Free Mandela

int55a2. Anne Page interview clip 2

Anne Page lived in South Africa as a teenager and was recruited to the staff of the Anti-Apartheid Movement as Information Officer during the Rivonia trial in 1963–64. She helped organise the Trafalgar Square demonstration held on 14 June 1964 to demand clemency for Nelson Mandela and his co-accused. In 1965 she became the founding editor of the AAM’s monthly newspaper Anti-Apartheid News. As a councillor in the London Borough of Islington in the late 1970s, she was the first Chair of the council’s Race Relations Committee.

In this clip she describes how it was widely expected that Nelson Mandela and the other Rivonia trialists would be condemned to death.

pic6401. ‘Save These Lives’, 1964

After Nelson Mandela and seven of his co-accused were convicted of sabotage on 11 June 1964 there was a real danger that the trial judge would impose the death sentence. Supporters in London kept up a three-day vigil opposite South Africa House and 50 MPs marched from the House of Commons to present a petition to the South African ambassador. The vigil culminated in a rally in Trafalgar Square on 14 June. When the sentence of life imprisonment was announced on 12 June it was seen as a victory for the international campaign to save the lives of the eight men.

pic6405. ‘Do You Believe People Should Die?’

 

After Nelson Mandela and seven of his co-accused were convicted of sabotage on 11 June 1964 there was a real danger that the trial judge would impose the death sentence. Supporters in London protested outside South Africa House and 50 MPs marched from the House of Commons to present a petition to the South African ambassador. The actions culminated in a rally in Trafalgar Square on 14 June. When the sentence of life imprisonment was announced on 12 June it was seen as a victory for the international campaign to save the lives of the eight men. 

pic6402. Students march for Rivonia trialists

Sussex University students marched from Brighton to London on 12 and 13 June 1964, on the eve of the sentencing of Nelson Mandela and his co-accused. The march was organised by Thabo Mbeki, whose father Govan Mbeki was one of the accused.

pri13. ‘Jailed for Life’

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 leaflet asked AAM supporters to write to the South African Ambassador and British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home protesting against the sentence. 

po187. ‘Jailed for Life’

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.

mda01. Mandela’s 60th birthday

The international campaign that led to the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 began on his 60th birthday in 1978. British Prime Minister James Callaghan sent birthday greetings from the House of Commons and at a meeting held on 18 July Mary Benson recalled Mandela’s visit to London 16 years before. Politicians and trade union leaders signed a birthday card which they attempted to deliver to the South African Embassy. Ffity thousand copies of this leaflet were distributed by the AAM.

pic7807. Mandela’s 60th birthday

Anti-apartheid supporters and ANC members picketed South Africa House to mark Nelson Mandela’s 60th birthday on 18 July 1978. In the House of Commons Prime Minister James Callaghan sent birthday greetings, and politicians and trade unionists signed a birthday card which they tried to hand in at South Africa House.