INDEPENDENT NEWS

Protest Against Zimbabwe Cricket Tour July 16

Published: Fri 1 Jul 2005 10:32 PM
Protest March Against Zimbabwe Cricket Tour
Following the announcement late today from the New Zealand Cricket Council that they intend to proceed with the Cricket tour to Zimbabwe next month Global Peace and Justice Auckland are organising a protest march against the tour.
We are appalled at the callous, profit-first attitude of the New Zealand Cricket Council. It is an unethical and immoral decision and in the worst tradition of appalling decisions by New Zealand sportspeople. They have learnt nothing from past New Zealand experiences.
The suffering in Zimbabwe is palpable. The abuse of poor communities is extreme. The main opposition group the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) has supported the call for a sports boycott to bring pressure on the Mugabe regime. They believe a boycott by New Zealand cricketers will bring strong and positive pressure for political change in Zimbabwe. We agree.
However if this tour were to proceed now in the face of widespread calls to boycott Zimbabwe it will bring a sigh of relief to Mugabe and his cronies and the green light to continue his oppression. This is unconscionable.
As a whole the people of New Zealand have matured with most opposing this tour. However our cricket administrators are as one-eyed as our rugby administrators once were.
The best analogy is the 1976 All Black Tour to South Africa. The All Blacks toured against widespread opposition from within New Zealand and around the world at a time when the South African police and army were brutally suppressing an uprising by black South African school children.
This tour is scheduled to take place against a background of tens of thousands of Zimbabwe’s poorest being bulldozed from their homes and relocated into abject, rural poverty.
In 1976 our rugby administrators said “keep politics out of sport” In 2005 our cricket administrators are saying “we’ll lose money”
Both responses are as pathetic as each other.
The protest march will take place from the bottom of Queen Street at 12noon on Saturday July 16th.
It will end with a rally in Myers Park.
The protest will call for government and Cricket Council action to cancel the tour.
This anti-tour protest will call for an end to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and around the world.

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