News and Events

pic8802 smallHow local activists in the London Borough of Hackney campaigned against apartheid is the theme of a new exhibition at CLR James Library, Dalston Lane, Hackney. Hackney Council declared Hackney an apartheid free zone in the 1980s and Hackney Anti-Apartheid Group pressured local supermarkets to stop selling South African fruit. The borough’s Turkish community joined the campaign to pressure local garages into boycotting Shell. The exhibition runs until the end of February. 

pic6909 copyThe peaceful demonstration against the rugby Springboks game against Swansea on 15 November 1969 erupted into violence when vigilantes attacked student protesters. Police stood by while so-called rugby supporters inflicted horrific injuries on demonstrators trying to stop the game. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-50422755 for contemporary film and photos of the demo, including fascinating new interviews with the Swansea skipper and Springbok Vice-Captain looking back on the tour. 

STST copyFifty years ago the Anti-Apartheid Movement won its first big victory with the cancellation of the Springbok cricket tour scheduled for June 1970. A new pamphlet ‘Apartheid is Not a Game’ by Geoff Brown and Christian Hogsbjerg tells how direct action against the Springbok rugby tour in 1969-70 organised by the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign led to the ban on South Africa’s all-white cricket team. The pamphlet is available from Bookmarks, https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk. Price: £4

Browse an archive of photos and documents

selection of posters

Former activists tell their stories

jerry

A significant part of this project was to record the experiences of former activists in Britain. Jerry Dammers formed the Specials in Coventry in 1977.

An anti-apartheid activist from his school days he helped start Artists Against Apartheid in the UK to campaign and help enforce the cultural boycott.

He wrote the song, Free Nelson Mandela, which became an international hit and helped raise awareness of the plight of Mandela and political prisoners in South Africa.

You can hear him talk about writing the song.

 

Learn about the history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement

pic6404In 1964 Marlon Brando asked film directors, actors and producers to forbid the screening of their films before segregated audiences in South Africa on a visit to London.

In this photograph he is at a press conference with the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty.

The Rolling Stones broke off negotiations for a South African tour and the Beatles announced they opposed apartheid.

Read more about this history starting with the Boycott Movement in 1959, through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.