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Trade Unionists Launch Digital Mosaic for Zimbabwe

Trade unionists across the globe have come together online in support of The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). The International Trade Union Confederation has launched a digital mosaic, which pictures Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe, the President and General Secretary of the ZCTU. Matombo and Chibebe were arrested on May 8th of this year after speaking out about the political violence that has ransacked Zimbabwe. The photo mosaic is comprised of the faces of over 2,000 trade unionists across the globe, who have made a public declaration of their support for ZCTU. The website that houses the mosaic calls for visitors to “spread the word”, “add your support”, and “lobby for change”, and also updates various news reports on Matombo and Chibebe’s upcoming trial.

Similar to what was done following post-election violence in Kenya, the web has documented Zimbabwe’s election turmoil and has served as an activist mechanism. We have learned how Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change utilized Google Maps in order to inform citizens of campaign rally locales and areas of violence or detention. We have also seen how Sokwanele, a Zimbabwean activist group, has made use of e-cards to get out the vote and digital photos to index violence. is yet another example of creative digital activism, but this time it is digital activists outside of Zimbabwe banning together in solidarity with trade unionists inside the troubled nation. While we normally associate union activism with offline protest, this group is expressing solidarity through cyberspace and using digital media to convey a powerful message.

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