Thursday, 26 November 2009

Obama Honours WOZA: Women Who Stand Up For Change



WOZA: Women Of Zimbabwe Arise is a women's activist group that leads peaceful demonstrations for regime change in Zimbabwe. Countless times they have been harassed, jailed and their demonstrations disbanded by the police. I've seen these women in the streets on Valentine's Day dressed in red and white giving out red roses to people encouraging them to build a nation of love not brutality. For anyone who thinks that this poses a threat that warrants them being jailed, they are sorely mistaken. I've seen them in court, their case being dismissed as the charges were said to be superflous and rightly so. The way in which these women have been rounded up and thrown into jail speaks volumes about the level of intolerance the Zim govt has for any voice of dissent regardless of the non-violent, non-partisan nature of a movement.
Needless to say the women honored in this video, Magodonga Mahlangu and Jenni Williams (who represents WOZA) deserve this award as token recognition for their tireless efforts to stand up and speak out.
Makorokoto, Tinotenda vanaMai veNyika, Amhlope boMama Siyabonga,
Congratulations and we thank you, Mothers of the Nation.

5 comments:

(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...

Sista KW,

I watched the entire presentation, but it was not easy. We will never agree on this one. Yes, these are undoubtedly courageous women. Yes, what Mugabe is doing is deplorable. But to be given an award by the most belligerent nation on the planet is ludicrous. I must continue to insist that in the global scheme of things any American president is worse than 20 Mugabes.How can we possibly square Obama flinging around words like "evil," "discipline," "tough love" when the civilian body in Iraq alone is 100,000? The hypocrisy literally makes me sick to my stomach and head simultaneously. kzs

KonWomyn said...

Greetings Brother KZS,

We are not in disagreement over the Super War Lord status of the US. I agree, wholeheartedly; that why in that narrative I never mentioned the U.S. My focus is on WOZA.

What would you suggest tho' - does one then refuse to accept the award? Dismiss the award as worthless? Despite knowing the benefits such an award might have for the work of WOZA. This isn't about the US, but abt the group WOZA. Shifting the focus from WOZA to the US occludes the work a grassroots organisation and seems to say recognition of a human rights struggle is worthless because Uncle Sam never, ever gets it right.

To me that's harsh on WOZA; the inherent contradiction and hypocrisy of the US is just a fact of life. If this weren't so then it might be asked why anti-American Americans like Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Glenn Ford et al still retain citizenship? Surely they see the contradiction of being an anti-American American or do they see the value of being citizens - despite what Uncle Sam is.

Or on a more personal, *but unoffensive* note is your having US citizenship and a Harvard degree worthless because America is what it is? Should you have citizenship and a degree from somewhere else? Does that change anything? IMO, No. You earned your degree and brave souls past ensured that the US wld be yours to live in today. But that's a whole other discussion; but I hope you see what I'm saying abt WOZA.

...peace

(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...
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(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...
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(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...

i hear you. the reply is pretty straightforward. i am here, i am a citizen, cuz my ancestors have struggled, bled and resisted here for many centuries. for most african americans its the only home they know. as was the case for me until relatively recently.

i promise you the easy thing for me to do at this point would be to toss my passport and get lost in ghana. being in america with a modicum of overstanding has its own stresses.

i am doing reconnaissance behind enemy lines. i speak out against american hegemony even here on campus. i challenge it when others have been silent. so strategically i think i am in as good as place as any to chip away at the empire. Anti-American can mean fighting the beast from within. An essential task.

Woza should not need the validation of an American president to be legitimate. Besides that Woza's acknowledgement legitimates American terror abroad. Woza gets a pat on the back and Iraq gets more bombs. (Also, the US is actively engaged in "regime change" in Zimb--that is bound to backfire on Zimbs who tacitly approve of US interference.) The Kennedy's, and now Obama, recognize it for what it is--propaganda that legitimates American empire. Hence Obama's references to "evil" (very Bush-like) and such.

Now if you tell me the recipients of the award understand that Obama is worse than twenty Mugabes I might be persuaded to see this differently. If it ain't the case then i can't see how we can disentangle this in such a way that it is just about Woza.

kzs