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.
Peter Brayshaw joined protests against UDI in Rhodesia as a student in the mid-1960s. He joined the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea and travelled to Angola soon after MPLA declared independence in 1975. On his return to Britain he campaigned for international recognition of the MPLA government and later became Chair of the Mozambique Angola Committee. He is currently Vice Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and serves as a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Camden.
In this clip he describes the mood of support in Britain for armed liberation struggles in the late 1960s.
Hanef Bhamjee came to Britain in 1965 to escape detention by the South African security police. He became involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement as a student at Birmingham University. In the 1970s he moved to Cardiff and in 1981 was a founder member of Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement. He served as Wales AAM’s Secretary from 1982 to 1994 and is now Secretary of ACTSA Cymru.
This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the Forward to Freedom history project in 2013.
Vijay Krishnarayan became involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1984 while studying town and country planning at Oxford Polytechnic. As student union president, he was elected to the National Council of the student section of the Labour Party and in 1988 took part in the Mandela Freedom March from Glasgow to London. In 1989, he campaigned against the rebel cricket tour to South Africa before moving on to a career in civil society organisations, promoting people-to-people solidarity.
In this clip Vijay tells how he walked over 600 miles from Glasgow to London as one of the Mandela freedom marchers in the summer of 1988.
Paul Blomfield set up Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Group in 1978 and served as its Secretary until the early 1990s. In 1976 he visited South Africa after the Soweto school students uprising at the request of the ANC. His report of the visit is on this website (stu25. IUS Solidarity Mission Report). He is now the Labour MP for Sheffield Central.
In this clip Paul Blomfield describes how Sheffield AA Group organised a city-wide campaign to pressure Barclays Bank into withdrawing from South Africa.
Sean O’Donovan became involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1984 as a student at Middlesex Polytechnic. He joined Haringey Anti-Apartheid Group in north London and served as its Secretary, and later Chair, until it disbanded in 1994. He was active in the London AA Committee, the co-ordinating body for London anti-apartheid groups, and served on the AAM National Executive. He now works as a caseworker for a Labour MP.
In this clip Sean describes a demonstration at the opening of a local supermarket, where the mayor of Haringey and the local MP joined members of Haringey AA Group in asking the store not to sell South African goods.
Richard Caborn was the Labour MP for Sheffield Central, 1983–2010, and Minister for Sport, 2001–2007. He joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement when he was a trade union official in the 1970s and was a founder member of Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Group. He served as the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s national Treasurer, 1989–1994. In 1984 he became Secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on Southern Africa.
In this clip Richard Caborn tells how the parliamentary group on Southern Africa used a sympathetic Conservative intermediary to make representations to Prime Minister Thatcher about political prisoners on death row.
Anna Kruthoffer (now Anna Murray) first became aware of the Anti-Apartheid Movement when she was a student in the late 1980s. She became an activist in her local AA group in Hackney when she moved to London. She was the secretary of Hackney AA Group and the London AA Committee, which co-ordinated the work of London anti-apartheid groups. In April 1994, she worked in the ANC’s Johannesburg regional office in the run-up to South Africa’s first democratic election.
In this clip Anna recalls how she was drawn into the Anti-Apartheid Movement, meeting political exiles from South Africa and Namibia and establishing links in the local community.
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.
David Haslam is a Methodist minister who attended the seminal Fourth Assembly of the World Council of Churches held in Sweden in 1968. He was one of the founders of End Loans to Southern Africa (ELTSA) in 1974 and later helped set up the EMBARGO campaign against oil shipments to South Africa. In the early 1970s he served on the National Executive Committee of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
In this clip David Haslam describes some of the campaign actions he and his parishioners carried out.
Pauline Webb is a Methodist minister who began her career in the church’s Overseas Division and worked for the Methodist Missionary Society. In 1968 she attended the seminal Fourth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Uppsala, Sweden, which led to the setting up of the Programme to Combat Racism. She served as Vice-Moderator of the WCC and later became Head of Religious Programmes at the BBC World Service. She was a strong supporter of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and spoke at numerous meetings and conferences, including the AAM’s first women’s conference in 1976.
In this clip Pauline Webb describes the controversy provoked within the churches by the WCC’s decision to set up the Programme to Combat Racism.
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 talks about the historical ties between Scotland and South Africa and the arguments within the Church of Scotland over sanctions against apartheid.
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.
Amin Mawani came to London from Kenya in 1975, where he met Susi, who grew up in Heidelberg, Germany. They were both founder members of Ealing Anti-Apartheid Group in West London in the mid-1980s and Amin became the group’s first Secretary. In 1988 he was elected to the AAM’s National Executive Committee and Susi took over as Secretary. Ealing AA Group campaigned for a boycott of South African goods and organised numerous concerts and social events to raise funds for the AAM.
In this clip Susi Mawani reflects on why people joined Ealing AA Group and on how attitudes to apartheid changed.
Kath Harding was the Chair of Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Group and helped set up Sheffield’s Southern Africa Resources Centre. Sheffield AA Group was one of the AAM’s most active local groups and worked with Sheffield City Council, trade unions and churches to make Sheffield a centre of anti-apartheid activity in the 1980s and early 1990s.
In this clip Kath Harding explains how she and other Sheffield activists took their lead from the ANC and people struggling within South Africa.
David Granville joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement in London in the early 1980s and later moved to Sheffield, where he was active in Sheffield AA Group. He was the Co-ordinator of Sheffield Southern Africa Resource Centre, set up in 1988 to provide educational resources on Southern Africa to schools and community organisations.
In this clip David Granville explains how most British institutions and companies had links with apartheid South Africa and how the AAM selected key supermarkets and banks on which to campaign.
Chitra Karve was an Anti-Apartheid Movement staff member from 1986 to 1989 and helped organise the 1988 Nelson Mandela: Freedom at 70 campaign. She was a member of the AAM Women’s and Black Solidarity Committees, and was Chair of the latter. After the formation of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) in 1994 Chitra was elected to ACTSA’s Executive Committee. She is currently Chair of ACTSA.
In this clip she reflects on discussions in the Black Solidarity Committee about whether the AAM should join campaigns against racism in Britain.
Mike Sparham represented the civil service union NUCPS on the Anti-Apartheid Movement trade union committee from the mid-1980s and served as its Chair from 1990 to 1994. He was later the Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).
In this clip Mike Sparham describes the composition and role of the AAM trade union committee.
Anna-Zohra Tikly grew up in a household committed to anti-apartheid campaigning and felt part of an extended family of AAM and ANC political activists. Her father was a political exile from South Africa and her mother was a teacher who had moved to London from Scotland. As a teenager she was active in Haringey Anti-Apartheid Group and later worked in the African National Congress’s London office.
In this clip she reflects on the impact of anti-apartheid campaigns on attitudes to race and multiculturalism in Britain.
Roger Harris joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement when he was a student at the University of East Anglia in the mid-1970s. He later became Treasurer of the London AA Committee and helped start a new AA group in Wandsworth, south London. In 1986, together with Margaret Ling, he set up AA Enterprises, a workers co-operative that produced anti-apartheid T-shirts and marketed products from the frontline states.
In this clip Roger Harris talks about his work with AA Enterprises, and how it spread awareness of the situation in Southern Africa and raised funds for the Anti-Apartheid Movement.