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Women (62)
wom05. Women Against Apartheid conference

This women-only conference, held at Wesley House Women’s Centre in central London in 1989, discussed ideas for campaigning in solidarity with women in Southern Africa. It also talked about the position of women within the AAM and pressed for women to have a more distinctive voice.

wom06. Women in Apartheid South Africa

Set of postcards illustrating South African women’s resistance to apartheid, produced by Leeds Postcards for the International Defence and Aid Fund and distributed by the AAM.

pic6402. Students march for Rivonia trialists

Sussex University students marched from Brighton to London on 12 and 13 June 1964, on the eve of the sentencing of Nelson Mandela and his co-accused. The march was organised by Thabo Mbeki, whose father Govan Mbeki was one of the accused.

pic6501. Vigil to remember the victims of Sharpeville

Anti-apartheid supporters holding wreaths in memory of the 69 people shot at Sharpeville outside South Africa House. An ‘in memoriam’ book was signed by 3,500 people in St Martin’s in the Fields and a public meeting was held there to commemorate the anniversary. Students at University College London held a South Africa week and Cambridge City Council voted to ban South African produce from its civic restaurant.

wom07. Countdown to Democracy

As soon the date of South Africa’s first democratic election was agreed, the AAM launched a ‘Countdown to Democracy’ campaign. This leaflet highlighted the special problems faced by South African women in casting their votes freely and without fear of violence.

pic8110. Southampton boycott

Southampton anti-apartheid supporters asked shoppers to boycott South African goods outside Safeways on 25 April 1981. The action was part of a national consumer boycott day, with action at 40 shopping centres throughout the country. Activists also collected signatures for a national sanctions petition launched on 21 March as part of the AAM’s ‘Isolate Apartheid South Africa – Sanctions Now!’ campaign. Seventy thousand people signed the petition.

tsh16. Solidarity with the Workers of South Africa + Namibia
pic8113. Freedom of City of Glasgow for Mandela

Nelson Mandela was given the Freedom of the City of Glasgow on 4 August 1981. Glasgow was the first of many British cities to honour Mandela in this way. The photograph shows ANC representative Ruth Mompati speaking at a meeting in Glasgow City Chambers held after the award ceremony. Also in the picture are Nigerian Vice-President Alex Ekwueme,  the Lord Provost of Glasgow Michael Kelly and the Chair of the Scottish AA Committee, Brian Filling.

pic8210. St Paul’s Carnival

Activists in the multi-racial area of St Paul’s, Bristol declared it an anti-apartheid free zone in the early 1980s. Opposition to apartheid was so strong that the local Tesco’s stopped stocking South African goods.

tsh17. Viva the Women of Southern Africa!
wom09. South Africa Women’s Day Celebration

Leaflet publicising an event held to celebrate South African Women’s Day, 9 August 1982. The African National Congress Women’s Section was very active in London in the 1980s. It collected goods for the Charlotte Maxeke crèche and Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania and organised activity days for children from families of South African exiles in London.

7901. ‘Release women political prisoners’

ANC women picketed South Africa House to demand freedom for all women political prisoners on 7 March 1979, the eve of International Women's Day. They also called for the release of Solomon Mahlangu. In the photo are former political prisoner Dulcie September and ANC Women’s Section members Ramnie Dinat and Teresa Nannan.

pic8412. Black councillors say ‘No to Botha’

Three local councillors from London’s black community express their opposition to Botha’s visit to Britain in June 1984. Black organisations were prominent in the opposition to the visit. They formed a special mobilising committee and there were many articles in the London black press. The West Indian Standing Conference held on all-night vigil on 1–2 June.

bdg18. Free the South African Railworkers

Four railway workers were sentenced to death after a strike by employees of the South African Transport Service in 1987. They were alleged to have taken part in the killing of four non-strikers. This badge was produced by the Joint Campaign against the Repression of Trade Unionists, set  up by the AAM and leading British trade unions to campaign for the release of South African trade unionists.

wom10. ‘Women under Apartheid’ conference

The AAM’s held its first women’s conference in 1976. It was attended by 150 people from women’s organisations, trade unions and church groups. Speakers included former South African political prisoners Dulcie September and Joyce Sikakane, Labour minister Margaret Jackson and Pauline Webb from the Methodist Church Overseas Division.

pic8301. ‘Leo’s on the List’

Tyneside AA Group picketed a concert by singer-songwriter Leo Sayer in Newcastle City Hall in May 1983. Sayer had played in Sun City, South Africa, in contravention of the cultural boycott. In 1983 the UN Special Committee against Apartheid set up a register of performers who had played in South Africa. Newcastle City Council tried to cancel the concert, but was forced to let it go ahead after consulting legal opinion. In the picture is Namibian student Gotthard Garoeb.

pic8426. Namibian uranium protest

Women demonstrators picketed British Nuclear Fuels plant near Preston in north-west England on 2 November 1984. Earlier in the year a group of women peace activists were gaoled after they gained entry to the BNFL’s plant at Capenhurst, Cheshire. The November picket was one of four protests at BNFL installations in Scotland and northern England. The coordinated demonstrations were part of a national week of action on Namibia organised by the AAM and Namibia Support Committee, 27 October–2 November 1984. In the 1970s and 1980s Britain imported Namibian uranium in contravention of UN resolutions declaring that South Africa’s occupation of Namibia was illegal.

wom11. ‘Women under Apartheid’ conference

The AAM held its first women’s conference in 1976. It was attended by 150 people from women’s organisations, trade unions and church groups. Speakers included former South African political prisoners Dulcie September and Joyce Sikakane, Labour minister Margaret Jackson and Pauline Webb from the Methodist Church Overseas Division.

pic8101. ‘Release Oscar Mpetha!’

British trade unionists protested outside South Africa House on the first day of the trial of veteran South African trade unionist Oscar Mpetha on 3 March 1981. After a long trial Mpetha was sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was released in 1989 soon after his 80th birthday. In the picture is Bill Rampton from the train drivers union ASLEF, with the banner of the committee set up by the draughtsmen’s trade union AUEW (TASS) to support its former member, political prisoner David Kitson.

pic8220. Leeds welcomes ANC representative

Leeds City Council formally welcomed ANC representative Ruth Mompati to Leeds in the winter of 1982. In the picture with Ruth Mompati is the Deputy Lord Mayor Rose Lund. The Council named the gardens in front of the Civic Hall the Nelson Mandela Gardens. Leeds was one of many local authorities to show its opposition to apartheid in the 1980s.

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