Today’s posts from our featured Port Elizabeth Blogger:
#feesmustfall by Keep Passing the Open Windows:
Today a friend of mine and I went down to NMMU to see if we could offer up some food and water to the kids who had been protesting all day. As non-students (I’ve never even been a student!) it seemed to be something we could do instead of just sitting back and watching it all unfold on our computer screens while holding thumbs and hoping that it will work out.
When we got there we couldn’t drive the car inside. The police were kind to us but they would not let us in, so we had to park our car and walk. Luckily we bumped into two strong men while we were at the shops gathering supplies and they decided to join us, so we had extra hands to help us carry.
When we got to the edge of the crowd we sat down under a tree with some girls and within seconds we were all making sandwiches together. Nicole and I didn’t even need to ask for help. It was given freely and quietly without question.
As I sat there, under that tree, smearing peanut butter on slices of bread, I listened to the girls talk to each other. I understand Xhosa to a limited degree so I was able to get an idea of what they were saying.
They were scared. That’s all. They were afraid for their futures. They had dreams and plans and these dreams and plans were important to them. And they were worried. They knew they were part of something important but they struggled to hide the fact that they were a little bit afraid that it might not work.
And I can’t stop thinking: this is who the students are. They are these girls. These girls who are simply eager to learn. They want to invest in their futures. That’s all.
I see so many people out there bemoaning how the students expect everything to be handed to them. I see folks trying so hard to convince others that the intentions behind this protest are sinister. My “favourite” is the folks who yell about how they should work for their educations, as if this is not already happening. By nature an education is something you work for. Besides tuition, you pay for it with stress, anxiety, exhaustion, tears, determination, tenacity, and perseverance. If you’re not an English first language student you pay for it with even more. It is by no means something that could ever come without a cost. And yet you want to write students off as freeloaders. They are not freeloaders. They are the future of our country.
Students are fighting for their futures. They are talking. They are listening to each other. They have been brave enough to be part of a revolution.
And we want to call them names? We’re so eager to paint any and all protesters with a brush of violence because small groups resort to getting a little out of hand from time to time, when the majority of folks are just folks who have been brave enough to hope for their situations to improve and have been proactive enough to take part in bringing about that change.
The only thing I can think of to call what I witnessed today is beautiful. And I’m really glad that I went down today and soaked up a bit of that energy.
Read more here: Keep Passing the Open Windows
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/feesmustfall-featured-blog/59073/2016/01