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1970s

po009. SS Sharpeville Massacre Tenth Anniversary

Poster publicising a re-enactment of the Sharpeville massacre in Trafalgar Square on 21 March 1970. Around 3,000 people watched as actors dressed as South African police took aim and people in the crowd fell to the ground. The event received wide media publicity. It was organised by the AAM and the United Nations Student Association.

 
pic7005. Sharpeville re-enactment, 1970

Bishop Ambrose Reeves speaking at a re-enactment of the Sharpeville massacre staged in Trafalgar Square on 21 March 1970. Around 3,000 people watched as actors dressed as South African police took aim and people in the crowd fell to the ground. The event was organised by the AAM and the United Nations Students Association (UNSA).

 
pic7002. Sharpeville Re-enactment, 1970

On the tenth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre the AAM staged a re-enactment in Trafalgar Square. Around 3,000 people watched as actors dressed as South African police took aim and people in the crowd fell to the ground. The event was organised by the AAM and the United Nations Students Association (UNSA).

 
70s01. Sharpeville Massacre Tenth Anniversary

The AAM staged a re-enactment of the Sharpeville shootings in Trafalgar Square on 21 March 1970 to mark the tenth anniversary of the massacre. Bishop Ambrose Reeves, Bishop of Johannesburg at the time of the shootings, spoke about life under apartheid ten years on. The following evening, the AAM presented a programme of specially commissioned short plays by leading British playwrights before an audience of 1,500 at the Lyceum Theatre. Both events received wide media coverage.

 
70s02. An Evening of Freedom Theatre

On 22 March 1970 the AAM staged a fundraising evening of Freedom Theatre to mark the tenth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. The programme included short plays by leading British playwrights and attracted an audience of 1,500 at the Lyceum Theatre. The evening received wide media coverage. The AAM depended on membership subscriptions and events such as this to fund its campaigns.

 
70s04. Action Against Apartheid?

After the cancellation of the Springbok cricket tour in May 1970 the Anti-Apartheid Movement stepped up its campaign to recruit new members. This leaflet publicised the AAM’s campaigns for a total boycott of South Africa and an arms embargo.

 
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.

 
arm11. Arms sales postcard

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. The AAM launched an international campaign in defence of the arms embargo. Thousands of this postcard addressed to Prime Minister Edward Health were distributed to AAM members, and to trade unions and other organisations.

 
arm08. ‘We Say No to Arms to South Africa’

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. The AAM immediately appealed to people in Britain to oppose the decision. This leaflet publicised a 24-hour protest fast in Downing Street by former South African political prisoners. In 1971 a Gallup poll found that 71 per cent of people surveyed were opposed to arms sales.

 
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.

 

 
70s05. Kitson Committee march

In the early 1970s the Ruskin College Kitson Committee organised an annual march from Oxford to London over the Whitsun holiday. The group campaigned for the release of political prisoner David Kitson, a member of the trade union DATA, who was serving a 20-year sentence in South Africa. This leaflet publicising the march was printed just before the cancellation of the 1970 Springbok cricket tour.

 
pic7011. South African Foreign Minister protest

South African Foreign Minister Hilgard Muller was met by AAM demonstrators when he visited the British Foreign Office on 20 July 1970. The visit took place shortly after the announcement by the newly elected Conservative government that Britain would resume arms sales to South Africa.

 
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.

 
po010. Conference on Britain’s economic involvement in South Africa

After the cancellation of the Springbok cricket tour in May 1970, the AAM relaunched its campaign to end economic links with South Africa. This poster advertised a conference on Britain’s trade and investment stake in apartheid. The aim of the conference was to highlight the role of British companies like ICI and the British Steel Corporation in supporting the apartheid economy.

 
arm07. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. Campaigning against arms sales became the AAM’s top priority. This leaflet advertised an AAM demonstration on 25 October. 10,000 people marched up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. Demonstrators also besieged the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested.

 
bar01. Mozambique – Cabora Bassa

The huge Cabora Bassa dam project in Mozambique was a collaboration between South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal. Barclays Bank was first targeted by anti-apartheid campaigners because it was one of the British companies involved. The project was intended to supply electricity to South Africa.

 
bar02. ‘Stop Cabora Bassa – Boycott Barclays’

Barclays Bank was first targeted by anti-apartheid campaigners because it was involved in the Cabora Bassa dam project in Mozambique. The campaign against it grew because it was one of the biggest banks in Southern Africa. The Dambusters Mobilising Committee was a coalition of groups including the AAM set up on the initiative of the African National Congress.

 
po008. ‘Stop Cabora Bassa Dam’

The huge Cabora Bassa dam project in Mozambique was a collaboration between South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal. The project was intended to supply electricity to South Africa. This poster advertised a teach-in to mobilise opposition to investment by British companies in the dam. The campaign was organised by the Dambusters Mobilising Committee, a coalition of groups that included the AAM, Haslemere Group and Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guiné.

 
arm12. ‘Stop the Wasp’

In 1971 the Conservative government agreed to sell seven Westland Wasp helicopters to South Africa. This leaflet publicised a march to the Westland factory in Hayes, near London. Trade unionists from DATA (Draughtsmen’s and Allied Technicians’ Association) refused to work on the contract. The helicopters were supplied, but because of widespread opposition these were the only weapons exported to South Africa under the 1970–74 Conservative government.

 
arm13. Hyde Park rally against arms sales to South Africa

The AAM marked the eleventh anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in 1971 with a rally in Hyde Park against arms sales to South Africa. A dramatised expose of Labour and Conservative governments record on arms sales was presented by artists including Monty Python star Graham Chapman. Because of widespread opposition from the British public the only weapons sold to South Africa by  the 1970–74 Conservative government were seven Wasp helicopters.

 
 
 
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