Marching girls in shock after police opened fire on their peaceful protest, 1976

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The June 16 Uprisings were a protest by the students against the introduction of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in Black schools. They took place at a time when liberation movements were banned throughout the country and South Africa was in the grip of apartheid. The protest started off peacefully in Soweto but it turned chaotic when the police opened fire on unarmed protesting students. By the third day the unrest had gained momentum and spread to the townships around Soweto and other parts of the country.