Wednesday 21 October 2015

Queer People Cannot Be Free Unless Education is Free #FeesMustFall

The Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement stands in solidarity with students across the nation demanding the transformation of universities and removing the principal barrier to accessing higher education: the exorbitant cost.

Thousands of young people across all of South Africa are being denied the right and opportunity to education in order to be able to have full citizenship in the global knowledge society. In the same ways that queer people are deliberately pushed to and kept in the margins, poor people (who are overwhelmingly mostly Black as a direct result of our colonial-apartheid past and present) are also being kept in the margins to maintain the pervasive structural and material inequalities that characterise our society today. 

We applaud the courage, discipline and singularity of purpose with which students have been engaged in our collective struggle for the fundamental transformation of our universities and society. Failed by the State and universities, students have shown great leadership in demonstrating that people’s power can effect the change we deserve to see in our society.

We condemn the contempt with which students making legitimate demands for long-overdue solutions are being treated by the State and universities alike. We condemn the use of State force and violence to prevent our right to assemble and protest and disrupt oppressive systems of power. So soon after the Marikana Massacre, and with the enduring memory of the Sharpeville Massacre, it was simply chilling to watch the South African Police Force shoot at students engaged in peaceful protest in Port Elizabeth. We, further, specifically condemn UCT’s fascist resort to interdicting students and staff from organising, assembling and protesting, and encourage all students to make a mockery of this outlandish and unconstitutional court order by continuing to organise peaceful protest actions under the #FeesMustFall banner.

They cannot detain all of us under this unjust and unconstitutional manipulation of the law.

We celebrate the citizen journalists everywhere, especially The Daily Vox, for providing nuanced and critical coverage of this momentous uprising for justice, filling the vacuum left by the mainstream media’s generally disdainful and ambivalent attitude towards this important struggle and the young people leading it.

We call on all our partners, supporters and all of us in the margins who have a stake in the transformation of our universities to show their support for our progressive student movements.

  • We call on you to participate in student political actions happening near you, because their struggle is our struggle and our struggle is theirs.
  • We call on you to send messages of solidarity and support.
  • We call on you to provide support to the various student movements leading this necessary work, in money and in kind, to continue this revolution, for theirs is the long-overdue work of decolonisation in action.
  • We call on you to provide financial support to The Daily Vox to enable its citizen journalists to continue their excellent coverage of this important work being driven by students.

Queer people cannot be free unless higher education is free for all who want it. None of us can be free, unless all of us are free.

Sithi phambili, ngabafundi, phambili!

Issued By:

For further information, contact:

Kwezilomso Mbandazayo

Sekoetlane Phamodi

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