The AAM organised a mass march and rally in central London on 30 June 1979 to urge the newly elected Conservative government not to recognise the Muzorewa government in Zimbabwe. Copyright © Andrew Wiard/Report
After the white minority in Southern Rhodesia made a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) from Britain in November 1965, the Anti-Apartheid Movement called for no independence before majority rule (NIBMAR). It campaigned against Labour and Conservative government proposals for compromise with the white regime.
The AAM called for full implementation of UN sanctions against the illegal regime, their extension to South Africa and aid for neighbouring African countries to help them reduce their economic links with Rhodesia.
As guerrilla fighting spread in Zimbabwe after 1973, the AAM appealed to the British public on humanitarian grounds. It publicised the reprisals of the white army and police against black civilians and campaigned against the hanging of guerrilla fighters and civilians accused of aiding them. It called on the British government to condemn death sentences carried out by the illegal regime as murder.
In March 1978 the minority regime negotiated an ‘internal settlement’ and Bishop Abel Muzorewa was elected as Prime Minister. The AAM argued that there could be no democratic constitution without the liberation movements ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People’s Union) and ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union), united from 1976 in the Patriotic Front. In 1979 the AAM joined with other organisations to form the Zimbabwe Emergency Coordinating Committee (ZECC), warning against the recognition of the internal settlement regime by the new Conservative government.
LANCASTER HOUSE AGREEMENT
When the government convened a new round of talks at Lancaster House, London in September 1979, the AAM identified the crucial issues as agreement on a democratic constitution; transitional arrangements that guaranteed free elections; and arrangements for a ceasefire. Under the ZECC umbrella it campaigned for support for the Patriotic Front in the negotiations. After elections won by ZANU-Patriotic Front led by Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe celebrated its independence on 18 April 1980.
Rally in Trafalgar Square calling for No Independence Before Majority Rule on 13 February 1972. Around 15,000 people marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square to protest against the British government’s agreement with the Smith regime. Speakers at the rally were Bishop Abel Muzorewa, leader of the Clyde shipbuilders work-in Jimmy Reid, black activist Althea Jones and Labour MP Michael Foot. Copyright © Christopher Davies/Report
Poster for Week of Action on Zimbabwe, 9-14 May 1977.
Poster for demonstration marking 10 years of UDI.
This petition calling for no independence for Rhodesia before majority rule was launched at an AAM meeting addressed by Judy Todd at the Labour Party conference in October 1971.
Poster for the campaign to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in 1980.