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The Sharpeville massacre was when a crowd of between 5,000–7,000 black people protested at the police station in Sharpeville, South Africa on March 21, 1960. The police started shooting into the crowd. A total of 69 people were killed including 8 women and 10 children, and 180 people were injured, including 31 women and 19 children. In South Africa today, this day is a public holiday in honor of human rights.
The demonstration was to protest against pass laws. The crowd went to the police station demanding to be arrested for not carrying their passes. At some point the South African Police started shooting. People have different explanations to what the crowd was doing. Some say that the crowd was peaceful. Others say that the crowd were throwing stones at the police. The shooting started when the crowd started going toward the fence around the police station. Some say this was what led Nelson Mandela to engaging in more violent protests.
- 1960: Scores die in Sharpeville shoot-out: BBC ON THIS DAY | 21 | 1960: Scores die in Sharpeville shoot-out, accessdate: January 5, 2017
- "March 21, 1960 | South African Police Kill 69 Black Protesters in Sharpeville Massacre". The New York Times. March 21, 2012. http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/march-21-1960-south-african-police-kill-69-black-protestors-in-sharpeville-massacre/?_r=0. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- "Sharpeville Massacre, 21 March 1960". South African History Online. March 30, 2011. http://www.sahistory.org.za/article/eyewitness-accounts-sharpeville-massacre-1960. Retrieved January 5, 2017.