One of the best aspects of the Southern Africa Social Forum was the way it attracted groups like market traders and cross-border traders — very significant groups in southern Africa — and welded them into unity with workers.
Able Chikwe from Zambia said, “We cannot strike. We know you as workers have the power. But you also need wider support and we will be with you in the battle for a just world.”
The youth camp was very important (40 percent of Zimbabweans are under 15) and impressive. It had a combination of exuberant debate, intense discussion of alternatives to neo-liberalism and cultural expression.
Promise Mkwananzi said, “It is a crime for five people to gather without informing the police. As student leaders we have been beaten and assaulted for saying what the students ask us to.
“At Zimbabwe University, if you report that the toilets are not working you will be punished on the grounds that you are inciting students to revolt. Is that the sort of democratic society we want?”