Free Mandela

pic8113. Freedom of City of Glasgow for Mandela

Nelson Mandela was given the Freedom of the City of Glasgow on 4 August 1981. Glasgow was the first of many British cities to honour Mandela in this way. The photograph shows ANC representative Ruth Mompati speaking at a meeting in Glasgow City Chambers held after the award ceremony. Also in the picture are Nigerian Vice-President Alex Ekwueme,  the Lord Provost of Glasgow Michael Kelly and the Chair of the Scottish AA Committee, Brian Filling.

pic8212. ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ cycle ride

On 11 October 1982 the AAM launched a new campaign for the release of Nelson Mandela in response to a request from Oliver Tambo. On the eve of the launch supporters took part in a ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ sponsored cycle ride from Richmond Park to Trafalgar Square. Next day the AAM launched an international petition calling for Mandela’s release and held a torchlight vigil outside the South African Embassy.

mda05. ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ international petition

This petition was launched on 11 October 1982, International Day of Solidarity with South African Political Prisoners. At the same time, the Free Nelson Mandela Co-ordinating Committee was set up to ask sympathetic groups to organise events to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 65th birthday on 18 July 1983.

mda03. ‘Release Mandela!’ stickers

These stickers reproduced the logo for the 1982-83 ‘Release Mandela!’ campaign. The logo was used on material advertising events organised under the umbrella of the Free Nelson Mandela Co-ordinating Committee.

mda38. Mayors’ Declaration for Nelson Mandela

Over 20,000 mayors from 56 countries signed a declaration calling for the release of Nelson Mandela in 1982. The Declaration was initiated by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Michael Kelly, after Glasgow conferred the Freedom of the City on Mandela. This booklet lists the mayors who signed the Declaration.

pic8220. Leeds welcomes ANC representative

Leeds City Council formally welcomed ANC representative Ruth Mompati to Leeds in the winter of 1982. In the picture with Ruth Mompati is the Deputy Lord Mayor Rose Lund. The Council named the gardens in front of the Civic Hall the Nelson Mandela Gardens. Leeds was one of many local authorities to show its opposition to apartheid in the 1980s.

pic8224. Nelson Mandela Gardens, Leeds

In 1982 Leeds City Council renamed the gardens in front of Leeds City Hall Nelson Mandela Gardens.

tsh30. Release Nelson Mandela

T-shirt first produced by Barnet Anti-Apartheid Group in 1982 for the campaign to free Nelson Mandela. The group pioneered the production of T-shirts publicising AAM campaigns. From the late 1970s it produced T-shirts and sweatshirts in a range of colours featuring the AAM logo.