Latest information on the An Yue Jiang
[Please check the comments as well for information updates]
24-04-08 ~ 19.35 pm:
News everywhere is that the ship has been recalled to China, but an article posted a lunch time today in South Africa has a different view:
The ship An Yue Jiang, loaded with weapons for Zimbabwe, is expected to dock in Lobito, Angola at midday on Friday, where activists hope it will meet the same fate as it did in Durban last week.
International Transport Workers Federation's spokesperson Sam Dawson said on Wednesday that they were "extremely confident" that the Chinese container ship was on its way to Lobito. Preparations would be made to prevent its cargo from being off-loaded by dock workers there.
The Chinese ship had been spotted off the western coast of Africa, he said, but declined identify the ITFs sources, since they would be in danger of being exposed. He said the ship was sailing at 11 knots and would, by ITF calculations, be outside Lobito on Friday.
Union preparations were continuing to block attempts to unload and transport the cargo "and any attempt to do so will be met by the strongest possible trade union response".
Earlier updates archived here
Updated Action Information
A new Avaaz petition to sign
Avaaz have another petition. This one is to SADC leaders and governments around the world:
Petition to SADC leaders and governments throughout Africa and the world: We, the undersigned, call for your support preventing any weapons shipments from reaching Zimbabwe until the crisis is resolved. We believe that, if delivered, these weapons would likely be used to violate the human rights of Zimbabweans, and we support the efforts of ordinary citizens and African trade unionists to prevent their transit through neighbouring countries. This shipment highlights the urgent need for a strong international arms trade treaty, and the continuing violence demands that all regional and global leaders act to protect human rights.
Emails to send
Use this email to send to Portuguese speaking recipients. We've kept the wording non-specific, so you can send it to any type of organisation. Feel free to add a English comment underneath if you would like to do so. Big thanks are due to CC for the translation.
Estimado Senhor ou Senhora,
Eu estou muito preocupado sobre relatÃ³rios que um navio chinÃªs, â€œAn Yue Jiangâ€, carregando as armas com destino Zimbabue, pÃ´de dirigir para seu paÃs.
Eu apelo-lhe para fazer tudo em seu poder parar estas armas de ser entregado a Zimbabue. Zimbabue nÃ£o Ã© um paÃs na guerra e o resultado das eleiÃ§Ãµes democrÃ¡ticas prendidas no 2Ã¸ MarÃ§o 2008 tem ser anunciado ainda. Seria errado enviar armas a um paÃs no aperto de um impasse polÃtico.
Eu vi retratos terrÃveis das vÃtimas da tortura, e eu li relatÃ³rios dos povos que foram batidos e brutalisados em Zimbabue. Milhares de cidadÃ£os de Zimbabue estiveram deslocados de seus repousos nas Ã¡reas rurais, e ameaÃ§ados com a morte se retornassem. Estas vÃtimas sÃ£o cidadÃ£os que nÃ£o fizeram nada mais do que exercitar a direita democratia votar livremente para um representante de sua escolha.
Muitos gentes em torno do mundo estÃ£o seguindo a histÃ³ria da transiÃ§Ã£o difÃcil de Zimbabue Ã democracia. NÃ³s somos imprimidos pelo fato que os povos de Zimbabue remanesceram non-violentos apesar do circunstÃ¢ncias incrivel. NÃ³s queriamos um futuro positivo para todos em Zimbabue.
Eu sou incentivado muito e orgulhoso da bondade e dos esforÃ§os dos cidadÃ£os do Africa do Sul que trabalham juntos para proteger os povos de Zimbabue duma violÃªncia adicional. Eu apelo-lhe para fazer o mesmo em seu paÃs.
Eu agradeÃ§o-o lendo esta mensagem.
(Sign your name here)
In English, the message reads:
Dear Sir or Madam
I am very concerned about reports that a Chinese ship, "An Yue Jiang", bearing weapons that are destined for Zimbabwe, might be heading towards your country.
I appeal to you to do everything in your power to stop these weapons from being delivered to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is not a country at war and the outcome of the democratic elections held on the 29th March 2008 has yet to be announced. It would be wrong to send weapons to a country in the grip of such a political impasse.
I have seen terrible pictures of victims of torture, and I have read reports of people who have been beaten and brutalised in Zimbabwe. Thousands of Zimbabwe civilians have been displaced from their homes in the rural areas, and have been threatened with death if they return. These victims are civilians who have done nothing more than exercise their democractic right to freely associate and to vote for a representative of their choice.
Many people around the world are closely following the story of Zimbabwe's difficult transition to democracy. We are impressed by the fact that the Zimbabwean people have remained non-violent despite incredible provocation. We are praying for the people of Zimbabwe and we are all hoping to witness a positive future for all Zimbabweans.
I am very encouraged and proud of the kindness and efforts the world witnessed when South Africans rallied to protect the Zimbabwean people from further violence. I appeal to you to do the same in your country.
I thank you for reading this message.
A Petition to Sign
The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is the global movement against gun violence - a network of 800 civil society organisations working in 120 countries to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW).
They have set up a 'Stop The Zimbabwe Arms Shipment' petition here. Please sign it and spread word of it widely.
How this consolidated post will work
This post provides a summary of articles posted so far and synthesises comments and ideas left by supporters in the comments. Please link to this post from your blogs so we have one consolidated post for all ideas in relation to taking action against Chinese weapons arriving in Zimbabwe. Please keep all comments on this post specifically focussed on action and action ideas.
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Previous posts on the Chinese weapons story