Arms Embargo

pic7014. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

The banner on the plinth in Trafalgar Square at the AAM’s rally on 25 October 1970 protesting against the Conservative’s government’s plans to sell arms to South Africa. Around 10,000 people marched up Whitehall, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. Speakers at the rally included journalist Paul Foot, Dick Seabrook, President of the shopworkers union USDAW, Mike Terry, Secretary of the National Union of Students, Labour MP Reg Prentice, the Bishop of Woolwich and the ANC’s Western Europe representative Reg September. Demonstrators also protested outside the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested. 

pic7015. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

The ANC’s Western Europe representative Reg September speaking at the AAM’s rally on 25 October 1970 to protest against the Conservative’s government’s plans to sell arms to South Africa. The rally was attended by around 10,000 people, who marched up Whitehall, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. The other speakers included journalist Paul Foot, Dick Seabrook, President of the shopworkers union USDAW, Mike Terry, Secretary of the National Union of Students, Labour MP Reg Prentice and the Bishop of Woolwich. Demonstrators also protested outside the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested. 

pic7016. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

Journalist Paul Foot speaking at the AAM’s rally on 25 October 1970 to protest against the Conservative’s government’s plans to sell arms to South Africa. The rally was attended by around 10,000 people, who marched up Whitehall, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. The other speakers included Dick Seabrook, President of the shopworkers union USDAW, Mike Terry, Secretary of the National Union of Students, Labour MP Reg Prentice, the Bishop of Woolwich and the ANC’s Western Europe representative Reg September. Demonstrators also protested outside the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested. 

arm10. Declaration against arms sales to South Africa

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This Declaration was launched in November 1970 and in the next seven weeks it was signed by over 100,000 people. It was presented to the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference in Singapore by the AAM’s Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty in January 1971.

Lgs61. ‘Stop arms for apartheid’

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This leaflet advertised a meeting held by Kensington & Chelsea Anti-Apartheid Group in West London to mobilise opposition. A Gallup poll showed that 71 per cent of the British public were opposed to arms sales. The only weapons sold to South Africa under the 1970–74 government were seven Wasp helicopters.

po012. ‘British arms will make a great contribution to South Africa’s way of life’

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.

po013. ‘British arms will make a great contribution to South Africa’s way of life’

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.

tu08. ‘Stop Arms Sales’ Yorkshire conference

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This leaflet advertised a regional conference in Leeds for British trade unionists, to discuss how to campaign against arms sales to South Africa. Similar conferences took place in Swansea, Manchester, Edinburgh and Croydon, London. A Gallup poll showed that 71 per cent of the British public were opposed to arms sales. The only weapons sold to South Africa under the 1970–74 government were seven Wasp helicopters.