Athlone pupils stage Freedom Day protest over GBV, racism and bullying
Cape Town - In commemoration of Freedom Day, learners and teachers from Alexander Sinton High School in Athlone, hosted a placard demonstration along Jan Smuts Drive, to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV), racism, and bullying in society.
The group, which consisted of the learner representative council and class representatives, held an hour-long placard demonstration and a drive-by protest which their families, friends, and community by sounding their car horns in support.
Teacher and RCL teacher-learner officer Stephen Lebethe said while discussing activities they host to commemorate Freedom Day, learners came up with the idea to hold the placard demonstration to raise awareness about GBV, racism, and bullying.
Leben said: “Our learners chose the demonstration to commemorate and celebrate Freedom Day because they see and understand that we cannot truly be free as a country while these issues continue to plague our bitterly fought for democracy.
“We, as a school, have a very proud history of struggle and campaigning for those issues which plague our society, we were proud of our learners for taking the initiative to continue the legacy and for actively taking a stand against these issues.”
RCL chairperson Ghusnaa Fakier said: “The idea behind yesterday’s demonstration was not only to raise awareness about some of the gravest social ills that are plaguing our community.
“We believe that as young people it’s important to raise our voices and speak up so we can be a part of driving change. We wanted to also encourage other young people to rise, and unite for a stronger front in sounding the alarm on these issues so that people in power take notice and activate appropriate responses.
“Our country is unique, but our challenges are not. It’s time for things to change and this is but one instance of how we can do that. We are raising awareness today and tomorrow we will continue with a different activity but the goal remains the same, to rid our communities and spaces of these vile challenges. I believe that as young people with the correct mindset we can accomplish this, but it all starts with taking a stance against GBV, racism, and bullying,” said Fakier.