Students at Rhodesia's multi-racial University College Sunday (May 18) launched a four-day protest against the government's plans for a referendum on a new apartheid-style constitution.
Students at Rhodesia's multi-racial University College Sunday (May 18) launched a four-day protest against the government's plans for a referendum on a new apartheid-style constitution. The campaign started at the College Chapel where students and supporters gathered to sign a petition and hold a special service.
One of the principal supporters of the campaign is the Rev. Paul Burrough, Anglican Bishop of Mashonaland, a long-time active critic of the Smith government and the policies of apartheid.
The College protest is mainly aimed at stirring-up public opinion against the proposed constitutional reforms and came a day after the government announced that a white paper setting out their plans would be published on May 21st. Although no official date has been set for the referendum, well-informed sources reported that it would be held on June 30. The country's white majority electorate will be asked to answer two questions -- whether they want a new constitution; and whether they want a Republican form of government in Rhodesia. Opponents to the new Constitution feel that it would bring stronger apartheid measures into effect.
Organisers of the protest insist that it is non-violent and will be restricted to the Campus -- featuring sit-ins, lectures and the sending of letters to world figures, including United Nations Secretary General U Thant. But certain more militant African students have called for demonstrations in the centre of Salisbury -- in an attempt to attract attention by provoking police action.