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Support the socialists in Zimbabwe

February 22, 2002 | Page 3

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's crackdown on political opposition took aim at socialists and union activists last week.

On February 15, police armed with tear gas and clubs attacked a march of hundreds demanding "no to dictatorship, no to neoliberalism and poverty." The demonstrators' "crime" was to protest the Public Order and Security Act, which prohibits virtually all dissent.

Among those arrested was Munyardze Gwisai, a representative in Zimbabwe's parliament and a leading member of the International Socialist Organization-Zimbabwe (ISO-Z).

The ISO-Z has bitterly opposed the cynical way that Mugabe has used land reform and his past as an anticolonial freedom fighter to justify suppression of democratic and labor rights. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party has responded with beatings and arrests of ISO members simply for selling their newspaper, which is also called Socialist Worker.

The 15 arrested at the march are out on bail, but will go before a judge on March 4 for arraignment. In the U.S., solidarity protests will be held at Zimbabwean diplomatic offices in Washington, D.C., and New York on March 1.

The ISO-Z has requested international support for an emergency fighting fund--and our readers have already responded generously. But more funds are urgently needed. Please contribute to this crucial struggle for independent working-class politics in southern Africa.

Make checks and money orders payable to "ISO," write "Zimbabwe" on the memo line, and send to: ISO, P.O. Box 16085, Chicago, IL 60616.

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