Local authorities

po087. Lambeth Anti-Apartheid Week

Poster publicising a week of anti-apartheid events in Lambeth, south London in 1986.

las13. Local Authority Action Against Apartheid report

Report of the third biennial conference of Local Authority Action Against Apartheid, held in Glasgow in February 1987.

pic8707. Shell boycott campaign

On 1 March 1987 the AAM launched a boycott of Shell as part of an international campaign organised with groups in the USA and the Netherlands. Shell was joint owner of one of South Africa’s biggest oil refineries. It was a lead company in South Africa’s coalmining and petrochemicals industries. During the March Month of People’s Sanctions activists picketed Shell garages all over Britain. The photograph shows Frances Morrell, Leader of the ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) with David Haslam from Embargo outside a Shell garage in north London with a mock gun symbolising Shell’s support for the South African Defence Force. Embargo was a co-ordinating group set up to campaign against oil supplies to South Africa.

po089. Peterborough Against Apartheid Festival

The Peterborough Against Apartheid festival held in May 1987 featured British folk punk group ‘The Men they Couldn’t Hang’ and singer songwriter Rory McCloud, as well as stalls and speakers from the ANC and SWAPO. Over 1,000 people attended the festival, one of the most successful events ever held in the city. 

pic8710. Southwark boycott of Shell

The leader of Southwark Council in south London, Anne Matthews, joined a picket of a local Shell garage in May 1987. The picket was part of an international week of action, 11–17 May, when the AAM’s London Committee organised demonstrations outside over 100 Shell garages in London. Shell was joint owner of one of South Africa’s biggest oil refineries. It was a lead company in South Africa’s coalmining and petrochemicals industries. The AAM launched its ‘Boycott Shell’ campaign on 1 March 1987.

In May 1988 Local Authorities Against Apartheid organised a conference for local councils on ‘Building Links with the Frontline States’. The conference discussed how to twin local authorities in Britain with their counterparts in the countries of Southern Africa. This pamphlet published the keynote addresses made by Zambian Deputy Foreign Minister Mavis Muyunda and FRELIMO leader Jorge Rebelo.

pic8839. Celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday

Nelson Mandela was awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Islwyn in South Wales to mark his 70th birthday in 1988. In the photograph Neil Kinnock MP presents a scroll to Mandela’s lawyer Ismail Ayob with Beyers Naude and Imam Esack looking on. The presentation was one of hundreds of honours conferred on Mandela by British local authorities and other institutions in the 1980s.