It breaks my heart that many South Africans have the audacity to tell fellow protesting students how they should embark on their struggles and even going as far as calling them “thugs” and other demeaning names.
#FeesMustFall is not something which started over the past year, it’s in fact a policy, a promise made by the governing party enshrined in the Freedom Charter of which, so far, it has failed to deliver. Since the dawn of our democracy, students have been complaining about the same issues without any decisive political will to change and hear the genuine cries of students.
It’s only now that this generation has taken it upon themselves to fight for what rightfully belongs to them, a decolonised education, and in the process have developed a “do or die” attitude because they’ve continuously been sold out over the years.
There comes a point in life where being diplomatic no longer helps, and when violence becomes necessary, just as we are seeing now. Students break windows and are called thugs and criminals for fighting for education, while the same words are not extended to those who deny students a simple right to education, and make it a priority to exclude financially disadvantaged students.
The problem here is that, at the rate things have been going, #FeesMustFall was bound to become another Durban July, an annual event, which cannot be fair to the students as it is certainly not progressive.
It’s either we fight, and go all the way, or not fight at all.
South Africans also fail to accept this is not a mere protest, but a revolution, a revolt against the commodification of a colonised education and against a highly capitalist society, as well as the fact there’s no honeymoon revolution, things must burn in a revolution and that there’s no easy revolution, as there are certain sacrifices which come with a revolution.
South Africans have also fallen for the liberal rhetoric of “who is going to pay for the damages these students/thugs have caused” but the very same South Africans fail to accept that our government can bailout SAA for R5.6 billion.
South Africans are quick to call students “thugs” and “criminals” but say very little condemning the use of racist private security companies on various campuses across the country, who shoot as well as assault innocent students, but once students start destroying infrastructure, the whole country goes mad.
Therefore it’s been made clear, that the bodies and lives of the students are less important, as infrastructure reigns supreme over the students, which is normal in a capitalist society.
What’s so important about a university building, or a broken window, when the students themselves, cannot afford to use the very same building or window, you so passionately cry for.
When the cries of the students have fallen on deaf ears, when their desires and aspirations have been taken away from them, how they embark on their struggles is no longer up to society and those who’ve failed to keep their promise.