LETTER: The limits of protest – Business Day, 29 September 2016

Like strikers, the students have the constitutional right to protest. The right only extends, however, to the person making the decision to protest. No one who decides to protest may disrupt a lecture, threaten or force someone to protest.

By Sara Gon

THE universities have to deal with protesting students in much the same way as a company would deal with striking workers. The universities are faced with a demand they can not accede to. There is nothing more that can be done by negotiation.

Like strikers, the students have the constitutional right to protest. The right only extends, however, to the person making the decision to protest. No one who decides to protest may disrupt a lecture, threaten or force someone to protest.

At the point when the protest is no longer functional, and particularly when it has forced the management to suspend operations, then the management must issue the protesting students with ultimatums. Management may demand that all students return to lectures by a proposed date and cease their protest. Those who choose not to abide by the ultimatum must leave the university campus and residences. If they don’t, they can be arrested and face charges.

There is no inalienable right to protest in any manner the individual deems fit.

Sara Gon
Research Fellow, SA Institute of Race Relations

Read the letter on BDLive here.

© 2018 South African Institute of Race Relations
CMS Website by Juizi

Copyright | Accuracy Guarantee | Sponsors & Donors