South African High Commission to hand over a petition for peace and to pray and mourn for those who have died and for "the death of democracy in Zimbabwe".

Benton said the "sham" election with Mugabe as the single candidate was proof that "democracy in Zimbabwe has died". She said a tribute had been laid at the doors of the Zimbabwean embassy as "a reminder to all that more needs to be done to stop the bloodshed".

At the same time, crowds gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva on Friday afternoon for a vigil held there. The peaceful demonstration was organised by the World YWCA and the World Student Christian Federation for justice, peace and healing in Zimbabwe.

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