ZIMBABWE: Hundreds of women protesters arrested


On February 13 and 14, more than 400 women were arrested for protesting against high prices and unemployment, after inflation shot past 600%. More than 240 were arrested in the capital, Harare, on February 14 for participating in an annual march led by Women of Zimbabwe Arise. According to WOZA, the organisation's lawyer was also arrested when he intervened. On February 13, 181 participants of a WOZA-led march in Bulawayo were arrested and remained in detention overnight. "This year's theme is bread and roses" (inspired by the "Bread and Roses" strike by US women textile workers in 1912), WOZA national coordinator Jenni Williams said. According to Williams, who was among those arrested on February 13, "The bread stands for the need for affordable food, and the roses represent the need to be dignified and the call for social justice". In two years of demonstrations, around 900 WOZA activists have been arrested for breaching the Public Order and Security Act, which prohibits public gatherings without police clearance.

From Green Left Weekly, February 22, 2006.
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