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Right to protest: SJC calls on govt to protect communities’ right to be heard

The Social Justice Coalition led the march from Hanover Street in District Six to Parliament on Tuesday.

Scores of SJC members gathered outside Parliament on 19 November 2019 to affirm the #RightToProtest. Demonstrators said freedom of assembly and freedom of expression were still being restricted around the world. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The right to protest was the issue taken up by hundreds of demonstrators in Cape Town’s CBD on Tuesday.

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) led the march from Hanover Street in District Six to Parliament.

Dozens of chanting SJC members gathered outside Parliament dressed in white t-shirts and carried banners with the words “defend the right to protest”.

The demonstrators said they were taking to the streets because freedom of assembly and freedom of expression were still being restricted around the world.

The SJC called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to uphold the values of South Africa’s progressive and transformative Constitution by advocating for communities to be able to assemble and make their voices heard.

Among other issues highlighted was police brutality with the protesters referring to what they called excessive force by police and other law enforcement officials against peaceful demonstrators.