For the second consecutive year, police yesterday arrested more than 100 women for staging a demonstration on the streets of Bulawayo. The women were 'armed' with red roses and Valentine's Day cards, to draw attention to food shortages and alleged human rights violations. According to the organisers, quoted by the South African press, many women marched with their babies strapped on their backs with the traditional wraps. The Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza), the marchers demanded "bread and roses" to protest acute food shortages and alleged human rights violations by authorities, including arbitrary arrests of critics of the government of Robert Mugabe. Woza said hundreds of women took part in the protest march, and more than 100, including 13 babies, were arrested as the marchers dispersed. No comment was immediately available from police in Bulawayo, which had not authorised the demonstration. Last year the activists were released without the serious charges generally foreseen for breaking the strict law against public demonstrations. Source: MISNA
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