Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sticks and stones at UJ!

Throw rocks at the cops if you want a free tertiary education.
I swear - this was the mentality of students at the University of Johannesburg who went on a riot this morning to try and get Government to listen to their demands. They want free education for poor students.
Totally unbelievable.
They toyi-toyied. They jumped around and sang struggle songs. They threw rocks (plucked from the decorative rockery outside the residence), kicked over cement dustbins and burnt stuff.
The cops arrived in riot gear, fully prepared for a clash. Ready for battle

A large guy, claiming to represent the ANC Youth League on campus, did a bit of rabble rousing, hyped up the crowd and was very much part of the political action. Another student arrived with a printed message, also purported to be from the ANCYL, which said the ANCYL distanced itself from the protest. Unfortunately he would not let me keep one of his three flyers, nor was I allowed to even copy it down which is a pity because the grammar and spelling were ... erm ... unacceptable for a teenager let alone someone busy with tertiary education.
It was all noisy and boisterous until the students went too far and annoyed the cops who opened fire on them with their crowd control water cannon. It was brilliant!
The jets of blue dye were followed by sprays of yellow solution that apparently contained CFC or some kind of pepper spray or tear gas designed to start a nasty burn on any wet spots hit by the dye. The students screamed and ran and then continued their taunting.
So they got blasted again.
We laughed from the sidelines until a side wind sent tear gas in our direction and had us coughing with streaming eyes.
All in a day's fun I suppose!

1 comment:

  1. Oh glory... makes me think if a story I heard this week about traffic cops blocking a highway to protest their salaries or something.