HARARE, Zimbabwe — A Zimbabwean court is hearing the bail applications for 68 protesters charged with public violence following last week’s clashes with police.

Police used tear gas, water cannons and violence to crush Friday’s protest organized by a united front of the country’s previously fragmented opposition. The police action came despite a court order allowing the protest to proceed.

A journalist, a pregnant woman and three juveniles are among those charged over the protests in the capital, Harare.

This southern African country is on the edge as frustrations over a rapidly deteriorating economy have resulted in near-daily protests in the capital and other major cities.

A youth group #Tajamuka has called for a “national shutdown” on Wednesday.

The government has accused the United States and other Western countries of backing the protests.