Lunch #9: Rhino-Poaching Protesting outside Parliament

Today we were sitting in the office listening to the sounds of vuvuzelas and car horns. Out there, in front of Louis Botha’s horse, in front of the South African Parliament, was a bakkie with a full-size fake rhino on the back surrounded by lots of people dressed in red and black waving placards with slogans like ‘Rhino Horns don’t make you horny”.

People like Gareth Morgan (Shadow Minister of Water & Environmental Affairs and frequent travel companion of the Yummy Politician) were tweeting photos of themselves with placards with slogans like ‘Rhino Horn Won’t Cure Your Disease. Leave Our Rhinos Alone.’

I feel very annoyed about rhino poaching and I too wanted to wave a placard with a slogan. I listened to the vuvuzelaing and horn tooting impatiently, hoping that they’d stick around until I could take my official lunch break (strictly between 1 and 2pm).

Free at last, I approached the seething horde of 40 people with caution. They were dressed in red and black, so I wasn’t sure if this was a repeat of Saturday’s Anti-Secrecy Bill march. (That was my first-ever march. And this would be my first-ever protest. I think activism may be a virus.) I didn’t really feel like protesting the Secrecy Bill twice in one week.

Fortunately, they were there about rhinos and, even more fortuitously, I happened to be wearing the right colour scheme. (It’s very important to wear the right colours for these things. I felt terribly out of place in bright blue on Saturday’s march.)

Unfortunately, the protest seemed to be winding up as I arrived. Clumps of protesters were waving good-bye and then driving past, honking their horns and waving their placards with slogans out of the windows. A fire engine also zoomed by with its siren going, but I think that was unrelated.

I stayed on to the bitter end, until even the rhino had left, waving a placard with a slogan that said, ‘Save A Rhino. Convict A Poher’.

Proudly Placard-Porting Poacher Pesterer

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