What happens when a peaceful protest becomes violent

Hello Hello Friends!

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote, and I apologize for that. To make up for it, I have two new blogs and a podcast coming up for you all in the next few days. This one focuses on the protests that started to emerge around the mid 1950s, about Apartheid. In particular, I focus on on the solidarity movements that were taking place across the globe in, well, solidarity with the people of South Africa. In class, we spent a good amount of time talking about the Sharpeville Massacre that happened in 1960, so when I was skimming this article I found, it caught my attention. The article is from a literary journal, and it was published in the fall of 1974 (see citation below). The section I read focused a lot on how the world was responding to apartheid in South Africa.

Honestly, I hadn’t really thought about solidarity movements before I read this article. I had always assumed that South Africa was kinda on its own, but its really heartening to hear that other countries were moving up to help support them. It actually reminds me of the solidarity movements that are happening today, with the global Women’s Marches, and the global March for Our Lives protests that have taken place. All of these movements, however, have the unifying theme that they have been primarily peaceful protests, or as peaceful of thousands and thousands of seriously pissed off women and teenagers fighting for their lives can be. The protests led by the African National Congress, and the Pan Africanist Congress started out similarly but then after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 they turned more violent. The once-peaceful groups felt that the only way they could get their point across was through violence, although their violence was much lower in the cost of human lives. Unfortunately, the rest of the world was faced with a difficult decision. If they continued to support anti-apartheid movements in South Africa they would also be supporting/condoning the use of violence.

This is not the first time the world has been face with such a decision, and it will not be the last time. So often, causes that start out as peaceful or diplomatic turn violent when people get frustrated. It’s understandable and it’s so hard to continue to protest with words, when the other side is using guns. I just can’t help but relate it again to the world today. So far, most of the protests have not turned violent, and I hope they stay that way. This world has enough violence in it already, it does not need any more.

The Sharpeville Massacre has not been forgotten by the people of South Africa. In the picture below, you can see the mass graves that were dug to remember those who lost their lives during this horrific incident. The graves stretch for quite a while, a reminder of a history the world should not forget (looking at you 45).


Until next time!


Sharpville Massacure https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sharpeville_Massacre_Graves,_Phelindaba_Cemetery,_Sharpeville,_Vereenegining,_South_Africa.jpg

Reddy, E., S. “Apartheid and the International Community.” Issue: A Journal of Opinion 4, no. 3 (1974): 19-24. Accessed April 12, 2018. JSTOR.

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