South African police have stepped up action against coloured children involved in a two-week-old school boycott.
SV Police in school compound chasing students (3 shots)
SV & CU Police advancing on schoolchildren
GV & SV Children rounded up by soldiers
SV Schoolchildren running across grounds
GV Line of police wagons
SV PAN Police guarding arrested children
SV Police and students (2 shots)
SV Children being loaded into trucks
SV Police wagons driving off (2 shots)
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Background: South African police have stepped up action against coloured children involved in a two-week-old school boycott. Thousands of pupils throughout the country have been demonstrating against the racially separate system of education.
SYNOPSIS: The tougher approach was illustrated at Westbury High School in a coloured suburb of Johannesburg on Tuesday (29 April). Heavily armed police moved into the school grounds, where more than a thousand students were holding a demonstration. Prime Minister Pieter Botha had war???ed the organisers of the boycott that they would get hurt if the protest did not end.
Police with rifles broke up the demonstration and rounded up hundreds of the schoolchildren. White, black and Indian students at other schools and universities have expressed their support of the anti-apartheid protests. But the boycott has not spread to black schools. More than a hundred thousand coloured children are involved in the action.
Dozens of police trucks were brought into the streets around Westbury High School to take away the students who had been arrested and placed under guard in the compound. Officials said they would be charged under the Riotous Assemblies Act.
In 1976 an estimated 600 black people died in violent confrontations with the police during protests against the education system. the coloured boycott has been largely peaceful, although police have used teargas and baton charges to disperse demonstrators.
Altogether more than 750 Westbury students appeared before magistrates on Tuesday, and others were being held until their parents arrived. Those taken to court were remanded for two weeks and released into the custody of their parents. Most of those arrested were aged between 13 and 18, but the government claims the boycott has been instigated by adult militants.