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Professional groups

pic8712. Lawyers Against Apartheid

Lawyers Against Apartheid was formed in December 1986 and held its inaugural meeting in April 1987. The group campaigned against the abuse of the laws by the apartheid regime. It gave advice to anti-apartheid activists who fell foul of the law in Britain. Left to right: Van Meevan, Martin Mabdetson (ANC), Lord Gifford, Bience Gavanas (SWAPO), Adrienne Barnett (Chair, Lawyers Against Apartheid).

 
int32a. Peter Ahrends interview clip

Peter Ahrends was born in Berlin in 1933. His family fled the Nazis and arrived in South Africa in 1937. He left at the age of 18 to study architecture in London. Peter became chair of UK Architects Against Apartheid, an affiliate of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. He campaigned for a cultural and academic boycott of South Africa and called for the de-recognition of the Institute of South African Architects by the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

In this clip Peter describes his memory of witnessing racism in South Africa as a child.

 
int32t. Peter Ahrends transcript

Peter Ahrends was born in Berlin in 1933. His family fled the Nazis and arrived in South Africa in 1937. He left at the age of 18 to study architecture in London. Peter became chair of UK Architects Against Apartheid, an affiliate of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. He campaigned for a cultural and academic boycott of South Africa and called for the de-recognition of the Institute of South African Architects by the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

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

 
int34a1. Sir Geoffrey Bindman interview clip1

Sir Geoffrey Bindman is a lawyer and was Chair of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS ). SATIS publicised political trials, called for the release of those detained without trial and mobilised public opinion against the hanging of political prisoners.It campaigned for the release of thousands of anti-apartheid activists, including many children, detained under the States of Emergency imposed in the mid-1980s.

In this clip Sir Geoffrey describes his experience of investigating the legal aspects of apartheid and visiting political prisoners in South Africa.

 
int31a2. Jerry Dammers interview clip 2

Jerry Dammers formed the Specials in Coventry in 1977. He was an anti-apartheid activist from his school days, and in 1986 founded Artists Against Apartheid to involve musicians in anti-apartheid campaigns and promote the cultural boycott of South Africa. He wrote the song ‘Free Nelson Mandela’, which became an international hit and helped raise awareness of the situation of Nelson Mandela and political prisoners in South Africa.

In this longer clip (approximately 30 minutes) Jerry taks about his anti-apartheid work.

 
int34a2. Sir Geoffrey Bindman interview clip 2

 Sir Geoffrey Bindman is a lawyer and was Chair of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS ). SATIS publicised political trials, called for the release of those detained without trial and mobilised public opinion against the hanging of political prisoners.It campaigned for the release of thousands of anti-apartheid activists, including many children, detained under the States of Emergency imposed in the mid-1980s.

In  this clip Sir Geoffrey describes the lesson he learnt from Trevor Huddleston never to give up in apparently hopeless campaigns.

 

 
int31t. Jerry Dammers transcript

Jerry Dammers formed the Specials in Coventry in 1977. He was an anti-apartheid activist from his school days, and in 1986 founded Artists Against Apartheid to involve musicians in anti-apartheid campaigns and promote the cultural boycott of South Africa. He wrote the song ‘Free Nelson Mandela’, which became an international hit and helped raise awareness of the situation of Nelson Mandela and political prisoners in South Africa.

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

 
Vid013. Clapham Common 1986

 

Freedom Beat - Artists Against Apartheid, Clapham Common music festival, 1986. Featuring, amongst others, the Style Council, Gil Scott Heron, Billy Bragg, Sade, Maxi Priest, Hugh Masekela, Big Audio Dynamite, Elvis Costello, All Star Band (featuring Jerry Dammers), and Peter Gabriel.

 
tsh32. Free the Children of Southern Africa

T-shirt produced for the campaign to highlight the detention of children in South Africa organised by Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS). The campaign arose from a conference held in Harare in 1987 at which children from South Africa testified about their torture in detention. It was carried forward at a meeting held on 23 April 1988 at City University, London by the Harare Working Group.

 
pic8721. International Conference on Children, Repression and the Law, 1987

In September 1987 a conference in Harare heard testimony from children who had been tortured by the South African security forces. Over 200 health workers, lawyers, social workers and representatives of student, trade union, religious and women’s organisations from 45 countries met children from within South Africa and exiles living in the frontline states. The conference was organised by Bishop Ambrose Reeves Trust (BART). In the photograph Glenys Kinnock listens to one of the witnesses.

 
int03a. Ethel de Keyser interview clip

Ethel de Keyser worked full-time for the Anti-Apartheid Movement from 1965 to 1974 and was appointed as its Executive Secretary in 1967. She continued to serve on the AAM Executive Committee until the mid-1980s. She later became the Director of the British Defence and Aid Fund and set up the Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa.

In this clip Ethel de Keyser talks about the importance of the visual image of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and describes the dramatisation of the Sharpeville massacre in Trafalgar Square and a show at the Lyceum Theatre in 1970.

 
po107. Free the Children from Apartheid

In September 1987 an international conference held in Harare on ‘Children, Repression and the Law in Apartheid South Africa’ brought together representatives of international anti-apartheid movements and activists from within South Africa. They heard testimony from children who had been detained by the South African security forces. The British delegates later formed the Harare Working Group, which organised a conference at City University, London, attended by 700 people. Participants formed groups such as Teachers against Apartheid, Social Workers against Apartheid and Youth & Community Workers against Apartheid.

 
po116. Children and apartheid

After the international conference on ‘Children, Repression and the Law in Apartheid South Africa’ in Harare in September 1987, professionals working with children set up a group under the auspices of  SATIS (Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society) to publicise the treatment of childen under apartheid. This poster advertised a national information tour organised by the group, 22 April–17 May 1989.

 
pro01. Anti-Apartheid Health Committee

The Anti-Apartheid Health Committee was set up in 1978 by anti-apartheid supporters working in the health professions. This leaflet set out its main objectives: to inform people about the impact of apartheid on the health of black South Africans; to end British health organisations’ links with South Africa; and to collect medical aid for the Southern African liberation movements.

 
pro02. Are You Thinking of Working in Sunny South Africa?

The Anti-Apartheid Health Committee tried to persuade British healthworkers not to emigrate to South Africa. Nurses were a special target of South African recruitment ads. This leaflet pointed out that South Africa only needed to recruit nurses from overseas because it trained so few black nurses.

 
pro03. Health Committee Action Day School

This day school drew in many British health professionals to support the work of the Anti-Apartheid Health Committee. It created new interest in its campaigns, especially in fundraising for medical aid for the liberation movements.
 

 
pro24. Children & Apartheid

In September 1987 a conference in Harare heard testimony from children who had been tortured by the South African security forces. Over 200 health workers, lawyers, social workers and representatives of student, trade union, religious and women’s organisations from 45 countries met children living in South Africa and the frontline states. This pamphlet told some of the children’s stories and appealed for support for the Trevor Huddleston Children’s Fund.

 
pro04. Which Way WPA?

This leaflet made the case for the expulsion of South Africa from the World Psychiatric Association. It was distributed at a seminar held at a WPA regional symposium in Helsinki in June 1984, which called for the expulsion of South Africa from world psychiatry. This was the start of a long campaign which won the support of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society.

 
pro05. Medical Aid for Southern Africa

From 1985 Medical Aid for Southern Africa (MACSA) collected medical equipment and funding for the African National Congress hospital in Tanzania. It also liaised with the Namibia Support Committee in providing health kits for the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO). MACSA raised funds through social events and collections in hospitals and medical schools. Many local AA groups collected material aid and cash for MACSA appeals.

 
pro06. ‘Children, Apartheid and Repression in South Africa’

The ‘Children, Apartheid and Repression in South Africa’ conference held in London in April 1988 was a follow-up to an international conference held in Harare in 1987. It examined how professional groups could support children in South Africa and wider anti-apartheid campaigns. The conference gave a big boost to anti-apartheid campaigning among British healthworkers, social workers, lawyers, architects and teachers.

 
 
 
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