Free Mandela

Pic8003. Torchlight procession for Nelson Mandela, Glasgow

Scottish AAM supporters marched through Glasgow on 12 December 1980, calling for the release of Nelson Mandela .

pic8103. Vigil at St Martin’s in the Fields

Vigil on the steps of St Martin’s in the Fields on 16 March 1981, calling for the release of Nelson Mandela. Left to right: Dulcie September, Theo Kotze, former Director of the South African Christian Institute, former political prisoners Stephen Lee and Tim Jenkin, British miners leader Mick McGahey and actor Joanna Lumley. The vigil was the start of a joint campaign by the AAM and the International Defence and Aid Fund.

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 2,000 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.