The inaugural Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival celebrates the right to dignity, equality, justice and freedom. (more…)
Wits University observes Human Rights Day.
Wits plays its role during anti-racism week by hosted a number of initiatives on its campuses. (more…)
Human Rights Day saw the Right to Know Campaign (R2K) hand over a memorandum calling for an end to police brutality in Joburg, earlier today.
The protest was held in an effort to express outrage at increasing police brutality and the growing attacks on the right to protest, according to R2K staff members.
“No one dies at a protest until the police arrive,” was just one of the slogans displayed on placards by protestors.
Cardboard coffins were lined up right outside the entrance to the Johannesburg Central Police Station, commemorating those who have died from police brutality during protests. Among those remembered were the 36 miners who were killed by police at Marikana in 2012.
The station commander, Chester Spies, received and signed the memorandum from R2K staff members and responded by saying he was “very happy to see a peaceful, law-abiding protest” take place on such an important day in South African legacy.
In a statement issued by the organisation just over a week ago they said “the police killings of protestors around the country are a symptom of the growing attacks on the right to protest in South Africa, fuelled by the militarisation of the police and criminalisation of protest”.
A number of other organisations and NGOs joined the protest, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the Democratic Left Front (DLF) and Awethu.
“Protest is our only weapon. We will continue to protest because we know no other way,” were the parting words from R2K members.
The R2K campaign was launched in 2010, in response to the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) and has, over the years, broadened its scope to a range of related issues.
While we all enjoyed the day off on Wednesday, many Wits students did not know why Human Rights Day is celebrated on 21 March every year. We spoke to Wits students about their understanding of Human Rights Day. Watch the video below to hear their responses.