Back in January 2005 our electronic activism campaign featured MISA’s Advocacy Campaign Model as a tool to help us in our advocacy and organizing work.
Just lately in Zimbabwe we’ve seen a couple of events and campaigns launched in what appears to be a haphazard manner without due consideration to the many elements that go into making protests and campaigns successful.
I’m not too sure what you think, but 50 women turning out for a protest in downtown Harare doesn’t give me much confidence that the organizers did their best to reach out and communicate with their constituencies and in so doing build as much support as possible. Take a look at this report which comments on the recent WiPSU protest.
And then there’s been the Save Zimbabwe Campaign. I got an email recently from the Save Zimbabwe Campaign Task Force with the title line “Save Zimbabwe in Five Minutes”. If only it were that easy! The Save Zimbabwe Campaign emailed a flyer asking Zimbabweans to make a noise during lunchtime – either hoot your horn, whistle, clap your hands, bang pots and so on.
VOA’s Studio 7 reported on the dismal uptake of this campaign, saying
The less-than-impressive results of protests called in the past two weeks by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, a coalition of civic organizations and opposition parties have raised doubts as to the effectiveness of the ad hoc opposition organization.
It leaves me wondering how well the Save Zimbabwe Campaign Task Force communicated, lobbied and encouraged participation in the lunch time make a noise protests. It has shades of hastily pulled together stayaways, which always flop because the organizers just don’t get the fact that you can’t snap your fingers, or send out a few flyers and emails and expect your idea to take flight.
More worrying of course is the intimation that
Differences of opinion over the strategy had emerged within the organizational membership of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign (Studio 7′s report)
Wouldn’t it be great if civil society could agree on something, anything? Even a lunchtime “make a noise” campaign!
Another aspect worth commenting on is the language used in the resistance movement in Zimbabwe. The Save Zimbabwe Campaign should know that we don’t want to “cry” for freedom, we want to SHOUT for it. Nor is our noise a symbol of our “distress” it is a symbol of our DEFIANCE.
Again, we make available online the Advocacy Campaign Model which should be used as an integral tool when organizing events and campaigns.
Please click here.