At 3pm today Rhodes University protesters as well as members of the Unemployment People’s Movement (UPM) marched back to the Eastcape Midlands College (EMC). This was following a protest held earlier the same morning at the same venue (for more click here and here). Luyanda Mahlinza reports.
The protest aimed to stop a proposed exam being written as well to encourage a halt in all academic activity both at Rhodes and EMC. During the march, the crowd grew large and upon arrival, tyres were burnt at the entrance of the college.
Ayanda Kota of the UPM, announced that in anticipation of the protest, the exam was cancelled and that students and staff of EMC had evacuated the premises. The protest continued as police vans began to arrive and surround the perimeter, with some police officers holding teargas canisters. Though the protest was peaceful in nature, the police attempted to negotiate with the leaders of the march to leave the premises as there were no students or staff members inside the college.
A fire brigade was also called to terminate the fire and control the crowd. After two hours protesting, the crowd left the college to return to a meeting to be held at the main barricades of the protest at 5pm.