End Protest at UCT
This petition had 137 supporters
Protests have erupted on universities across South Africa disrupting all manner of activity on campus. This comes in the wake of fee raises instated by national government.
While there is room to protest these fee increases, the manner of the protest is unacceptable. In an effort to protest for the right to be educated, protesters are preventing students from being taught.
This accomplishes nothing, as the fee raises are a combination of national government decisions combined with the rising costs of running such an expensive institution.
Protesters at UCT don't seem to understand this, as they make a myriad of contradictory demands without regard for logic or basic economics. Their demands include:
- Lower (to no) fees
- End outsourcing on campus
- R10 000 minimum wage for all workers on campus
- No aid or job losses as a result
The protesters have proceeded to blockade the campus, arm themselves with clubs, threaten bystanders and vandalise property.
Right to Learn
As fee paying students, we have the right to attend lectures and the right to use facilities that we have paid for. These protesters are blockading entrances to campus and have caused a veritable evacuation over threats of violence.
One has the right to protest, but not at the expense of another's rights. Thus, this protest is unethical and illegitimate.
UCT has been lax in regards to the RhodesMustFall protests in the past and this caused a precedent to form, allowing protesters to feel that they could get away with even more protest action.
The campus needs to take a stand to protect the students who want to learn. Protests can be made without threatening or oppressing students who, by virtue of their being students, have a right to enter campus and conduct academic activities.
Here are the solutions posed by this petition:
- Unilaterally condemn the actions of the protesters.
- Prohibit blockading of any road or entrance on and off campus and make doing so punishable by disciplinary measures.
- Utilise law enforcement to break up protesters in a position to blockade or coerce students.
- Make sure protesters guilty of illegal actions are held accountable and face disciplinary action.
Disclaimer: This petition is not condemning the fundamental demand that fee raises are rising to exorbitant rates. It is condemning the actions of protesters who are violating the right to learn of other students.
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