The fuel shortage, lack of forex and concerns over the infringement of democratic ideals and abuses of human rights have all led to today, July 20th. This morning, mass demonstrations have been planned in all three regions.
NGOs and a coalition of civil society groups have banded together, calling for a peaceful demonstration and march across town. Pro-Government demonstrators are also marching.
Yesterday, five trucks full of men carrying panga knives drove through Blantyre threatening citizens with violence if they decided to march. http://www.malawivoice.com/latest-news/dpp-cadets-armed-to-teeth-attacking-people-in-blantyre/
We have been advised to stay away from the protests by the US Embassy but sitting here at home with my windows open, I can here chanting and shouting in the distance. Following twitter and facebook it sounds like there is a heavy police presence and lots of arrests.
No one is sure what turnout will be like – there are rumors that an injunction has been filed this morning against the protests. While it is exciting to watch as protesters on both sides exercise their rights to express themselves and march against perceived injustices, I hope everyone keeps cool heads and peaceful hearts.