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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 October 2015

South African student solidarity demo humbles diplomat and cops

Mark Best

The power of protest was clear on 23 October. Angry students gave orders to a senior diplomat and prevented the arrest of a peaceful demonstrator.

Over 200 demonstrated in central London in solidarity with South African students fighting tuition fee hikes.

South Africans studying in Britain who wanted to support the struggle back home organised the event. Others taking inspiration from student militancy in South Africa joined them.

The upbeat, confident mood of the demonstration was clear to see. Students marched through the streets, blocking traffic while singing and dancing.

Demands

On reaching the South African high commission (embassy), marchers demanded the high commissioner come out to receive their demands. They weren't going to take no for an answer!

The demonstration's size and energy eventually forced the high commissioner out. He was made to sit on the street. Organisers read him demands for free education and an end to privatisation.

Police then tried to arrest one of the marchers for climbing the building. The demonstration surrounded officers until they released the peaceful protester.

In South Africa, mass protests of students and workers have made President Jacob Zuma halt the fee rise (see page 14). In London, a high commissioner had to leave his cushy office and was humbled.

Imagine the power of protest when linked to co-ordinated strikes against cuts, fees and sell-offs.

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In The Socialist 29 October 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Unite to fight divided Tories

'Momentum' must mobilise for real and lasting change

Hinkley deal - no point in nuclear

Sugar tax debate misses real causes of poor diet

First new grammar school in 50 years bolsters elitism

Them & Us

What we saw


International socialist news and analysis

Israeli government fans the flames of conflict

CWI news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

What are the lessons of the 2010 student movement?

South African student solidarity demo

Students march in Leeds for free education


Workplace news and analysis

Steel industry and the battle for jobs

For a fighting and democratic Unison general secretary, vote Roger Bannister

Morrisons workers deserve fair pay and conditions

Hull council in aggressive attack on union convenors

Kill the Bill!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Film review: Suffragette

Teachers and 'growth mindset'

Townsend Productions presents two critically acclaimed pieces of socialist theatre


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fund the fight for socialism at home and internationally

TUSC councillor calls for local Labour to back Corbyn's anti-cuts stance

Housing crisis on the agenda for Socialist Party in Reading


 

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Related links:

Students:

triangleSheffield Uni UCU fights archaeological dept closure

triangleYork students demand democratic control of schools

trianglePimlico Academy protest demands elected governors

triangleUniversity funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all

triangleStudents and unions must resist misnamed 'free speech' bill

Student:

triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

triangleFighting sexual harassment and gender violence on campus

trianglePolice invade student homes

Solidarity:

triangleKazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces

triangleKazakhstan: Nur Otan regime attacks peaceful protest

triangleNSSN conference 2021: When given a lead workers will fight

South Africa:

triangleIn brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

triangleSouth Africa: Build working class unity for way forward for all

London:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Cuba protests - what do they represent?

Africa:

triangleBook that inspired me: God's bits of wood

Fees:

triangleSocialist Students day of action

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