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pic5002. Demonstration in Hyde Park, London

Anti-apartheid protest by exiled South African students and their supporters.

pic5003. Black Sash demo at South Africa House

Supporters of the Movement for Colonial Freedom opposite South Africa House, Trafalgar Square in June 1956. They were collecting signatures for an anti-apartheid petition to South African Prime Minister J G Strydom.

pic5001. Protest outside South Africa House, London

Anti-apartheid protest against apartheid laws introduced by South Africa’s first National Party Prime Minister, D F Malan.

bom01. Launch of the Boycott Movement, 1959

Report of the meeting held in Holborn Hall on 26 June 1959 to launch a boycott of South African goods. The speakers were Julius Nyerere, then President of the Tanganyika Legislative Council, Kanyama Chiume from Nyasaland (later Malawi), ANC representative Tennyson Makiwane, Vella Pillay, representing the South African Indian Congress, and Rev. Michael Scott. The meeting was organised by the Committee of African Organisations. This report appeared in the July issue of the Transvaal Indian Congress Bulletin and is the only known contemporary account of the meeting.

bom02. ‘Boycott Slave-Drivers Goods’

Leaflet published by the Committee of African Organisations at the launch of the boycott campaign. This was the first of many leaflets asking British shoppers to boycott South African goods. It was distributed in London shopping centres in the summer of 1959.

bom03. Letter from the Committee of African Organisations, July 1959

This letter asked supporters of the boycott of South African goods to distribute leaflets in three London shopping centres in August 1959. A special subcommittee of the Committee of African Organisations was set up to organise the boycott following the meeting to launch the Boycott Movement on 26 June. It was unable to sustain activity in the run-up to the October 1959 British general election and a re-formed boycott committee was set up in November.

bom04. Caribbean Women’s National Assembly

This leaflet was published by the Caribbean Women’s National Assembly in Trinidad in response to the British boycott initiative in 1959. The Boycott Movement wrote to organisations all over the world to internationalise the boycott campaign. Caribbean countries were among the first to boycott South African goods in the 1950s.

bom05. For and against the boycott, July 1959
 
Correspondence in a north London newspaper, the Finchley Press, 24 and 31 July 1959. Like the writer of one of these letters, opponents of the boycott often argued that it would hurt black workers. The Boycott Movement countered this by publicising an appeal for a boycott from ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli and other anti-apartheid leaders within South Africa.