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pic6307. ‘No British Arms for South Africa’ rally

ANC Secretary-General Duma Nokwe speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square against British arms sales to South Africa on 17 March 1963. The main speaker was the Labour Party’s new leader Harold Wilson. He told the Conservative government ‘Act now and stop this bloody traffic in the weapons of oppression’. Also on the platform was Labour MP Barbara Castle, President of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

pic6303. ‘No British Arms for South Africa’ rally

Labour MP Barbara Castle at a rally in Trafalgar Square against British arms sales to South Africa on 17 March 1963. The main speaker was the Labour Party’s new leader Harold Wilson. He told the Conservative government ‘Act now and stop this bloody traffic in the weapons of oppression’. When Labour came to power in October 1964 it announced a limited embargo, but fulfilled a contract for 18 Buccaneer bomber aircraft and continued to sell spare parts to the South African Defence Force.

60s17. Playwrights Against Apartheid

In June 1963 48 British and American playwrights signed a declaration that they would not allow their plays to be performed before segregated audiences in South Africa. This was part of a wider cultural boycott. The actors union Equity already insisted that if members performed in South Africa they must perform in ‘non-white’ venues. The union later took up a declaration promoted by Vanessa Redgrave where members pledged they would not perform in front of segregated audiences.

cul02. Letter from Samuel Beckett, 1963

In June 1963 48 British and American playwrights signed a declaration that they would not allow their plays to be performed before segregated audiences in South Africa. This letter from Samuel Beckett pledges his support for the declaration.

60s33. ‘We Sing of Freedom’ programme

Programme for a fundraising concert with folksingers Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger and South African musician Todd Matshikiza. This was the first of many folk concerts and theatre presentations held to raise funds for the AAM in the 1960s.

60s32. ‘We Sing of Freedom’ leaflet

Leaflet advertising a fundraising concert with folksingers Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger and South African musician Todd Matshikiza. This was the first of many folk concerts and theatre presentations held to raise funds for the AAM in the 1960s.

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.

Pic6306. ‘Save Sisulu and Mandela’

Yusuf Dadoo and Joe Slovo on the march that launched the AAM’s ‘Anti-Apartheid Month’ on 3 November 1963 in response to increasing repression in South Africa and the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his comrades in July.