Cape Town - South African students in New York are planning a #FeesMustFall protest in the city.
In a press release, the group - consisting of SA students, other South African citizens abroad and non-South Africans - says it plans to march to the SA consulate general.
"At the consulate, we will deliver an open letter to the ambassador, Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu, to be passed on to the South African executive cabinet and President Jacob Zuma."
The statement explains the fees protest in South Africa, saying that "thousands of university students and workers have been engaged in a protracted struggle for free decolonised education and an end to outsourcing university workers."
The statement says that the SA government, with the support of university management, "has refused to budge on the call for statefunded free education and the dismantling of the oppressive colonial education system".
Instead, the police have been used to dispel the students by force and many universities have been shutdown and militarised, the statement says.
"We fear that the university is being turned into the equivalent of a police-state in the name of ‘safety’, ‘security’ and in order to ‘normalise’ the situation."
The statement says the group has "friends, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters" in SA who are struggling for free and decolonised education.
"While many of us living here in the United States are privileged, we know that other South African youth are not. They too deserve a right to university education. We feel it is our responsibility to take a stand in solidarity with their call for free education, the call for decolonisation, and the call for workers to be in-sourced and treated with dignity."
The group's demands are listed as calling on the SA government to:
* Agree to free education: South Africa spends only 0.7% of the GDP on higher education. This is well below other developing and middle income countries. "A small tax on the filthy rich would easily pay for free quality education."
* End campus militarisation: Immediately remove violent police and private security from university campuses, end police harassment and arrests of students, and release from prison those students who have been arrested.
* End outsourcing: Bring university workers in-house and ensure that they receive a decent wage.
* Decolonise: Engage with the students and faculty and begin the process of decolonising the university. The university must be a democratic space of critical thinking that ends the dominance of Western modes of thought and the dominance of mediocre white academic.
* The march goes from Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan to the South African Consulate General on 333 E 38th Street, and takes place from 3:30pm - 6pm local time on October 19.
IOL, adapted from a press release