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1960s (62)
1970s (92)
1980s (169)
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1990s (89)
arm09. ‘Stop the Wasps’

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. Wasp helicopters, manufactured by Westland Helicopters in Hayes, near London, were on the South African shopping list. This leaflet asked all British people who were opposed to apartheid to join the campaign against arms sales.

 

 
pic8414. Demonstration against PW Botha

At least 50,000 people marched through London on 2 June 1984 to tell South African President P W Botha he was not welcome in Britain. The demonstration was the beginning of an upsurge of anti-apartheid action which gathered pace for the rest of the decade. Botha met Prime Minister Thatcher at her country house Chequers, instead of Downing Street, because of the scale of the protest.

 
bom07. Appeal from Chief Luthuli


This statement was published in Boycott News early in 1960. It was signed by Chief Albert Luthuli, President of the ANC, Dr G M Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress and Peter Brown, Chairman of the South African Liberal Party. For the next 35 years the AAM based its boycott campaigns on this appeal. Boycott News was widely circulated in the March Month of Boycott Action. Three issues of the broadsheet were produced.

 
pic9201. ‘No White Veto: Democracy Now’

In February 1992 President de Klerk visited Britain shortly after a whites-only referendum in South Africa on whether constitutional talks should continue. Outside a rugby match at Twickenham, AAM supporters told him the white minority had no right to veto a democratic constitution.

 
gov19. AAM Memorandum for meeting with the Home Secretary

In March 1982 undercover South Africa agents planted a bomb at the ANC’s London office which did extensive damage. The bomb followed a series of burglaries at the offices of the AAM and other Southern African solidarity groups. This memorandum asked the British government to investigate the activities of staff at the South African Embassy in London. It alleged that South Africa used London as a centre for planning subversive activities against independent African states.

 
Pic6306. ‘Save Sisulu and Mandela’

Yusuf Dadoo and Joe Slovo on the march that launched the AAM’s ‘Anti-Apartheid Month’ on 3 November 1963 in response to increasing repression in South Africa and the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his comrades in July.

 
zim05. Letter from Indira Gandhi

Letter from the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, supporting the AAM demonstration calling for majority rule in Rhodesia held in June 1966. The AAM worked closely with the governments of countries in the non-aligned movement, such as India.

 
pic6304. ‘No British Arms for South Africa’ rally

Labour Party leader Harold Wilson at a rally in Trafalgar Square against British arms sales to South Africa on 17 March 1963. He told the Conservative government ‘Act now and stop this bloody traffic in the weapons of oppression’. When Labour came to power in October 1964 it announced a limited embargo, but fulfilled a contract for 18 Buccaneer bomber aircraft and continued to sell spare parts to the South African Defence Force.

 
arm01. ‘No Arms for Verwoerd’

Leaflet publicising a rally in Trafalgar Square on 3 June 1962.

 
pic8105. Day of Action against the Namibian Uranium Contract

On 14 March 1981 the National Union of Students organised a National Day of Action against British Nuclear Fuels contract for the supply of uranium from the Rossing mine in Namibia. In the photograph are protesters at the Department of Energy in Millbank, London. The day was marked by 30 demonstrations all over Britain outside Electricity  Board depots. The action was part of a long-running campaign co-ordinated by the Campaign Against the Namibian Uranium Contract (CANUC). Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Britain imported Namibian uranium in contravention of UN resolutions. 

 
arm10. Declaration against arms sales to South Africa

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This Declaration was launched in November 1970 and in the next seven weeks it was signed by over 100,000 people. It was presented to the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference in Singapore by the AAM’s Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty in January 1971.

 
pic8417. Festival in Jubilee Gardens, 2 June 1984

The march against P W Botha on 2 June 1984 was followed by a free concert in Jubilee Gardens on London’s South Bank. This was one of a series of big music festivals organised by the AAM in the 1980s. It was sponsored by the Greater London Council.

 
Bom08. ‘Boycott South African Goods’

The March Month of Boycott in 1960 was supported by the local Africa Councils set up by the Africa Bureau. This leaflet was distributed by Tyneside Africa Council.

 
pic9203. Funeral service at Boipatong, June 1992

On the night of 17 June 1992 around 40 residents of  Boipatong township were massacred in an attack by supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party. The police did nothing to stop the killings and were later accused of complicity. The massacre was part of a pattern of killings by the IFP and undercover forces. Trevor Huddleston spoke at the funeral of the victims on 29 June. In the photograph he is seen with AAM Executive Secretary Mike Terry and Rev Dr John Lamola, Head of the South African Council of Churches Justice and Social Ministries Department.

 
gov20. Letter from Abdul Minty to Margaret Thatcher

Ruth First was assassinated by South African agents in Mozambique in August 1982. The AAM wrote to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher showing that the killing was part of an escalating pattern of South African aggression, including the bombing of the ANC’s London office in March 1982. It asked her to instruct the British Ambassador in Cape Town to make a formal protest to the apartheid government.

 
zim06. Rhodesia Betrayed?

Postcard circulated to local anti-apartheid committees and student groups in November 1966 and August 1967. Local groups collected signatures to the postcard on high streets and in student unions and thousands were sent to the House of Commons.

 
tsh14. Freedom from Apartheid: Support the Frontline States
 
msc14. ‘Support the Frontline States’ mug

Mug with the legend ‘Isolate Apartheid Support the Frontline States’.

 
pic6404. Marlon Brando and Abdul Minty

Marlon Brando asked film directors, actors and producers to forbid the screening of their films before segregated audiences in South Africa on a visit to London in 1964. In the photograph he is at a press conference with the AAM’s Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty. He also took part in a vigil outside South Africa House calling for the release of political prisoners.

 
pic6501. Vigil to remember the victims of Sharpeville

Anti-apartheid supporters holding wreaths in memory of the 69 people shot at Sharpeville outside South Africa House. An ‘in memoriam’ book was signed by 3,500 people in St Martin’s in the Fields and a public meeting was held there to commemorate the anniversary. Students at University College London held a South Africa week and Cambridge City Council voted to ban South African produce from its civic restaurant.

 
 
 
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