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.

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.

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.

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

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’.

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.

Leaflet publicising a meeting calling on the British government to support UN sanctions against South Africa in October 1962.

In July 1962 the Anti-Apartheid Movement adopted a constitution which set up a democratic structure under which policy was decided by individual members and affiliated organisations. This leaflet sets out its three aims. The constitution was largely unchanged until 1988, when a new category of local members was set up and the annual meeting became a delegate conference.