On the afternoon of Wednesday, 21 October, xenophobic attacks broke out in Grahamstown. Foreign nationals as well as South African citizens from other parts of the country were attacked, and their shops looted. The Unemployed People's Movement warned police of rising tensions in the community, and convened a community meeting on October 12 to discuss matters with the police.
Despite their efforts, on 21 October, members of the UPM found themselves standing between flying bricks and the shopfronts, pleading with the attackers to stop or helping the people inside to escape. The police, for their part, were monitoring a peaceful and legal protest by Rhodes students and staff at the western end of the city.
Subsequent to the attacks, UPM released an issue of its newsletter dedicated to what transpired. Download it here to read about the police's conduct as well as reflections from UPM members and Rhodes University staff and students.