Boycott movement

po001. Boycott South African Goods, March 1st to 31st

Poster for the March Month of Boycott, 1960. During the month Boycott Movement supporters all over Britain picketed shops and distributed leaflets asking shoppers not to buy South African goods. The boycott was supported by the Labour and Liberal Parties and the TUC. It was launched at a 15,000-strong rally in Trafalgar Square on 28 February.

bom13. Africa Year 1960

The Labour Party supported the March Month of Boycott Action as part of its 1960 Africa Year initiative. The Boycott Movement was initially wary about the boycott being taken over by the Labour Party, but its involvement made a big difference to the scale of the campaign. Twenty-one Labour local councils banned South African goods from their schools and town halls. The Party organised 27 local conferences all over Britain. The boycott was the main theme of a party political broadcast by Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell on 9 March.

bom14. Boycott Month Campaign Plans

The Boycott Movement circulated these guidelines for setting up local organising committees for the March Boycott Month in 1960. They stressed the need to win broad support for the boycott and suggested approaching faith and women’s groups, trade unions, students and chambers of commerce. They asked supporters to talk to shoppers on the streets, not just pass resolutions.

bom15. Trade unionists back the boycott

The TUC distributed this leaflet calling on trade unionists to boycott South African goods in response to a call from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). It asked them to support the Boycott Committee’s March Month of Boycott in 1959. It held back from taking the more radical step proposed by the ICFTU of asking its affiliated unions to instruct their members not to handle products from South Africa.

Bom08. ‘Boycott South African Goods’

The March Month of Boycott in 1960 was supported by the local Africa Councils set up by the Africa Bureau. This leaflet was distributed by Tyneside Africa Council.

pic6009. Boycott News, 1960

The Boycott Movement produced three issues of its broadsheet, Boycott News, early in 1960. The first issue sold over 100,000 copies and reprinted an appeal for an international boycott of South African goods by ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli. This anti-apartheid supporter was selling the broadsheet outside South Africa House.

bom16. Boycott News No. 1

The Boycott Movement produced three issues of its broadsheet, Boycott News, early in 1960. The first issue printed an appeal by ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli for a boycott of South African goods. The appeal was also signed by Peter Brown, Chairman of the South African Liberal Party and GM Naicker, President of the South African Indian Congress. The broadsheet sold over 100,000 copies.

bom17. Boycott News No. 2

The Boycott Movement produced three issues of its broadsheet, Boycott News, early in 1960. The second issue reported on the progress of the boycott campaign after its launch at a national conference held on 17 January 1960. It printed messages of support from Labour Party leader Hugh Gaitskell and Liberal Party leader Jo Grimond.