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Monday, June 30, 2008

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Tom

The Iraq demonstration was the biggest demonstration in this country, ever. Hardly just 'the left' - centre, right and unaligned too. A church broad enough to make Tony Blair green with jealousy.

So why just hold the poor turnout for the Zimbabwe demonstration against the left?

Most political demonstrations - centre-left, extreme right, whatever - are poorly attended.

Stan Rosenthal

Tom, the Iraq demo was organised by predominately left groups and attended mainly by those of a liberal-left persuasion. As have the well-attended demos against Israel. Why hasn't the left been doing the same against the atrocities in Zimbabwe? My post provides one answer to this question. Can you or anyone else give me another one, apart from "political demonstrations are usually poorly attended", which simply does not wash? It depends on how much you care.

Jack Sutcliffe

Stan,

Surely the major difference is that the government has activly challenged the situation in Zimbabwe. Whilst in both the cases of the Isreal and the Iraq war the protests were to challange our own governments policies, so people are more licley to protest when thier is a sense that thier protest can have a direct affect or impact.
a seperate example, the protests for the olympic torch, do you think that there would not be massive protests if the Zimbabwe cricket team were to play in the UK? So people protest when there is a crediable symbol that can be focused onand will maximise impact.

Noel

The left aren't actively supporting the Zimbabwean struggle? Not sure it's particular appropriate to play political points here. Compass Youth, as well as youth leaders from NUS, Oxfam, Liberal Youth & Fabians have just returned from Southern Africa where we met civil society leaders from Zimbabwe. I've written a post on http://www.compass youth.org on this. You maybe interested in what the Zimbabweas advised about international solidarity...

"the Left are prepared to tolerate any kind of oppression as long as it is opposed by the American and British governments"?

Stan, who do you mean by the left? Presumably not groups like Compass Youth who went on a youth leader delegation to Southern Africa to exchange with civic society organisations from the region, including Zimbabwe. This isn't about who's right and who's...left as also on the delegation were NUS, Oxfam, British Youth Council and Liberal Youth. This is about solidarity with our comrades in Zimbabwe.

You may be interested in what they advised on West displaying international solidarity
http://compassyouth.blogspot.com/2008/06/save-zimbabwe-from-mugabe.html

Stan Rosenthal

Glad to see that at least the youth wing of Compass is actively engaged on this issue. Now how about trying to get the big boys of the left involved (starting with your parent organisation). And with the same passion that they reserve for their anti-West campaigns.

In the absence of such high-profile opposition from this quarter the presumption must be that their old socialist solidarity with Mugabe overrides any expression of solidarity with his victims.

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