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int36t. Peter Brayshaw transcript

Peter Brayshaw took part in protests against UDI in Rhodesia as a student in the mid-1960s. He joined the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea and travelled to Angola soon after MPLA declared independence in 1975. On his return to Britain he campaigned for international recognition of the MPLA government and later became Chair of the Mozambique Angola Committee. He is currently Vice Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and serves as a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Camden. 

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the ‘Forward to Freedom’ history project in 2013.

 
 
int36a2. Peter Brayshaw interview clip 2

Peter Brayshaw joined protests against UDI in Rhodesia as a student in the mid-1960s. He joined the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea and travelled to Angola soon after MPLA declared independence in 1975. On his return to Britain he campaigned for international recognition of the MPLA government and later became Chair of the Mozambique Angola Committee. He is currently Vice Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and serves as a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Camden.

In this clip Peter Brayshaw tells how he and his companion Tracy Warne were caught in fighting between MPLA and FNLA when they visited Angola soon after MPLA declared independence in 1975.

 
 
pic7506. ‘Hands off Angola! Solidarity with MPLA’

In October 1975, South African troops mounted a full-scale invasion of Angola in an attempt to stop the MPLA forming a government. The AAM campaigned for the British government to put pressure on South Africa to withdraw. AAM supporters picketed a meeting addressed by South African Foreign Minister Hilgard Muller at Chatham House on 18 November 1975.

 
pic7507. ‘South African troops out of Angola’

Early in October 1975, South African troops mounted a full-scale invasion of Angola in an attempt to stop the MPLA forming a government. The AAM campaigned for the British government to put pressure on South Africa to withdraw. AAM supporters picketed a meeting addressed by South African Foreign Minister Hilgard Muller at Chatham House on 18 November 1975.

 
fls01. South African invaders out of Angola

This leaflet was circulated early in 1976 to alert the British public to South Africa’s invasion of Angola. The AAM collaborated with the newly formed Angola Solidarity Committee to distribute thousands of leaflets and held a torchlight vigil outside the South African Embassy on 11 February. It asked the British Foreign Secretary to support action against South Africa at the UN Security Council and to recognise the People’s Republic of Angola declared by the MPLA in 1975. South African troops withdrew on 27 March, but the invasion was the first of many attacks in the 1970s and 1980s.

 
fls02. South African invaders out of Angola!

The AAM joined with the newly formed Angola Solidarity Committee early in 1976 to alert the British public to South Africa’s invasion of Angola. It pressured the British government to support action against South Africa at the UN Security Council and to recognise the People’s Republic of Angola declared by the MPLA in 1975. This leaflet publicised a torchlight vigil outside the South African Embassy on 11 February. South African troops withdrew on 27 March, but the invasion was the first of many attacks on Angola in the 1970s and 1980s.

 
fls03. Angolan Women Speak!

Angolan women’s leaders Maria Mambo and Ruth Neto spoke at this meeting in London on 11 November 1976. The meeting was chaired by British trade unionist Terry Marsden. Polly Gaster, the former Secretary of the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guiné, appealed for material support for Angola and Mozambique to help them fight attacks by South Africa and the Rhodesian white minority regime.

 
pic7610. ‘South Africa – Hands off Angola’

Early in October 1975, South African troops mounted a full-scale invasion of Angola and in February 1976 the South African Defence Minister admitted there were still 5,000 troops inside the country. Anti-apartheid protesters picketed the South African Embassy on 11 February 1976 to highlight South Africa’s aggression against the new MPLA government.

 
int36a1. Peter Brayshaw interview clip 1

Peter Brayshaw joined protests against UDI in Rhodesia as a student in the mid-1960s. He joined the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea and travelled to Angola soon after MPLA declared independence in 1975. On his return to Britain he campaigned for international recognition of the MPLA government and later became Chair of the Mozambique Angola Committee. He is currently Vice Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and serves as a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Camden. 

In this clip he describes the mood of support in Britain for armed liberation struggles in the late 1960s. 

 
 
gov17. Letter from the Anti-Apartheid Movement to Margaret Thatcher

Letter to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher calling on the British government to support UN mandatory economic sanctions against South Africa in response to South Africa’s invasion of Angola in 1981.

 
bdg51. ‘Defend Socialism at Birth’

Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau won their independence from Portugal in 1975 after a protracted guerrilla war. This badge was produced by the Mozambique Angola and Guine Information Centre (MAGIC), set up as the Mozambique and Guine Information Centre in August 1975. MAGIC published a bi-monthly magazine about developments in the former Portuguese colonies and recruited volunteers to work in Mozambique.

 
fls04. Living on the Front Line

A FRELIMO delegation led by future Mozambican President Armando Guebuza visited Britain in June 1981 as guests of the newly formed group Stop the War in Angola and Mozambique (SWAM). This leaflet advertised a meeting addressed by Guebuza in Manchester. On 26 June he spoke at a South Africa Freedom Day meeting in London together with ANC President Oliver Tambo. The delegation held discussions with leaders of the AAM on international solidarity with Mozambique.

 
pic8109. Armando Guebuza in London

FRELIMO Central Committee member and future Mozambique President Armando Guebuza at a meeting with representatives of London’s black community, 24 June 1981.

 
fls05. South Africa out of Angola and Namibia

South Africa was still occupying large areas of southern Angola a year after its invasion in August 1981. On the anniversary of the invasion demonstrators picketed the British Foreign Office and the US, French, West German and Canadian embassies in protest against Western governments’ refusal to act against the apartheld government. 

 
fls14. Savimbi Go Home

Led by Jonas Savimbi, UNITA waged civil war in Angola from 1976 to 2002. With South African funding the organisation mounted a public relations operation in Britain and other Western countries. This leaflet accused Savimbi of being a South African surrogate and of helping the apartheid government block talks on Namibian independence.

 
fls18. South Africa’s Record of International Terrorism

South Africa repeatedly raided neighbouring states to abduct or murder political exiles. This pamphlet documented incursions going back to the early 1960s. It showed how the South African security forces had violated the borders of seven independent states. The pamphlet called on the international community to take action against South Africa for violating international law. 

 
pic8219. Lesotho vigil

In December 1982 South Africa forces crossed the border into Lesotho and massacred 42 South African refugees and Lesotho nationals. This was part of a pattern of South African armed raids and destabilisation of the frontline states throughout the 1980s. The photograph shows anti-apartheid supporters holding a torchlight vigil at South Africa House immediately after the raid.

 
fls06. Africa Under Attack

Leaflet publicising a briefing meeting for an international campaign on the theme ‘Stop the Apartheid War’ planned for the autumn of 1983. The campaign followed an international conference on solidarity with Mozambique and Angola held in Lisbon on 25–27 March. The campaign was organised by the AAM, Namibia Support Committee and the newly formed Mozambique Angola Committee (MAC).

 
fls15. Apartheid’s War Against Angola

Starting in 1975, South African forces repeatedly invaded Angola, destroying crops and infrastructure. One of their main aims was to depopulate southern Angola and stop guerrilla fighters from the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) crossing into northern Namibia. This pamphlet called on Western countries to pressure South Africa to reach agreement on the independence of Namibia.

 
pic8430. Angola invasion protest

From the early 1980s young white South Africans who refused to do compulsory military service came to Britain and played an important part in anti-apartheid campaigns. In 1984 the apartheid government extended military conscription for whites. In this picture supporters of COSAWR are protesting against South Africa’s new military offensive against Angola in the winter of 1983/84.

 
 
 
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