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1960s (62)
1970s (92)
1980s (169)
Namibia (101)
1950s (3)
1990s (89)
pic7703. AAM march and rally, 6 March 1977

Labour MP Joan Lestor addressed an AAM rally in Trafalgar Square, 6 March 1977. She said that British firms invested in South Africa because cheap black labour produced high profit rates. Also on the platform (left to right) are AAM Chair Bob Hughes MP, Neil Kinnock MP, SWAPO representative Shapua Kaukungua, Joan Lestor MP, Pauline Webb from the Methodist Conference and AAM Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty.

 
Pic8207. ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Choose’ demonstration

The AAM’s ‘Southern Africa: the Time to Choose’ conference culminated in a 15,000-strong march and rally on 14 March 1982. The rally in Trafalgar Square was the biggest anti-apartheid demonstration since Sharpeville in 1960. Speakers included ANC Secretary General Alfred Nzo, representatives of the Labour and Liberal Parties and the TUC, asylum seekers campaigner Anwar Ditta and the only black member of the British Sports Council, Paul Stephenson. On the morning of the demonstration a bomb blast destroyed part of the ANC’s London office.

 
bom02. ‘Boycott Slave-Drivers Goods’

Leaflet published by the Committee of African Organisations at the launch of the boycott campaign. This was the first of many leaflets asking British shoppers to boycott South African goods. It was distributed in London shopping centres in the summer of 1959.

 
pic9102. ‘Apartheid Kills Commuters’

Thousands of South Africans were killed in the late 1980s and early 1990s in ‘black on black’ violence instigated by undercover forces. After the signing of a National Peace Accord in South Africa, AAM activists distributed leaflets at London train stations on 13 September asking British commuters to write to the South African government asking it to stop the violence.

 
gov14. Memorandum on Oil Sanctions and Rhodesia

The Bingham Inquiry found that British oil companies Shell and BP had supplied oil to Rhodesia in contravention of UN sanctions. This memorandum asked the British government to ensure that the companies restricted oil supplies to South Africa to pre-UDI levels to prevent the re-export of oil to the illegal Smith regime. It called for the extension of sanctions to South Africa unless it gave assurances that it would implement UN sanctions against Rhodesia.

 
pic6101. Commonwealth conference, 8 March 1961

In 1961 South Africa was forced to withdraw the Commonwealth because of its racial policies. The AAM held a 72-hour non-stop vigil outside the Commonwealth conference at Marlborough House. It organised a rota of people prominent in British public life, who wore black sashes marking the Sharpeville and Langa massacres. 

 
pic7304. Namibia Day, 1 June 1973

AAM supporters picketed the headquarters of the mining company Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) in St James’s Square, London on Namibia Day, 1 June. RTZ operated the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia in defiance of a judgement by the International Court of Justice that South Africa’s rule there was illegal.

 
pic7706. Soweto anniversary demonstration

Demonstrators marched through central London on 18 June 1977 to mark the first anniversary of the Soweto uprising. The march was organised by the National Union of Students and National Union of School Students, with support from the AAM. Two days before, Nkosazana Dlamini and Canon Collins spoke at a commemoration service in the crypt of St Martin’s in the Fields. In Scotland AAM supporters held a vigil outside South Africa’s Glasgow consulate. 

 
pic8214. ‘Bophuthatswana House’ protest

Three young anti-apartheid supporters joined a demonstration at the opening of an ‘embassy’ for the Bophuthatswana Bantustan in Holland Park, West London on 7 September 1982. ‘President’ Lucas Mangope was given a special travel document by the British government to attend the opening. The government refused to recognise Bophuthatswana as an independent state and ‘Bop House’ had no diplomatic status.

 
bom03. Letter from the Committee of African Organisations, July 1959

This letter asked supporters of the boycott of South African goods to distribute leaflets in three London shopping centres in August 1959. A special subcommittee of the Committee of African Organisations was set up to organise the boycott following the meeting to launch the Boycott Movement on 26 June. It was unable to sustain activity in the run-up to the October 1959 British general election and a re-formed boycott committee was set up in November.

 
pic9103. ‘Vote for Democracy’ campaign

Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown and former leader David Steel MP cast symbolic votes as part of the AAM’s ‘Vote for Democracy’ campaign at their party conference in September 1991. The AAM was calling for ‘one person one vote’ in response to the National Party’s constitutional proposals, which gave special voting rights to the white minority.

 
gov15. Memorandum to the British Government

Memorandum presented by the AAM at a meeting with Richard Luce, Under Secretary at the Foreign Office, in June 1980. The AAM protested at Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s statement welcoming changes in South Africa’s domestic policies, after police had opened fire on students in Cape Town. It questioned the British government’s claim that it had no standing on the issue of the release of Nelson Mandela.

 
zim01. A Manifesto on Rhodesia

Manifesto calling on the Labour government to break off the talks with Ian Smith opened in May 1966 and ask the UN to impose mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia. It was circulated to local Labour parties, but received a poor response.

 
tsh09. Solidarity with the Women of Angola

T-shirt produced by AA Enterprises for the March 1988 Month of Action in solidarity with the frontline states, organised by the AAM. Royalties from the T-shirt were given to the Organisation of Angolan Women (OMA) as part of AA Enterprises policy of building trade with the frontline states.

 
pic6102. ‘Remember Sharpeville’ rally, 19 March 1961

Labour MP Barbara Castle speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square on the first anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. This was the first of many such events organised by the AAM to commemorate the victims of the Sharpeville shootings.

 
pic7604. ‘Save SWAPO Leaders’

SWAPO leaders Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo were sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act on 12 May 1976. The Namibia Support Committee and Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) promoted an international campaign for their release. It distributed thousands of postcards calling on the British government to intervene and held a demonstration outside South Africa House. The SWAPO leaders were released on appeal in 1977. Left to right: Liberal MP Richard Wainwright, Botswana High Commissioner B M Setshango, TGWU General Secretary Jack Jones, SWAPO representative Peter Katjavivi, Labour Party General Secretary Ron Hayward, Amnesty International Director David Simpson and AAM Chair John Ennals.

 
arm06. Where would Britain’s balance of payments be without them?

This leaflet was issued in the run-up to the 1970 British general election. It accused the Labour government and the Conservative opposition of being equally culpable of giving military support to South Africa.

 
pic8215. ‘Bophuthatswana House’ protest

Anti-apartheid supporters protested outside the reception at the opening of an ‘embassy’ for the Bophuthatswana Bantustan in Holland Park, West London on 7 September 1982. ‘President’ Lucas Mangope was given a special travel document by the British government to attend the opening, but the government refused to recognise Bophuthatswana as an independent state and ‘Bop House’ had no diplomatic status.

 
bom04. Caribbean Women’s National Assembly

This leaflet was published by the Caribbean Women’s National Assembly in Trinidad in response to the British boycott initiative in 1959. The Boycott Movement wrote to organisations all over the world to internationalise the boycott campaign. Caribbean countries were among the first to boycott South African goods in the 1950s.

 
pic9104. ‘Vote for Democracy’ campaign

Local councillors in the London Borough of Lambeth cast symbolic votes as part of the AAM’s ‘Vote for Democracy’ campaign in 1991. The campaign called for ‘one person one vote’ in response to the National Party’s constitutional proposals, which gave special voting rights to the white minority.

 
 
 
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