The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

“I am not a Chicken!”: Social Mobilization at Its Best

January 12, 2012

I can’t resist sharing this wonderful news clip from Malawi. I challenge Duck readers to have fun with this: What might the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movements learn from Malawi?

Malawi protests scheduled for January 15, Chilembwe Day
12 January 2012
tags: chilembwe day, malawi, protest
by dadakim

The following call to protest in Malawi on January 15 (Chilembwe Day) was sent as an email, and has been reported on by opposition online news agency Nyasa Times.




My Fellow Malawians.

I greet you in the name of the Lord our God.

97 years after Rt Rev John Chilembwe sacrificed his precious life to fight colonialism, Malawi is at the Crossroads again. Our leadership has failed us big time.

With their own hands, our leaders have created gargantuan problems for the ordinary people. With their own hands, our leaders have depleted all our forex reserves on luxuries such as the presidential jet, Mercedes Benz vehicles for members of the Cabinet and grand high level corruption.

With their own hands, our leaders have left the country’s health delivery system in a shambles. With their own hands, our leaders have facilitated the deaths of thousands of ordinary poor Malawians through failure to supply hospitals with basic essential drugs.

With their own hands, our leaders have rendered the public ambulance system which serves the medical emergency needs of 90% of Malawians ineffective leading to massive deaths.

With their own hands, our leaders are failing to support private sector growth, denying companies the much needed foreign exchange needed to import raw materials. With their own hands, our leaders are forcing companies to cut jobs, rendering thousands of Malawian jobless.

With their own hands, our leaders are forcing people to spend long unproductive hours and sleepless nights queuing for fuel at pump stations without any hope.

Yet, when the suffering public raises their voices to complain about the deteriorating life standards, with their own mouth, our leaders are happy to call its people chickens.

Are you really chickens Fellow Malawians? This is the question that we, as Concerned Malawian Citizens (CMC), would like every Malawian to reflect on as we commemorate the Rt Rev John Chilembwe’s uprising of 1915.

Let there be no doubt, my Fellow Malawians. Malawians succeeded to remove colonialism and one-party dictatorship despite immense resistance. There is absolutely nothing that can stop Malawians today from removing the current dictator and save the nation from further economic deterioration. We must remain united and focused on rescuing our poor people.


The commemoration of the 1915 Chilembwe uprising gives us a window of hope. As Concerned Malawian Citizens, we would like to reject in the strongest terms possible, that Malawians are not Chickens. In view of that, we would like to appeal to all Malawians to unite and take the following peaceful actions in protest:

Effective today, 11 January 2012, all Malawian motorists are asked to blow their vehicle horns three times a day at the following times: 0830am, 1230pm and 1630pm. This must be done continuously for some 30 seconds. This also applies to motorists camping at a fuel stations.

Every Friday, all Malawians are requested to put on red attire or a red scarf in protest to continued suffering of the people.

All Malawians are requested to get a small red flag or red card. This red flag or red card should be waved in the air, everything you see any member of the Cabinet or other senior government officials. This must be done in the same way as Football Referees do when sending off a player who has breached football rules. Where possible, when raising the flag, you must shout: “I am not a Chicken”.

On Chilembwe Day, which falls on 15 January, all Malawians are asked to put on red attire and peacefully converge at the following places for a three-hour vigil. The vigil will start at 0900 am.

· In Blantyre, Kamuzu Upper Stadium

· Lilongwe, Area 18 Tower

· Zomba, Academic Freedom Park at Chancellor College

· Mzuzu, Katoto Freedom Park.

Activities will include poetry recitals, traditional dances and songs.




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Catherine (Kate) Weaver is associate dean for students and associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She is a distinguished scholar at the Strauss Center for International Security & Law, where she is the founding director of Next Generation Scholars Program. She also chairs the university’s Graduate Assembly Academic Committee, the President’s Award for Global Learning steering committee, and the Truman Scholarship committee. Weaver’s research focuses on transparency in international development aid, reforming global economic governance, and the politics of data in the world economy. She has developed methods to track and dynamically geomap aid and climate adaptation, and writes about the shifting power, players and paradigms in governing the global economy. Her latest project, the Global Indices Network (GIN), examines the interdependent power and pathologies of global indices.