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pic8216. Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College exhibition

A north London community bookshop hosted a photo exhibition and collection box for the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in the summer of 1982. Left to right: ANC representative Ruth Mompati, Jim Corrigall of Haringey AA Group, local councillor Pat Tonge, Dave Palmer of Reading Matters bookshop and local councillor Ernie Large.

 
int43t. Mike Pye transcript

Mike Pye was a Sheffield Labour Councillor from 1984 to 2010. As lead spokesperson on anti-apartheid issues, he steered through the Council policies on boycotting South African goods and barring artists who had performed in South Africa from Sheffield City Hall. He helped set up Local Authorities Against Apartheid (LAAA) and chaired its National Steering Committee from 1984 to 1994.

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

 

 

 

 
int47t. Talal Karim transcript

Talal Karim came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1971 and supported anti-apartheid campaigns as a student at Warwick University. He later became a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Islington and a member of its Race Equality Committee. He represented Islington Council on Local Authorities Against Apartheid (LAAA) and was one of the main movers behind the Council’s Declaration on Southern Africa, and support for the African National Congress (ANC) and South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO).

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

 

 
int43a. Mike Pye interview clip

Mike Pye was a Sheffield Labour Councillor from 1984 to 2010. As lead spokesperson on anti-apartheid issues, he steered through the Council policies on boycotting South African goods and barring artists who had performed in South Africa from Sheffield City Hall. He helped set up Local Authorities Against Apartheid (LAAA) and chaired its National Steering Committee from 1984 to 1994.

In this clip Mike Pye explains how Sheffield City Council used a section of the Local Government Act that called on local authorities to foster good race relations as legal justification for not awarding a contract to Shell.

 
int47a1. Talal Karim interview clip 1

 

Talal Karim came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1971 and supported anti-apartheid campaigns as a student at Warwick University. He later became a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Islington and a member of its Race Equality Committee. He represented Islington Council on Local Authorities Against Apartheid (LAAA) and was one of the main movers behind the Council’s Declaration on Southern Africa, and support for the African National Congress (ANC) and South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO).

In this clip Talal Karim remembers how he checked that there were no South African products on sale in the Council’s staff canteen.

 
int45a2. Brian Filling interview clip 2

Brian Filling became involved in anti-apartheid campaigning as a student at Glasgow University in the late 1960s. He was a founder of the Scottish AAM Committee in 1976 and served as its Chair from 1976 to 1994, when he became Chair of ACTSA Scotland. He was a member of the Executive Committee of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) from 1994 to 2011 and is now Honorary Consul for South Africa in Scotland. He was awarded the National Order of Companions of O R Tambo, the highest award made to non-South Africans, by the Republic of South Africa in 2012. 

In this clip Brian Filling describes how Nelson Mandela visited Glasgow in 1993 to meet representatives from the nine British cities who had given him the freedom of their cities.

 
int47a2. Talal Karim interview clip 2

 

Talal Karim came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1971 and supported anti-apartheid campaigns as a student at Warwick University. He later became a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Islington and a member of its Race Equality Committee. He represented Islington Council on Local Authorities Against Apartheid (LAAA) and was one of the main movers behind the Council’s Declaration on Southern Africa, and support for the African National Congress (ANC) and South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO).

In this clip Talal Karim explains why he became an anti-apartheid activist and describes his meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1993.

 

 

 
pic8503. Local authorities demand sanctions

Local councillors handed in a petition for sanctions to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on 18 March 1985. The petition was supported by 42 councils. Local authorities all over Britain organised exhibitions and film shows and supported local AA group activity during a week of action against apartheid, 18–22 March. Left to right: Councillors Mike Pye (Sheffield), Phil Turner, Phyllis Smith (Sheffield), Paul Boateng (GLC) and Hugh Bayley (Camden).

 
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.

 
pic8113. Freedom of City of Glasgow for Mandela

Nelson Mandela was given the Freedom of the City of Glasgow on 4 August 1981. Glasgow was the first of many British cities to honour Mandela in this way. The photograph shows ANC representative Ruth Mompati speaking at a meeting in Glasgow City Chambers held after the award ceremony. Also in the picture are Nigerian Vice-President Alex Ekwueme,  the Lord Provost of Glasgow Michael Kelly and the Chair of the Scottish AA Committee, Brian Filling.

 
pic8220. Leeds welcomes ANC representative

Leeds City Council formally welcomed ANC representative Ruth Mompati to Leeds in the winter of 1982. In the picture with Ruth Mompati is the Deputy Lord Mayor Rose Lund. The Council named the gardens in front of the Civic Hall the Nelson Mandela Gardens. Leeds was one of many local authorities to show its opposition to apartheid in the 1980s.

 
pic8224. Nelson Mandela Gardens, Leeds

In 1982 Leeds City Council renamed the gardens in front of Leeds City Hall Nelson Mandela Gardens.

 
pic8418. Sheffield AA supporters at the Crucible Theatre

Over 500 people picketed the opening night of Funny Girl, starring Marti Caine, at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in 1984. They were protesting against Marti Caine’s 14-month contract at Sun City and her outspoken defence of South Africa. Local Equity members signed a petition supporting the protest. The Crucible later agreed with Sheffield Council that it would not employ actors who appeared on the UN Register of performers who had appeared in South Africa.

 
pic8409. London Against Racism rally

ANC President Oliver Tambo was the main speaker at the London Against Racism rally held at Friends Meeting House by the Greater London Council on 21 March 1984. In December 1983 the GLC launched an Anti-Apartheid Declaration pledging that it would discourage all links between London and apartheid South Africa.

 
pic8522. Unveiling a bust of Nelson Mandela

ANC President Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zenani Mandela unveiled a bust of Nelson Mandela on London’s south bank on 28 October 1985. The bust was created by sculptor Ian Walters and sponsored by the Greater London Council.

 
pic8505. Edinburgh Week of Action Against Apartheid

Anti-apartheid supporters unveiled the AA logo on the Mound in Edinburgh as part of a local authority week of action against apartheid, 18–22 March. The week was organised by the Scottish Committee for Local Authority Action set up at a conference in Glasgow on 21 March 1985. In the picture are Edinburgh District Councillor Chris McKinnon and members of Edinburgh AA Group.

 
pic8707. Shell boycott campaign

On 1 March 1987 the AAM launched a boycott of Shell as part of an international campaign organised with groups in the USA and the Netherlands. Shell was joint owner of one of South Africa’s biggest oil refineries. It was a lead company in South Africa’s coalmining and petrochemicals industries. During the March Month of People’s Sanctions activists picketed Shell garages all over Britain. The photograph shows Frances Morrell, Leader of the ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) with David Haslam from Embargo outside a Shell garage in north London with a mock gun symbolising Shell’s support for the South African Defence Force. Embargo was a co-ordinating group set up to campaign against oil supplies to South Africa.

 
pic8710. Southwark boycott of Shell

The leader of Southwark Council in south London, Anne Matthews, joined a picket of a local Shell garage in May 1987. The picket was part of an international week of action, when the AAM’s London Committee organised demonstrations outside over 100 Shell garages in London. Shell was joint owner of one of South Africa’s biggest oil refineries. It was a lead company in South Africa’s coalmining and petrochemicals industries. The AAM launched its ‘Boycott Shell’ campaign on 1 March 1987.

 
boy39. Your Right to Choose

This booklet was produced by the London Borough of Lambeth in south London. It gave advice to Lambeth residents on how to check if goods on sale in local shops came from South Africa or Namibia. It was carefully worded so as not to break new laws restricting the powers of local authorities to support consumer boycott campaigns.

 
boy41. Islington Council Says Don’t Buy South African Goods

Sticker produced by Islington Borough Council in north London asking shoppers not to buy South African goods.

 
 
 
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