60s06. ‘South Africa is out of the Commonwealth – Apartheid Continues’

This leaflet was distributed by anti-apartheid supporters in Leeds. It highlights the key AAM issues in 1961: arms sales and trade with South Africa, South West Africa (Namibia) and apartheid sports teams.

pic6102. ‘Remember Sharpeville’ rally, 19 March 1961

Labour MP Barbara Castle speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square on the first anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. This was the first of many such events organised by the AAM to commemorate the victims of the Sharpeville shootings, which took place on 21 March 1960.

60s07. Southern Africa – the Unholy Alliance

Leaflet advertising a conference on the alliance between South Africa, the Central African Federation of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Malawi, and Portugal. This was a central theme in AAM campaigns until the Portuguese colonies won their independence in 1975. The conference was attended by around 300 people. It was organised by the AAM, the Movement for Colonial Freedom and the Council for Freedom in Portugal and its Colonies, the precursor of the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau.

60s08. The Unholy Alliance

In the early 1960s the white minority governments of Southern Africa entered into an informal alliance as the rest of Africa gained its independence. Western companies made big profits from mining in South Africa, Rhodesia and Katanga (southern Congo). This pamphlet, by AAM founder member Rosalynde Ainslie, showed how Britain supported white minority rule. It was launched at a press conference in London in 1962 by Irish writer and diplomat Conor Cruise O’Brien.

gov01. Memorandum on the South Africa Bill

After South Africa left the Commonwealth in 1961 the British government passed a ‘standstill Bill’ postponing the removal of Commonwealth trade preferences. In March 1962 the AAM organised a lobby of Parliament against the renewal of the Bill. This memo briefed lobbyists and listed the Conservative MPs most likely to oppose the Bill.

arm01. ‘No Arms for Verwoerd’

Leaflet publicising a rally in Trafalgar Square on 3 June 1962.

60s09. Message from Nelson Mandela

In 1961 Nelson Mandela went into hiding and then left South Africa secretly to meet leaders of independent African countries. He returned to South Africa in July 1962. Shortly afterwards he was arrested and charged with incitement to strike. The Anti-Apartheid Movement organised protests and messages of support. In this telegram he thanks the AAM and says his message is intended as ‘a very firm, warm and hearty handshake from us’.

60s10. Are We Guilty?

This leaflet stressed Britain’s complicity in the apartheid government’s repression of black South Africans. Thousands were distributed during the AAM’s boycott campaign in October 1962.