Today in Cape Town, according to the offical Twitter account of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, RMF called on white supporters to form a shield around black protesters to protect them from police, leaving some with questions and impressing others.
Students and workers at the University of Cape Town (UCT) gathered again on Tuesday protesting fee increments and the outsourcing of labour at the institution.
Earlier on Monday, roughly 16 students were arrested and taken to Rondebosch Police Station before being released. No students, however, were charged.
Police fired rubber bullets at a crowd of protesters on Monday afternoon, when students from Rhodes University went to support their peers at the Eastern Cape Midlands College, according to Activate, the university’s independent publication.
The human shield reportedly proved effective, although there is no confirmation that police intended to use force.
White allies are asked to move to the front and make a human shield. pic.twitter.com/FschDGUuRS
— VARSITY (@varsitynews) October 20, 2015
Meanwile, DA leader Mmusi Maimane has today been jeered off of the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus after arriving to “support members of DASO (DA Students Organisation)”.
Kiernan Forbes, known as AKA, and Simphiwe Dana were also asked by a Wits students to leave the protest.
Earlier, he tweeted, complaining that people have spent the whole year “shredding” his personal life to pieces but suddenly “need” his voice and opinion on fees.
While some found the ‘white human shield’ gesture to be heartwarming and encouraging:
The white born frees who created a human shield to protect their fellow students… We def salute you!
— `ĐBH (@MajestyKagiso) October 20, 2015
— #FreedMeekMill (@ThabileMpe) October 20, 2015
The White Human Shield… See the things we come up with when we work TOGETHER and not AGAINST one another?
— hilary (@hilary_yam) October 20, 2015
Others wondered why apparently police would not use force against or arrest white people:
The white human shield has me in two minds 1. The black human shields and barricades weren't human enough? 2. Thank you for your solidarity
— hellacooles (@aubsthestampede) October 20, 2015
So BLACK policemen arrest BLACK students and the only form of protection is a WHITE human shield. WHAT?? #UCTFeesMustFall
— yonelise keating (@YonelaKatsha) October 20, 2015