Presentation on theme: " The Purple Rain Protest, Purple Rain Revolt or Purple Rain Riot was an anti- apartheid protest held in Cape Town on 2 September 1989, four days before."— Presentation transcript:
The Purple Rain Protest, Purple Rain Revolt or Purple Rain Riot was an anti- apartheid protest held in Cape Town on 2 September 1989, four days before South Africa's racially segregated parliament held its elections.
The police were using a new water cannon with purple dye whose purpose was to stain protestors for later identification and arrest. Protesters were warned to disperse, but instead knelt in the street. When the cannon was turned on them, some protestors remained kneeling while others fled; some had their feet knocked out from under them by the force of the jet. In Adderley Street, shoppers ran for cover, their eyes streaming, and a young couple with a baby in a pram were hurriedly ushered into a shop which then locked its doors.
A group of about 50 protesters streaming with purple dye, ran from Burg Street, down to the parade. They were followed by another group of clergymen and others who were stopped in Plein Street. Some were then arrested. On the Parade, a large contingent of policemen arrested everyone they could find who had purple dye on them. When they were booed by the crowd, police dispersed them. About 250 people marching under a banner stating "The People Shall Govern" dispersed at the intersection of Darling Street and Sir Lowry Road after being stopped by police.
After the riot, somebody sprayed graffiti that would make it into the history books. The Cape Times told it this way:[this quote needs a citation] “ Graffiti artists at the weekend sprayed several Cape Town suburban railway stations with slogans reading: Release our leaders, Free our leaders, unban the ANC and Forward to purple people's power, -- a reference to the police use of purple dye in the water cannon directed against demonstrators.... ” Another piece of anti-apartheid graffiti, "The purple shall govern", appeared on the old Townhouse in Greenmarket Square. The statement is play on words of the Freedom Charter's declaration that "The people shall govern". The slogan was used as the title of a book, "The Purple shall govern: a South African A to Z of nonviolent action".
Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always defined as being nonviolent resistance. The people of the purple rain protest were not trying to be outlaws, they just wanted to government to not be racially biased