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1990s

po124. Stop Apartheid Repression

This poster was one of a set of four published in January 1990 for the launch of the AAM’s ‘South Africa Freedom Now!’ campaign. The decision to launch the campaign was taken against the background of changes in South Africa and the build-up to the release of Nelson Mandela. The poster highlighted the need for an end to all repression in South Africa before meaningful negotiations could take place.

 
po125. Boycott Apartheid Sanctions Now

This poster was one of a set of four published in January 1990 for the launch of the AAM’s ‘South Africa Freedom Now!’. The decision to launch the campaign was taken against the background of changes in South Africa and the build-up to the release of Nelson Mandela. The poster highlighted the need to maintain sanctions until an agreement had been reached on a transition to democracy.

 
po126. For a United Democratic Non-racial South Africa

This poster was one of a set of four published in January 1990 for the launch of the AAM’s ‘South Africa Freedom Now!’. The decision to launch the campaign was taken against the background of changes in South Africa and the build-up to the release of Nelson Mandela.  The poster flagged up the aim of any negotiations as being the achievement of a united democratic non-racial South Africa.

 
po127. Solidarity with the ANC!

This poster was one of a set of four published in January 1990 for the launch of the AAM’s ‘South Africa Freedom Now!’. The decision to launch the campaign was taken against the background of changes in South Africa and the build-up to the release of Nelson Mandela. The poster highlighted the need for an end to all repression in South Africa before meaningful negotiations could take place.

 
po164. ‘Join the South Africa Freedom Bus’

The AAM converted its ‘Boycott Bandwagon’ into a ‘Freedom Bus’ after the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990. The bus toured Britain in the summers of 1990 and 1991 asking people to campaign for support for genuine democracy in the negotiations for a new constitution in South Africa. The bus was destroyed by arsonists in February 1992 and reduced to a burnt-out shell.

 
tsh02. South Africa Freedom Now!
 
msc15. ‘South Africa Freedom Now!’ mug

After the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990, the AAM campaigned for a democratic South African constitution under the slogan ‘South Africa Freedom Now!’. This mug was produced for the campaign.

 
po122. Mandela Released! Free South Africa Now

Poster celebrating Nelson Mandela’s release and calling for the release of all other South African political prisoners. Mandela visited Britain in April 1990 and spoke at a concert held in Wembley Stadium, London.

 
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.

 
90s01. Southern Africa Coalition Lobby

More than 4,000 people asked their MPs to support the maintenance of sanctions against South Africa on 27 February 1990. The lobby achieved a record coverage, with constituents lobbying 495 of 523 MPs sitting for English constituencies and a majority of Scottish and Welsh MPs. The day before Nelson Mandelaís release, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced that Britain would end its limited restrictions on new investment and tourism. The lobby was organised by the Southern Africa Coalition, a broad-based grouping of church organisations, trade unions, overseas aid agencies and the AAM.

 
90s02. Southern Africa Coalition Lobby meeting

Leaders of the mass movement against apartheid within South Africa were the main speakers at a meeting held at the parliamentary lobby organised by the Southern Africa Coalition on 27 February 1990. The lobbyists asked their MPs to support the maintenance of sanctions against South Africa. The day before Nelson Mandela’s release, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced that Britain would end its limited restrictions on new investment and tourism.

 
90s03. Tell Mrs Thatcher ‘Stop Supporting Apartheid’

The AAM organised a mass demonstration on 25 March 1990 calling for the maintenance of sanctions and the release of all South African political prisoners. It warned that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and South African President de Klerk were advocating a constitution based on ‘group rights’ – apartheid under a different name. The main speaker at the demonstration was Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni.

 
po123. Tell Mrs Thatcher Stop Supporting Apartheid

Poster publicising a march and rally from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square on 25 March 1990. The AAM campaigned throughout the 1980s to pressure Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher into dropping her opposition to sanctions against South Africa. Thatcher declared her intention to lift UK voluntary bans on new investment and tourism promotion on 10 February 1990, the day before Nelson Mandela’s release.

 
pic9004. Rally in Trafalgar Square

Over 20,000 demonstrators packed Trafalgar Square on 25 March 1990 in the first big anti-apartheid demonstration in Britain after the release of Nelson Mandela. Former Robben Island prisoner Andrew Mlangeni told the crowd ‘We were never alone. You continued to inspire us from outside our prison walls’.

 
pic9005. Rally in Trafalgar Square

Over 20,000 demonstrators packed Trafalgar Square on 25 March 1990 in the first big anti-apartheid demonstration in Britain after the release of Nelson Mandela. Former Robben Island prisoner Andrew Mlangeni told the crowd ‘We were never alone. You continued to inspire us from outside our prison walls’.

 
pic9006. Rally in Trafalgar Square

Over 20,000 demonstrators packed Trafalgar Square on 25 March 1990 in the first big anti-apartheid demonstration in Britain after the release of Nelson Mandela. Left to right: Abdul Minty, Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni, AAM Chair Bob Hughes and AAM President Trevor Huddleston.

 
90s05. Message from Nelson Mandela

At the concert held in his honour in Wembley Stadium on 16 April 1990, Nelson Mandela asked the people of Britain and the world to maintain sanctions against South Africa until a democratic constitution was in place. He also appealed for people to join the Anti-Apartheid Movement. This AAM membership leaflet reproduced parts of his speech.

 
gov49. Memorandum to the Council of Ministers of the European Community

This memorandum from the Liaison Committee of the Anti-Apartheid Movements of the European Community expressed concern about the EC’s plan to send a high-level troika of government ministers to South Africa. It proposed terms of reference for the mission. The Liaison Committee was set up in the late 1980s to co-ordinate anti-apartheid action in the European Community.

 
pic9015. Nelson Mandela at Wembley

Nelson Mandela at the Wembley concert held on 16 April 1990.

 
gov51. Memorandum to the Foreign and Colonial Secretary

In the immediate aftermath of the lifting of the bans on the liberation movements in February 1990, the AAM accused the British government of allowing President de Klerk to dictate the scope and pace of change. This memorandum showed how Britain was encouraging the apartheid government to hold out for a constitution that fell short of universal suffrage in a united South Africa. It argued that the lifting of the State of Emergency and release of political prisoners were essential to create a climate conducive to genuine negotiations.

 
 
 
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