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.
The Anti-Apartheid Movement launched an ‘Anti-Apartheid Month’ in November 1963 in response to increasing repression in South Africa and the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his comrades in July. This poster, calling for an end to arms sales to South Africa, was part of the publicity for the month. The AAM was asking for an end to arms sales to South Africa, asylum for political refugees and the release of political prisoners. The campaign was launched with a march through London on 3 November. Meetings were held all over Britain during the month, most of them organised by university anti-racialist societies and addressed by recently arrived South African refugees like Joe Slovo.
Poster calling for the release of South African political prisoners, one of three campaign themes of the AAM’s Anti-Apartheid Month in November 1963. The other themes were arms sales to South Africa and protection for refugees.
The World Campaign for the Release of South African Political Prisoners was set up by the AAM in response to a UN General Assembly resolution passed on 11 October 1963 calling for the charges in the Rivonia trial to be dropped and the release of all South African political prisoners. The campaign circulated an international declaration calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and his co-accused. It was largely because of the international campaign that the death sentence was not imposed. This poster was part of the campaign.
It was widely expected that Nelson Mandela and his co-accused in the Rivonia trial would be condemned to death. The campaign for their release was launched immediately after they were sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1964. This poster was part of the publicity for the campaign. The AAM asked people to write to the South African Ambassador and British Prime Sir Alec Douglas-Home protesting against the life sentences.
Poster publicising an AAM march and rally on 23 June 1968. In 1967 and 1968 guerrilla units from the African National Congress (ANC) and Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) joined forces to try and fight their way through Zimbabwe to South Africa. The AAM hailed the armed incursions into Zimbabwe as a new stage in the liberation struggle. This demonstration was part of its campaign to mobilise support for the guerrilla fighters in Britain.
In 1967–68 the AAM campaigned against the ‘unholy alliance’ of South Africa, Portugal and Rhodesia. It supported the attempt by groups of ANC guerrillas to infiltrate South Africa via Rhodesia in alliance with the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), and the guerrilla struggle of FRELIMO in Mozambique. It called for an end to British military support and investment in the white minority regimes.
More than 7,000 people took part in a march to protest against the South African rugby Springboks game against Northern Counties on 26 November 1969. Many of the marchers were students from Manchester and Liverpool Universities. This poster was produced by Manchester students. Around 2,000 police were deployed to stop protesters running onto the pitch. There were anti-apartheid protests at all 24 games in the Springboks 1969/70 tour of Britain and Ireland.
Poster advertising a march at Twickenham before the final match of the1969–70 Springbok rugby tour. Together with Stop the Seventy Tour (STST), the AAM organised protests at all the 23 games in the tour. The protests included mass marches and direct action. They involved a wide range of participants – students, trade unionists, ethnic minority organisations and political parties. Although the tour was completed, the demonstrations paved the way for the cancellation of the Springbok cricket tour in 1970.
With Stop the Seventy Tour (STST) and the Fair Cricket Campaign, the AAM won a big victory in 1970 by forcing the Cricket Council to cancel a planned all-white South African cricket tour. This poster helped mobilise opposition to the tour.
Stop the Seventy Tour (STST) organised direct action against the 1969–70 Springbok rugby tour of Britain. Protesters ran onto the pitch and held up play, and harassed the South African team on their arrival at Heathrow Airport and in their London hotel. Although the tour went ahead, the protests helped secure the cancellation of the Springbok cricket tour planned for 1970.
Stop the Seventy Tour (STST) planned direct action to stop the Springbok cricket tour scheduled for the summer of 1970. The threat of disruption, together with mass demonstrations planned by the AAM and opposition from churches, trade unions and race relations councils, forced the cancellation of the tour.
The huge Cabora Bassa dam project in Mozambique was a collaboration between South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal. The project was intended to supply electricity to South Africa. This poster advertised a teach-in to mobilise opposition to investment by British companies in the dam. The campaign was organised by the Dambusters Mobilising Committee, a coalition of groups that included the AAM, Haslemere Group and Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guiné.
Poster publicising a re-enactment of the Sharpeville massacre in Trafalgar Square on 21 March 1970. Around 3,000 people watched as actors dressed as South African police took aim and people in the crowd fell to the ground. The event received wide media publicity. It was organised by the AAM and the United Nations Student Association.
After the cancellation of the Springbok cricket tour in May 1970, the AAM relaunched its campaign to end economic links with South Africa. This poster advertised a conference on Britain’s trade and investment stake in apartheid. The aim of the conference was to highlight the role of British companies like ICI and the British Steel Corporation in supporting the apartheid economy.
Poster publicising an AAM conference held on 4 July 1971. The main issues discussed at the conference were the proposed settlement on Rhodesia and action against British firms with investments in South Africa. One of the speakers was Caroline Hunter from the US Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement. Polaroid supplied photographic equipment used to produce passbooks for black South Africans. After a long campaign by its largely black US workforce, Polaroid pulled out of South Africa in 1977.
Poster for the AAM’s campaign against the resumption of arms sales to South Africa by the 1970–74 Conservative government. The campaign was supported by the churches and the TUC. It involved marches, threats by trade unionists to boycott work on arms for South Africa and a 100,000-signature declaration presented at the 1971 Commonwealth conference in Singapore. As a result of the campaign, the only weapons sold were five Westland Wasp helicopters.
Poster for the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s campaign against the resumption of arms sales to South Africa by the 1970–74 Conservative government. The campaign was supported by the churches and the TUC. It involved marches, threats by trade unionists to boycott work on arms for South Africa and a 100,000-signature declaration presented at the 1971 Commonwealth conference in Singapore. As a result of the campaign, the only weapons sold were five Westland helicopters.
In February 1971 the AAM set up a special committee to campaign for political prisoners and detainees. It called on the South African government to include political prisoners in the amnesty announced to mark the tenth anniversary of the republic. This poster was produced for the campaign. The prisoners shown include Nelson Mandela, Bram Fischer and Dorothy Nyembe.