In Photos: a day of protest at Parliament
Three protests about the universities crisis took place at the legislature yesterday
Yesterday Parliament saw three different protest at its door. By far the largest was held by the Fees Must Fall movement. Several thousand students participated in it. After marching from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) they arrived at Parliament and sang protest songs.
The day eventually took a violent turn with clashes between students and police.
The first protest of the day started shortly before 9am. About 150 UCT staff members picketed, demanding more funding for tertiary education, and for government to intervene in the universities crisis. Pictured above is University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-chancellor Max Price. Although the UCT executive participated in the march, it was organised by the university’s staff trade unions.
Later in the day, Democratic Alliance (DA), with its affiliate the DA Students Organisation, marched to Parliament. The protesters called for universities to open, funding for poor students, and for Jacob Zuma to step down.
By 11am, hundreds if not thousands of students had already filled the grounds of CPUT. Their main demand was “free decolonised education”.
Students carried a faux coffin with a picture of Blade Nzimande on top of it.
As the march began, riot police immediately brought it to a halt. They wanted marshals in front to keep order.
Riot police steered the march, trying to keep order.
Some student protesters hitched a ride on police vehicles.
At one point, protesters and police started running.
Several thousand protesters gathered outside Parliament.
Speeches were made and students handed over a memo to the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
Students watched the proceedings from the top of police vehicles. Police asked them to get off numerous times, which they did. But they returned again moments later.
Students sang and danced on top of a police vehicle.
Police used fire rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse protesters. The violence started after a cardboard coffin with Blade Nzimande was set alight and thrown at police outside the gates of Parliament.
Protesting students retaliated by barricading the street and throwing rocks at police.
Riot police continued to fire rubber bullets at protesters as the chaos started to move into the city centre.
More barricades were built. These fires were quickly doused by police water cannons.
A police vehicle drove away quickly as protesters ran through streets throwing rocks at all police vehicles.
A man (presumably a police officer) pulled out a gun as protesters stoned the Caledon Square police station.
Rocks were thrown at police vehicles and buildings. Windows were broken.
Riot police continued to move slowly thorough the streets.
A protesting student wears an officer’s helmet.
Police fired stun grenades to disperse protesters blocking Strand street.
Stun grenades were set off.
People hid after stun grenades went off.
A woman cried after stun grenades went off.
According to JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, six arrests have been made, four for public violence and two for assault of a police officer.
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