The Mail & Guardian reports that academic activity has been suspended at Rhodes University until further notice after because of the protests. Hundreds of students and some staff gathered at the drama department on Prince Alfred on the University campus to join the anti-rape protestors.
Since Sunday night (17 April 2016), Rhodes University in Grahamstown has been in uproar after the release of the #RUReferenceList which revealed the names of 11 alleged rapists and sexual perpetrators at the university.
Things came to a head yesterday (Tuesday) with the start of a protest in which topless students blocked the entrance to lecture halls and residences. When police arrived on the scene to disperse the protestors, the students laid down on the ground and refused to move.
We don’t care what u think we should look like in order to be perceived as a “distinguished lady” “wife material”. pic.twitter.com/lFg8WjqW01
— Malebo Gololo ♡ (@malebosays) April 20, 2016
As if coming forward after a sexual assault isn’t daunting enough, a glimpse at #RUReferenceList social media posts shows that students believe that the university does not hold rapists accountable and are demanding the reform of its policies and trauma services. ‘For now, our concerns are the sexual assault policy which has been under review for over a year. The policy is problematic as it excludes victims who have been forced to penetrate their perpetrators in its definition of rape. It also puts the onus on the victim to prove their perpetrator intended to rape them,’ Sian Ferguson, a student organiser and current chair of the Gender Action Project at Rhodes University told Mail & Guardian.
Wait, why are students protesting against rape getting arrested?, isn’t that a good thing to do? What is SA coming to? #RUReferenceList
— IG: Mondly (@_Mondly) April 20, 2016
— The Herald PE (@HeraldPE) April 20, 2016
The vice-chancellor at Rhodes University, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, has been videoed pushing a female student in an attempt to remove the blockade erected by the protestors and later begging with the police to release three protestors they had arrested.
— Oppidan Press (@oppidanpress) April 19, 2016
The movement is steadily gaining more momentum.
— Activate (@ActivateOnline) April 20, 2016
— kuvaniah (@kuvaniahm17) April 20, 2016
This is a developing story and we will keep you updated.
Via Cosmopolitan SA