South African Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Crowd to Stop Protests Against Obama

| by Amanda Schallert
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South African police barred crowds from protesting against President Barack Obama’s arrival at the University of Johannesburg this week.

Police used rubber bullets and a stun grenade to disperse the crowd outside the university where Obama is expected to receive an honorary doctorate, according to USA Today.

Disappointment with Obama’s presidency was in the air as protesters gathered.

"He's here for our African resources," said Nomagugu Hloma, a 19-year-old student at the University of Johannesburg. "Hands off our gold, oil, diamonds and land." 

On Friday, about 1,000 protesters burned a U.S. flag at the U.S. Embassy and denounced Obama’s actions as president, according to NBC News.

Some of the protesters voiced anger at Obama’s foreign policy, saying they had expected more from the first black president of the United States. 

"We had expectations of America's first black president,” said Khomotso Makola, a 19-year-old law student. “Knowing Africa's history, we expected more.”

Some said they had hoped Obama would increase aid to Africa during his presidency and would close Guantanamo Bay, among other actions.

The protesters who showed up Saturday included more than college students. Corporations and formal organizations in South Africa also rallied and planned to express their disapproval outside the university.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, or COSATU, joined the protest and the Muslim Lawyers Association said for Obama should be arrested for crimes of war.

Sources: USA Today, NBC News