STATEMENT: URGENT CALL FROM CONCERNED STUDENTS AND STAFF

“Following the intimidation and threatening of a black female student activist – because of her visible and vocal dissenting activism – by two men clad in police uniform, we call on support from students, staff and concerned community members to join us in a public protest on Thursday 3 March 1pm.

 

This is a solemn occasion where we will gather at the arch and move along the route where the incident took place to the Grahamstown Police Station. There we will demonstrate our condemnation for such activities and will give the SAPS an opportunity to respond to the issues we raised with them last week, which are as follows:

 

1) As a matter of urgency, we demand that this incident be investigated with the details of who these two policemen are and under which jurisdiction they fall under be made public.

 

2) We demand that there be no harassment or threats made against students who are engaged in vocal critique of the university and its untransformed institutional culture.

 

3) Staff and workers should also not suffer intimidation and harassment for expressing critical views.

 

4) We call on the SAPS to uphold the constitution and to not invoke apartheid era tactics when dealing with students, as has been seen by the disproportionate police responses to student activism over the last few months.

 

Further this march on Thursday will serve as a message to any Vlakplaas-like security element that we will not allow threats of violence against any student and staff involved in the cause of decolonizing institutions of higher learning to silence our voices, and restrict our freedom to exist in this city at any time of day or night as is enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the South African constitution and as entrenched in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.”

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