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Women (62)
tu30. Merseyside conference

This conference for trade unionists was one of many regional initiatives in the mid and late 1980s. It brought together local trade unionists and anti-apartheid activists. The conference focused on campaigning for sanctions and the role of the ANC in South Africa and SWAPO in Namibia.

tu34. ‘Free the trade unionists’

In 1988 the apartheid regime stepped up its repression of the South African trade union movement. This leaflet highlighted four cases where trade unionists were detained or put on trial. It also publicised the situation of trade unionists in Namibia.

pic8409. London Against Racism rally

ANC President Oliver Tambo was the main speaker at the London Against Racism rally held at Friends Meeting House by the Greater London Council on 21 March 1984. In December 1983 the GLC launched an Anti-Apartheid Declaration pledging that it would discourage all links between London and apartheid South Africa.

pic8522. Unveiling a bust of Nelson Mandela

ANC President Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zenani Mandela unveiled a bust of Nelson Mandela on London’s south bank on 28 October 1985. The bust was created by sculptor Ian Walters and sponsored by the Greater London Council.

pic8806. Save the Sharpeville Six

Women from the ANC Women’s Section and AAM Women’s Committee demonstrated in support of Theresa Ramashamola to mark 8 March, International Women’s Day. Theresa was one of the Sharpeville Six, who 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 campaign of letters and postcards asking the British government to intervene. After huge international protests the death sentence was commuted in July 1988.

tu04. ‘Is This Justice?’

This leaflet was a direct appeal to British workers from the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU). It asked them not to emigrate to South Africa and to press for disinvestment from British firms that operated there. From the early 1970s SACTU had an office and representative, John Gaetsewe, in Britain. In 1976 it set up a Liaison Committee to foster links with British trade unions. It worked closely with the AAM’s Trade Union Committee.

tu37. ‘Resistance and Represssion’ trade union conference

Programme for a conference on trade unions in South Africa held on 24 February 1990. After the banning of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1988, the trade union movement led the opposition to apartheid. The conference mobilised support for trade unionists who had been arrested and detained.

pic8408. Protest against South African ads

Members of City Anti-Apartheid Group picketed the Guardian newspaper’s head office in February 1984 in protest against its refusal to ban South African advertisements.

pic8521. Tyneside march for sanctions

Anti-apartheid supporters on Tyneside marched through Newcastle upon Tyne to show their support for sanctions against South Africa on 7 December 1985.

pic8810. Save the Sharpeville Six

Young AAM supporters at a vigil for the Sharpeville Six in front of Nottingham Town Hall on 13 April 1998.

bdg28. AA women’s badge

Prismatic version of the anti-apartheid women’s badge.

tu07. ‘Carr’s industrial bill is oppressive … ’

AAM supporters distributed this leaflet on a TUC demonstration against the UK Industrial Relations Bill introduced by Conservative Employment Minister Robert Carr in 1971.

pic8422. Demanding the right to demonstrate

In June 1984 the police banned anti-apartheid protesters from the pavement in front of South Africa House. City of London AA Group supporters demonstrated against the ban on the steps of St Martin’s in the Fields, 22 June 1984.

pic8427. Call for the release of UDF detainees

In August 1984 the South African government detained the leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF). The UDF organised a boycott of the segregated elections held under South Africa’s new constitution. After being temporarily freed, six of the detainees took refuge in the British consulate in Durban. Students in Britain picketed the South African embassy to demand safe passage for the detainees.

pic8524. Hackney and Tower Hamlets AA protest

Hackney and Tower Hamlets AA Group outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall in east London in 1985. They were protesting outside an exhibition sponsored by Barclays Bank. Barclays was the biggest high street bank in South Africa.

tu09. Brother Whose Side Are You On?

The AAM set up a Trade Union Action Group to work in the trade union movement in 1968. This leaflet highlighted the part played by British companies in exploiting black workers and asked British trade unionists to support workers in all the white-ruled Southern African countries.

pic8505. Edinburgh Week of Action Against Apartheid

Anti-apartheid supporters unveiled the AA logo on the Mound in Edinburgh as part of a local authority week of action against apartheid, 18–22 March. The week was organised by the Scottish Committee for Local Authority Action set up at a conference in Glasgow on 21 March 1985. In the picture are Edinburgh District Councillor Chris McKinnon and members of Edinburgh AA Group.

pic8607. ‘Boycott the banks who subsidise the slaughter’

Anti-apartheid supporters in Penzance, Cornwall ask passers-by not to bank with Barclays in February 1986.

tu10. TUC delegation to South Africa

In 1973 the TUC sent a delegation to South Africa which called on the subsidiaries of British companies to recognise African trade unions. The AAM opposed the recommendation on the grounds that it condoned British investment in apartheid. This leaflet stressed that the TUC and International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) already had policy calling for the withdrawal of all British capital from South Africa.

pic8920. ‘William Ntombela must not hang’

William Ntombela was one of several South African trade unionists sentenced to death in 1989. The British shopworkers union USDAW launched a petition for his release, signed by 5,000 members.  In the photograph USDAW General Secretary Garfield Davies (left) displays the petition. Partly as a result of the campaign the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

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