Soweto Uprising 1976 Image Gallery

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Aerial view of Soweto Uprising - June 1976

Aerial view of Soweto Uprising - June 1976 © Hulton Archive / Getty Images

When high-school students in Soweto started protesting for better education on 16 June 1976, police responded with teargas and live bullets. It is commemorated today by a South African national holiday, Youth Day. This gallery of photographs shows both the Soweto Uprising and the resultant aftermath, when rioting spread to other South African cities.

Over 100 people were killed and many more injured on 16 June 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, following anti-apartheid protests. Students set fire to symbols of apartheid, such as government buildings, schools, municipal beerhalls, and liquor stores.

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Army and Police at Roadblock during Soweto Uprising - June 1976

Army and Police at Roadblock during Soweto Uprising - June 1976 © Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Police were sent in to form a line in front of the marchers -- they ordered the crowd to disperse. When they refused, police dogs were released, then teargas was fired. Students responded by throwing stones and bottles at the police. Anti-riot vehicles and members of the Anti-Urban Terrorism Unit arrived. Army helicopters dropped teargas on gatherings of students. Roadblocks were set up at all entrances to Soweto.

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Demonstrators at Soweto Uprising - June 1976

Demonstrators at Soweto Uprising - June 1976 © Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Demonstrators in the streets during the Soweto uprising, South Africa, June 1976. By the end of the third day of rioting, the Minister of Bantu Education closed all schools in Soweto.

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Soweto Uprising Roadblock - June 1976

Soweto Uprising Roadblock - June 1976 © Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Rioters in Soweto use cars as roadblocks during unrest.

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Soweto Uprising Casualties - June 1976

Soweto Uprising Casualties - June 1976 © Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Injured people waiting for treatment after the riots in Soweto, , South Africa. The rioting started after police opened fire on a march by black students, protesting against the use of Afrikaans in lessons. The official death toll was 23; others put it as high as 200. Many hundreds of people were injured.

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Soldier at Riot Near Cape Town - Sept 1976

Soldier at riot near Cape Town - Sept 1976 © Hulton Archive / Getty Images

A South African soldier holding a tear gas grenade launcher during rioting near Cape Town, South Africa, September 1976. The riot follows on from the earlier disturbances in Soweto on 16 June that year. The rioting soon spread from Soweto to other towns on the Witwatersrand, Pretoria, to Durban and Cape Town, and developed into the largest outbreak of violence South Africa had experienced.

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Armed Police at riot near Cape Town - Sept 1976

Armed Police at riot near Cape Town - Sept 1976 © Hulton Archive / Getty Images

An armed police officer trains his rifle on demonstrators during unrest near Cape Town, South Africa, September 1976. The riot follows on from the earlier disturbances in Soweto on 16 June that year.