A march and rally was held in Washington, D.C., on May 25, African Liberation Day, to demand an end to sanctions against the southern African country of Zimbabwe. Known as Rhodesia after it was colonized by England in the late 1800s, Zimbabwe has been heroically defending its right to sovereignty from these periodic acts of war since the late 1970s, when it carried out a massive land reform act.
Both England and the U.S. seek revenge against the Zimbabwean government, especially former president Robert Mugabe — a leading guerrilla fighter during Zimbabwe’s liberation — for redistributing millions of acres of land stolen by armed white farmers back to their rightful owners, Black guerrilla fighters. Ian Smith, the white prime minister of apartheid-like Rhodesia, at one time owned a 5,000-acre farm in Zimbabwe.
The May 25 protest, organized by the December 12th Movement and Friends of Zimbabwe, started in front of the African American Civil War Museum and proceeded to the White House. Marchers waved the Zimbabwe flag and the red, black and green Black Liberation flag during the parade-like procession.
Chants such as “Whose land? Our land,” “You stole us, you bought us — you owe us” and “We are an African people” brought attention to the devastating impact the sanctions are wreaking on the infrastructure of the Zimbabwean economy, along with the daily lives of the population in almost every area of life. The sanctions pose a threat to the political stability of the government, while at the same time collectively punishing the population.
As marchers stepped with precision in the streets, they evoked horn honks from drivers and raised fists of support from those on foot. Once the protesters reached the White House, a street rally was held, chaired by long-time D12 Movement leader Viola Plummer. One of the speakers was Dr. Frank Guni, an East Coast representative of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in the U.S.
Once the rally ended, the protesters marched back to the original site.
Moorehead spoke at the rally, representing Workers World Party and the International Action Center.