The December 12th Movement—the international, Brooklyn-based activist group—have been long time supporters of Zimbabwe, late President Robert Mugabe, and have advocated to have decades-long sanctions lifted against the South African nation, which managed to successfully struggle against Apartheid-style European rule.
With that foundation, on April 18, Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Sista’s Place was the location where continental Africans, African and Caribbean Americans came out to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence. They gained their independence from Britain in 1976. Almost a hundred thousand Zimbabweans died fighting for liberation against the Western and U.S.-sponsored white government.
In a ‘we’ve-seen-this-movie-before’ scenario, fallout was wide-spread after Britain reneged on their own controversial decision to compensate settler Europeans for land Mugabe reclaimed for Zimbabweans. African resilience and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front government have maintained that nation throughout the 22 years of American and European Union sanctions, and a wholesale negative mainstream media narrative.
Now, with the same European support, Emmerson Mnangagwa is the president.
Despite Zimbabwe’s sanctions-not-withstanding achievements, the D12 Movement has long pushed for the harsh economic restrictions to be revoked.
They did however, tout positive points like: Zimbabwe having one of the highest literacy rates on the continent; a stringent healthcare policy which led to a relatively low number of deaths assigned to COVID (reportedly 5,464 people). They also promoted an upcoming tour with scheduled visits to some of the world’s most magnificent sites like Great Zimbabwe stone fortresses and the Harare Provincial Heroes’ Acre, where December 12th Movement’s Field Marshall Coltrane Chimurenga was buried in 2019 and given a 21-gun salute.
It was a packed house, with information, education and food. Speakers included Kingston Ziyera from the Zimbabwe Mission to the U.N., December 12th Movement’s Omowale Clay, and Colette Pean, and Jihad from Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition.