On Saturday Sept. 18 at the United Nations’ Daj Hammarskjold Plaza, a coalition of human rights/social rights groups led by the December 12th Movement held a rally demanding the lifting of illegal economic sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe. The sanctions––which have been imposed by the United States for the last 21 years––have had a hindering effect on the growth and development of Zimbabwe. “The illegal imposition of the sanctions by the United States is in effect a undeclared act of economic warfare, with the intended and wished for outcome of regime change of the the democratically and duly elected government of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” declared Omowale Clay of the December 12th Movement, an international human rights grassroots organization.

The rally called for the immediate elimination of the sanctions that the United States has “unilaterally maintained in conjunction with other Western European countries, to deny the people of Zimbabwe their human rights of self-determination and national sovereignty,” added Roger Wareham, attorney and December 12th Movement member.

The event was a rally to show that Pan-Africanism is indeed alive and flourishing, as over 100 participants and numerous human rights organizations expressed international solidarity, and joined the call for the ending this “act of Western European and American imperialism” against the people and ruling party of Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF. Examples were given by members of Zanu-PF, of the current governmental initiatives and programs that are helping to overcome the effects of the sanctions. The successes detailed by party officials encompassed the agricultural, infrastructure, healthcare and educational sectors that are strengthening the economy of Zimbabwe. The phrase “Building our country Zimbabwe stone by stone;” and “Who’s land? Our land!” was often heard as the rally progressed to show the commitment, and determination of Zanu-PF and it’s people that “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again!”