Text of speech at Zimbabwean peace protest

 The following speech, inspired by Martin Luther King, was delivered outside the Zimbabwean High Commission by Adrian Lunga: I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as one of the greatest London demonstrations for freedom in the history of our nation. Some 22 years ago, after great sacrifice of young men and women of Zimbabwe had patriotically given up their lives for our freedom, the Lancaster agreement was reached here in London. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But 22 years later we are back in London facing the tragic fact that Zimbabwe is still not free. 22 years later, the life of a Zimbabwean is still sadly crippled by the manacles of oppression and humiliation. 22 years later, leaders are living a life of great opulence in the midst of Zimbabweans living in a vast ocean of poverty and material deprivation. 22 years later, the Zimbabwean is still languishing in the corners of government corruption, genocide, brutality, racism and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to unite against appalling conditions. In a sense we have come to London to cash a cheque. When the Lancaster agreement was reached, the architects were in fact signing a promissory note to which every Zimbabwean was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all Zimbabweans would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that the present leadership has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as normal Zimbabweans are concerned. Instead of honouring this sacred obligation, the present leadership has given Zimbabweans a bad cheque which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of Zimbabwe. So we have come to cash this cheque - a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind the world of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquillising drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of oppression to the sunlit path of human rights and justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, we keep the dream alive. A dream deeply rooted in the Zimbabwean cultures. A dream that one day Zimbabwe will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all humans are created equal." A dream that one day, on the high mountains of Chimanimani, the sons of farmers and the sons of farm workers will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. A dream that one day even the region of Matebeleland, a region of untold genocidal carnage, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. A dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will only be judged by the content of their character and not abused because of it. I present the dream today. The dream that one day the state house, whose occupant,s lips are presently dripping with the words of war and hate, will be occupied by an occupant who will be the lover of peace and humanity allowing little boys and girls, and all Zimbabweans, to walk together as sisters and brothers. I present the dream today. The dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to my home of exile. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if Zimbabwe is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of Matopos. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of Vumba. Let freedom ring from the valleys of Nyanga! Let freedom ring from the amazing sights of the Great Zimbabwe! Let freedom ring from the roaring thunder of Victoria Falls!But not only that; let freedom ring from heart of Gokwe! Let freedom ring from Lupane! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Masvingo. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every region and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black and white, Ndebele and Shona, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and dance in the name of true freedom. Rejoice in God having blessed Africa's children as divined in our anthem: Nkosi sikelel, Africa, Ishe komborera Africa, God bless Africa.

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