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Women (62)
pic8803. ‘Stop Repression of Trade Unionists’

The apartheid government escalated its repression of trade unionists in 1988 – four trade union leaders were sentenced to death and hundreds were detained. In response the AAM and SATIS (Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society) launched a campaign to defend trade unionists in South Africa and Namibia. It was launched at a demonstration outside the South African Embassy on 1 February 1988 on the day the trial of Moses Mayekiso, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) reopened in Johannesburg.

zim16. ‘Rhodesia or Zimbabwe?’ conference

Leaflet advertising an AAM conference held in October 1975 to mark the tenth anniversary of UDI. The conference discussed the role of South Africa and Britain’s responsibility for Zimbabwe, and provided updates on the economic situation inside the country.

pic8218. AAM Trade Union Conference

The AAM’s trade union conference held on 27 November 1982 was a milestone in winning support from British trade unions. TUC General Secretary Len Murray spoke on an AAM platform. The TUC declared its unequivocal support for economic sanctions against South Africa for the first time. The conference was attended by 264 delegates from 160 trade union organisations. Left to right: AAM Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty, TUC General Secretary Len Murray, General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union Jack Jones, and the AAM’s Trade Union Officer Chris Child.

pic8221. Freedom for David Kitson

Members of City of London Anti-Apartheid Group call for the release of South African political prisoner David Kitson. The Group launched a non-stop picket of South Africa House in August 1982. Kitson served 20 years imprisonment in South Africa and was released in 1984. In the picture on the right are David Kitson’s wife Norma Kitson and son Steve.

pic8305. South African recruitment protest

Students at Newcastle University protested against a visit by representatives of South African mining companies Gencor and Rand Mines in April 1983. The companies were recruiting mining and metallurgy graduates to work in South Africa. Newcastle students also banned the sale of South African Airways tickets through the Student Union and named part of their union building after Nelson Mandela.

tu08. ‘Stop Arms Sales’ Yorkshire conference

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This leaflet advertised a regional conference on arms sales for trade unions, held in Leeds. Similar conferences took place in Swansea, Manchester, Edinburgh and Croydon, London. A Gallup poll showed that 71 per cent of the British public were opposed to arms sales. The only weapons sold to South Africa under the 1970–74 government were seven Wasp helicopters.

tu39. From Apartheid to Democracy in South Africa

Report of a seminar on the role of British trade unions in post-apartheid solidarity. The report reprinted the address of keynote speaker Jay Naidoo, former General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and a Programme of Action for the British trade union movement.

pic8418. Sheffield AA supporters at the Crucible Theatre

Over 500 people picketed the opening night of Funny Girl, starring Marti Caine, at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in 1984. They were protesting against Marti Caine’s 14-month contract at Sun City and her outspoken defence of South Africa. Local Equity members signed a petition supporting the protest. The Crucible later agreed with Sheffield Council that it would not employ actors who appeared on the UN Register of performers who had appeared in South Africa.

stu01. NUS/AAM conference leaflet, 1972

In September 1971 the National Union of Students, the AAM and the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guiné set up a network to coordinate student campaigning on Southern Africa. The aim was to recruit representatives at every British university and college. This letter to student activists publicised the first of the annual conferences held by the network in the 1970s and 1980s. The 1972 conference set out three priorities: disinvestment from companies involved in South Africa, fundraising for the liberation movements and educational work on Namibia.

pic8306. ‘You think you’ve got problems?’

Students from University College London built a hut from scrap materials on the steps of St Martin’s in the Fields to show passers-by how black South Africans lived in shanty towns like Crossroads, October 1983.

tu01. ‘Brother Lend a Hand’

The AAM produced this leaflet for British trade unionists in the early 1960s, when the former President of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU), Leon Levy, worked as its trade union officer. It asked workers to campaign for the isolation of apartheid South Africa and support the struggles of South African trade unionists.

tu28. Yorkshire and Humberside Trade Union Briefing

As local anti-apartheid groups mushroomed in the mid-1980s, they formed regional committees and alliances with local trade union organisations. This briefing for trade unionists was produced by the Yorkshire and Humberside AAM Committee with the support of the Yorkshire Region of the TUC.

tu33. ‘Free Oscar Mpetha!’

Oscar Mpetha was a South African trade union leader and founder member of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU). In 1980 he was arrested after taking part in protests in Nyanga, Cape Town, in which two people were killed. After a long trial he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and eventually released in 1989 soon after his 80th birthday. This leaflet was produced by the AAM and the British Transport and General Workers Union.

70s05. Kitson Committee march

In the early 1970s the Ruskin College Kitson Committee organised an annual march from Oxford to London over the Whitsun holiday. The group campaigned for the release of political prisoner David Kitson, a member of the trade union DATA, who was serving a 20-year sentence in South Africa. This leaflet publicising the march was printed just before the cancellation of the 1970 Springbok cricket tour.

pic8423. ‘Year of the Women’ meeting

South Africa Women’s Day was marked by a packed and enthusiastic meeting in Hackney Town Hall on 9 August 1984. The meeting was organised by the ANC’s London Women’s Committee. Left to right: ANC Women’s Section representatives Florence Maleka and Felicia Mzamo, Labour MP Joan Lestor and Glenys Kinnock. 1984 was designated the Year of the Women by the African National Congress.

pic8519. ‘Surround the Embassy’ student protest

Hundreds of students staged a sit-down protest against apartheid in front of the South African Embassy on 19 October 1985. In a national week of student solidarity more than 300 colleges all over the country took some form of anti-apartheid action. Several Barclays branches were occupied by demonstrators and the NUS renamed its north London headquarters Nelson Mandela House.

stu23. NUS/AAM conference report, 1972

In September 1971 the National Union of Students, AAM and Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guiné set up a student network to coordinate student campaigning on Southern Africa. Every year through the 1970s the network held an annual conference to share information and discuss campaign priorities. This is the report of the first NUS/AAM student network conference, held in September 1972.

pic8805. Save the Sharpeville Six

The Sharpeville Six were sentenced to death in December 1985 because they were present at a protest where black collaborators were killed. In December 1987 the South African Appeal Court rejected their appeal for clemency. Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) responded with a big campaign of letters and postcards asking the British government to intervene. It held weekly demonstrations outside the South African Embassy. In the photograph are leading British trade unionists at the entrance to 10 Downing Street. After a huge international campaign the death sentence was commuted in July 1988.

bdg27. Guernsey is Involved

Badge produced by anti-apartheid supporters in Guernsey, Channel Islands.

tu03. ‘Labour and South Africa’

After Labour won the general election in October 1964 it compromised on its commitment to end all arms sales to South Africa. This leaflet asked trade unionists to ensure that Labour carried out its pledge and to press it to impose economic sanctions against South Africa.

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