Laughtivism! #PocketsOutCampaign is the latest nonviolent protest in Zimbabwe.

Laughtivism in Zimbabwe! #HomwePanze or the #PocketsOutCampaign is the latest nonviolent protest in Zimbabwe. Today (Friday), citizens all over Zimbabwe made a statement about the nearing economic crisis. To show the world how the current economic challenges have made many Zimbabweans poor and broke, one only has to do three simple things:  Wear clothing with pockets  Pull out your pockets Proceed with your daily routines!  “The state gets terrified! For a silly thing like pulling out your pockets. The raided the offices of the rural teachers-union today. That is ridiculous! It shows the kind of police-state we are in. But there is nothing they can do to an ordinary citizen. Because there is nothing illegal about keeping your pockets out, right?” stated Zimbabwean activist Doug Coltart in a little video on his Twitter.   The campaign comes in a week in which Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa stated that the government will tighten control over use of social media. In the light of the latest developments in the Mawarire-case, authorities blame social media for fueling shortages of basic commodities and bank notes in the country. By making ‘false’ claims over social media, the minister claimed, ‘faceless saboteurs’ caused panic in the country. Government maintained the position that the Zimbabwean economy is in a sound state.  Photo:...

Weekly Report: September 29, 2017

Photo:  Late last week, Trump called on NFL owners to dismiss players who choose to kneel in protest during the national anthem. Famous basketball-players like Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Stephen Curry are now face to face with the President. Photograph: NBC News The Maldives On Wednesday, The International Commission of Jurists, or ICJ, has called on the Maldives to revoke the suspension of 54 lawyers, adding that the mass suspension is incompatible with international law and standards. An open letter, signed by the Commission’s secretary general Sam Zarifi, condemned the suspension, emphasizing that it must be revoked unconditionally. It further called on the Supreme Court and the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) to revoke the suspension “and ensure any disciplinary proceedings against lawyers comply with the Maldives’ obligations under international standards”.  On Wednesday, hundreds of police and soldiers descended on the island of Villingili in Gaafu Alif atoll ahead of a visit from President Abdulla Yameen, cracking down on opposition protesters by removing banners and placards. Around 300 security officers, some armed, were sent to Villingili two days prior to Yameen’s arrival. Members of the ruling party were allegedly “intervened and blocked the opposition” from protesting.  https://raajje.mv/en/news/18489 http://maldivesindependent.com/politics/security-forces-descend-on-villigili-for-yameen-visit-132775   Myanmar On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch claimed that Myanmar is committing crimes against humanity in its campaign against Muslim insurgents in Rakhine state, and it called for the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions and an arms embargo. Human Rights Watch said its research, supported by analysis of satellite imagery, had found crimes of deportation and forced population transfers, murder and attempted murder, rape and other sexual assault and persecution.   The United Nations says a planned visit to Myanmar’s Rakhine state, which has seen a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims, has been cancelled by...

Struggle for more Democratic Rights in Hong Kong continues – Three Years After

Picture: HongKongFreePress/P.H. Yang Three years after the origination of the Umbrella-movement, pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong continues. On the third birthday of the movement, several protests and gatherings are organized. Not only to remember the harsh crack-down by the authorities three years ago, but also to continue the fight for more democratic rights in the autonomous territory. The repressive government reaction on the protests have had  a chilling effect on peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. “Three years on from the start of the unprecedented 79-day protest in late 2014, scores of protesters, who were arrested for their involvement in the largely peaceful protests, remain in legal limbo, uncertain if they will face charges,” Amnesty International reports. This, however, does not withhold Hong Kong activist to organize a new range of protests around the three year anniversairy of the movement. Civic groups are to host a rally outside the government headquarters on Thursday to commemorate the birth of the pro-democracy Occupy protests. They will stand still for three minutes at 5:58pm – the exact time tear gas canisters were shot at protesters. “Although the Occupy movement was forced to stop, Hong Kong people’s demand for genuine universal suffrage will never stop. We hope Hong Kong people will continue the spirit of the Umbrella Movement,” Citizen Charter 617-activist James Hon said. Read about the other creative protests that will be organized in Hong Kong during the next weeks...

Weekly Report: September 22, 2017

Photo: Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai denies alligations of a secret deal with Zanu PF’s embattled Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to form a coalition government outside of elections. Photograph: www.zimbabwesituation.com Zimbabwe Earlier this month, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it had no plans to join factions of the ruling ZANU-PF party to form a national unity coalition after the eventual death of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. A Reuters investigation revealed that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, favourite to succeed Mugabe, has been looking to build a broad coalition that would kickstart the economy by reintegrating thousands of white farmers booted off their land in the early 2000s. However, the MDC said it would never consider joining an administration that was not the product of an election. “While stability is important, President Tsvangirai and the MDC have always placed a far higher premium on legitimacy and democracy,” a statement said. In the meantime, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) finally rolled out their long expacted Biometric Voter Registration system, to compile a new voter’s role. The commission plans to register more than 7 million Zimbabweans by January. These plans, however, are met with scorn, as it has only a quarter of the registrations kits needed available at the moment. Zimbabweans are sceptical and see the BVR-technology as a new way for the ruling party to rig the 2018 elections. Finally, this week there was an upsurge of indignation about several members of the Mugabe family and their spending behaviour. For Zimbabwe, the 72nd United Nations General Assembly has been characterized by controversies over the expenditure of President Robert Mugabe’s sons in Harare and New York. In a country in which the economic crisis is worsening still, Grace Mugabe’s son Russell Gorereza welcomed two new luxury cars to his fleet of vehicles last Friday, receiving a lot of criticism online. President Mugabe himself took along a 70-member delegation, including his wife Grace Mugabe, to participate in the UNGA, where his son Bellarmine Chatunga was spotted shopping in the city with a bodyguard carrying his shopping bags. http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/tsvangirai-not-in-any-deal-with-mnangagwa/ and http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/zimbabwe-mugabe-farming/ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/zimbabwe-rolls-biometric-technology-register-voters-170914202755040.html http://www.africanews.com/2017/09/20/mugabe-family-on-spending-spree-as-dad-naps-at-un-general-assembly/ Democratic Republic Congo On Monday, the New York based Congo Research Group (CRG) released a report on the killing...

Oslo Freedom Forum – Revolution 101: How To Peacefully Upend A Corrupt System

On the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly, the Oslo Freedom Forum organized their first ever meeting in New York, on September 19th. OFF offered a platform for riveting talks, world-class networking, interactive exhibits, music, art, comedy, and conversations between courageous activists and leaders from business, philanthropy, technology, and media. The Young Turks Politics Reporter Nomiki Konst spoke with Srdja Popovic about how to successfully lead a peaceful revolution in one’s country.   Read more about the Oslo Freedom Forum in New York...