ek love bohemia!

It took about 2.5 seconds after the police raids for the students here to unite and do something about it. A Facebook group got started to end the police violence… and while that sounds useless (and usually IS useless), it was INCREDIBLE to see how the students used it to gain leverage with the local government and authorities. They began a petition and used the group, that ended up with thousands of members, to send out messages about when and where the petitions would be. They made an arrangement with someone or other high up that if they got so many names on the petition that they would get the Mayor to come speak here at Stellenbosch. They set the date for the rally and the information about it was everywhere — all over facebook and campus. I got out of my photography class the Friday afternoon that it was happening and started walking back to my room, unsure of exactly where the rally was being held… and came upon it in the courtyard outside the Neelsie (the student center).

There is only one time in my life I’ve ever seen that many students gathered to show support for a cause (other than football) in my life — and that was at the UNL memorial for the VA Tech shootings last year. That was an incredibly powerful moment, too. But the fact that this was political and had so many students interested just…. oh man it had me so pumped up and just so hopeful. We’re a generation known for our apathy, and sometimes it gets into our own heads that because we hear we’re apathetic so much… it just reinforces it. It gets easy to do nothing. But this – was so cool. All these students out there, taking their safety and their way of life into their own hands, instead of waiting around to let someone else change it. I loved it so much. The Mayor did come and speak. They gave her the petition. And although it was all in Afrikaans, so I was lost…. I could feel the atmosphere and hear the tension and the held breath, waiting in anticipation for the answer. After all was said and done…. the Mayor announced that she would do what she can to make sure that another event like hte police raids at the bars will NEVER happen again here – that the privacy and security of the students and individuals in Stellenbosch would be respected and protected.

And cheers went up everywhere.

And then she announced (the one thing I could understand) that Bohemia and Springbok would be having drink specials ALL NIGHT.

And even LOUDER cheers went up. Hahaha

It was an incredible incredible event and something I know I’ll never forget about my experience here.

The signs and shirts had me laughing the entire time. Not only were they just funny but again – they just showed creativity and CARING. These students put time and effort into coming decked out for this thing. People were painted, dressed head to toe in Anti-Violence decorated stuff. AWESOME. thats what it was.

The Mayor is the woman speaking. Not a great picture, unfortunately.

EK LOVE BOHEMIA! “Ek” is “I” in Afrikaans. And Bohemia is one of the most popular student bars – and it was one of the ones raided. I do i do i do love bohemia!

I. love. it.

all the people…

actual date of the Protest Against Police Brutality: March 14 @ 13:00

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Published in: on April 24, 2008 at 12:56 am  Leave a Comment  

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