Protesters gather at Tanzanian Embassy in response to new persecution of GLBTQ people

On the 28th of November, protesters gathered outside the Embassy of Tanzania(Tanzania House) in response to a "crackdown" on GLBTQ folks that has included arrests and calls for mass roundups. The arrests are under an over century old law originally written by British colonizers.

In Tanzania's business capitol Dar es Salaam, city administrative head Paul Makonda has gone so far as to assemble a team of cops and officials to focus on finding and arresting GLBTQ folks, and long prison terms are possible. The Guardian reports hundreds are in hiding, and the threat is so dire that even Donald Trump's US Embassy has warned travellers from the US to Tanzania to remove social media images that could reveal their sexual orientation. of course, while wealthy American tourists can simply return home if they have not yet been captured, Tanzanian citizens would have to run Trump's anti-migration gauntlet to escape to the United States.

Anti-GLBTQ campaigns in a number of African nations have been stoked up by fundamentalist Christian preachers travelling to the region from the United States to stir up hate abroad.

Female sex workers are also at risk, and expect to be targetted next. For Gay men, the law imposed on Tanzania by British colonizers and never repealed allows up to 30 years in prison for Gay sex. The government of Tanzania should think long and hard about the danger that forcing people underground can torpedo social peace as those facing decades in prison decide to meet force with underground resistance and all-out uprisings. After all, police raids on Gay bars were common in the United States until the July 28, 1969 Stonewall Riots defeated the NYPD Vice Squad, the BATF, and finally the riot squad by physical force. Gay bar raids here were not stopped by lobbying Congress or by letter writing campaigns, and they won't be stopped in Africa that way either unless the global GLBTQ community makes it plain that we have the African GLBTQ community's back no matter what happens. An attack on one is an attack on all.

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