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tu19. Trade union conference

In the late 1970s after the Soweto uprising and the growth of independent trade unions in South Africa, there was a big increase in the number of British trade unions affiliated to the AAM. The main theme of this 1979 conference for British trade unionists was the campaign for sanctions against South Africa.

 
pic9003. Lobby of Parliament, February 1990

Four thousand people from nearly every parliamentary constituency in Britain lobbied Parliament on 27 February 1990 calling for a ‘fundamental change in British policy’ towards South Africa. The lobby was organised by the Southern Africa Coalition and was the biggest ever parliamentary lobby on Southern Africa.

 
tu26. ‘Time to Act’ message to trade unionists

The AAM made this appeal to trade unionists in September 1986, soon after a countrywide state of emergency was introduced in South Africa. Its emphasis was on the general campaign for sanctions rather than, as in the 1970s, campaigns against individual companies or support for South African workers.

 
tu27. Trade union conference, 1986

Programme for the AAM conference for trade unionists held on 1 March 1986. The conference focused on disinvestment and trade sanctions. It was attended by around 450 delegates representing 37 trade unions and 29 trades councils.

 
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).

 
gov11. Letter from Bishop Ambrose Reeves to James Callaghan

After the killing of Steve Biko and banning of anti-apartheid organisations in South Africa in 1977, the British government voted for a UN mandatory arms embargo against South Africa. At the same time it announced it would veto a draft UN Security Council resolution imposing economic sanctions. This letter from the AAM’s President Bishop Ambrose Reeves expressed dismay at the decision to veto and asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister. 

 
bdg05. ANC Says Sanctions Now!
 
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.

 
bdg13. Isolate South Africa! Sanctions Now!
 
bdg17. Apartheid No Sanctions Yes
 
tsh18. Sanction South Africa
 
pic8506. AAM demonstration for sanctions

25,000 anti-apartheid supporters marched up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square on 16 June 1985 to demand sanctions against South Africa. They carried coffins symbolising the victims of South African security force massacres in Namibia and South Africa.

 
pic8508. AAM demonstration for sanctions

Clarence Thompson, General Secretary of the West Indian Standing Conference, speaking at the AAM rally in Trafalgar Square on 16 June 1985. 25,000 people marched up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square on 16 June 1985 to demand sanctions against South Africa. Left to right: Jerry Herman from the US Disinvestment Campaign, Trevor Huddleston, Denis Goldberg of the ANC, Clarence Thompson, Zerbanoo Gifford of the Liberal Party and SWAPO leader Hidipo Hamutenya.

 
pic8509. Protest against the South African State of Emergency, 1985

On 20 July 1985 the apartheid government imposed a draconian State of Emergency in key areas of South Africa. As well as protesting outside the South African Embassy, the AAM met Conservative Foreign Office Minister Malcolm Rifkind to press for sanctions against South Africa.

 
pic8513. AAM sanctions press conference

Trevor Huddleston, Jesse Jackson and GLC member Paul Boateng at a press conference to announce a March against Apartheid on 2 November 1985. The march took place just after Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rejected most of the sanctions measures imposed by the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Nassau.

 
pic8514. AAM march for sanctions

The contingent from the Mangrove, All Saints Road, North Kensington, on their way to join the march for sanctions against South Africa on 2 November 1985. In the background is a banner from the Tabernacle Community Centre. 150,000 people marched from east, west and south London to Trafalgar Square on 2 November 1985 to demand British sanctions against South Africa. ANC President Oliver Tambo, SWAPO leader Shapua Kaukungua and US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson all called for a change of government policy. The march was the culmination of an intensive campaign that reached every part of Britain.

 
60s01. Programme of the Anti-Apartheid Committee

After the Sharpeville massacre on 21 March 1960 the Boycott Movement renamed itself the Anti-Apartheid Committee. Its draft programme proposed a ‘Shun Verwoerd’s South Africa’ campaign that took the radical step of moving from an individual boycott of South African goods to UN economic sanctions and the total isolation of South Africa.

 
pic8515. AAM march for sanctions

150,000 people marched from east, west and south London to Trafalgar Square on 2 November 1985 to demand British sanctions against South Africa. In the Square, ANC President Oliver Tambo, SWAPO leader Shapua Kaukungua and US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson all called for a change of government policy. In the picture is Ken Livingstone, Leader of the Greater London Council. The march was the culmination of an intensive campaign that reached every corner of Britain.

 
pic8516. AAM march for sanctions

150,000 people marched from east, west and south London to Trafalgar Square on 2 November 1985 to demand British sanctions against South Africa. In the Square, ANC President Oliver Tambo, SWAPO leader Shapua Kaukungua and US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson all called for a change of government policy. The march was the culmination of an intensive campaign that reached every part of Britain.

 
pic8517. AAM march for sanctions

150,000 people marched from east, west and south London to Trafalgar Square on 2 November 1985 to demand British sanctions against South Africa. In the Square, ANC President Oliver Tambo, SWAPO leader Shapua Kaukungua and US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson all called for a change of government policy. The march was the culmination of an intensive campaign that reached every part of Britain.

 
 
 
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