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Protest injuries A situational analysis of injurious protests in Gauteng

Pascal Richardson
Lu-Anne Swart
Rajen Govender
Mohamed Seedat


In this article, we investigate contextual and situational circumstances of protest events that record injurious outcomes for civilians and examine how these differ from protests which do not record such outcomes. Using the IRIS database, we examine how contextual factors, including protest period, protest location, reason for protest, and situational factors, such as type of protest, damage to property, arrests and police response contribute to civilian injury. Using logistic regression analysis, it was found that: 1) protest-related injuries were more frequent during the late-2000s than the 2010–15 period; 2) protest location was not a significant predictor of protest injury; 3) protests which recorded arrests and damage to property were more likely to report injurious outcomes; and 4) the addition of an aggressive police response was significant in determining protestor injury outcomes. Our findings have implications for public policing strategies, highlighting the role of different modalities of police response in the mitigation or escalation of injuries at protest events.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2413-3108
print ISSN: 1991-3877