Hun­dreds sup­port #thisflag gath­er­ing

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

WHILE re­cent news bul­letins cov­ered a Turk­ish coup at­tempt, ter­ror­ism in France and po­lice shoot­ings in the US, another type of peo­ple’s move­ment started in Africa and scat­tered across the globe.

In­stead of blood­shed, the #thisflag move­ment has seen peo­ple singing, draped in colour­ful flags gather for peace­ful protests in Zim­babwe, Aus­tralia, South Africa, the UK, the US and Canada.

Whis­tles and the beat of spoons on pots added to the op­ti­mistic at­mos­phere at a #thisflag gath­er­ing in As­cot on July 16, at­tended by 300 peo­ple and co-or­di­nated by the in­for­mal ‘In­ter­na­tional Cam­paign for Zim­babwe’ group.

The ar­rest and re­lease this month of the man who started the #thisflag cam­paign, Pas­tor Evan Mawarire, prompted the event, as well as the broader call for po­lit­i­cal change by those in Zim­babwe and liv­ing abroad.

Robert Mu­gabe (92) and the ZANU PF party have ruled the coun­try since it gained in­de­pen­dence from the UK in 1980.

River­vale res­i­dent Lucky Ngoshi helped or­gan­ise the event. She said they were hum­bled by the turnout and sup­port for the peo­ple of the African coun­try.

“We can­not just be post­ing pictures and sharing stuff – we re­ally need to do some­thing, also take a stand,” she said.

Another or­gan­iser, Mar­shal Mtang­wani, of Suc­cess, said the cam­paign slo­gan “Enough is enough” re­ferred to the eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal is­sues that have plagued the coun­try for al­most two decades.

“This is a cit­i­zens’ move­ment,” he said.

“As Zim­bab­weans in Aus­tralia, we are fully be­hind the #thisflag cam­paign.

“We may not be home but our hearts are for­ever home – we will for­ever be peo­ple of that na­tion.”

Picture: Jarvis Eyes

Part of the 300-strong crowd who turned up in Perth re­cently for the #thisflag gath­er­ing.

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