1960s

pic6303. ‘No British Arms for South Africa’ rally

Labour MP Barbara Castle at a rally in Trafalgar Square against British arms sales to South Africa on 17 March 1963. The main speaker was the Labour Party’s new leader Harold Wilson. He told the Conservative government ‘Act now and stop this bloody traffic in the weapons of oppression’. When Labour came to power in October 1964 it announced a limited embargo, but fulfilled a contract for 18 Buccaneer bomber aircraft and continued to sell spare parts to the South African Defence Force.

60s17. Playwrights Against Apartheid

In June 1963 48 British and American playwrights signed a declaration that they would not allow their plays to be performed before segregated audiences in South Africa. This was part of a wider cultural boycott. The actors union Equity already insisted that if members performed in South Africa they must perform in ‘non-white’ venues. The union later took up a declaration promoted by Vanessa Redgrave where members pledged they would not perform in front of segregated audiences.

60s33. ‘We Sing of Freedom’ programme

Programme for a fundraising concert with folksingers Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger and South African musician Todd Matshikiza. This was the first of many folk concerts and theatre presentations held to raise funds for the AAM in the 1960s.

60s32. ‘We Sing of Freedom’ leaflet

Leaflet advertising a fundraising concert with folksingers Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger and South African musician Todd Matshikiza. This was the first of many folk concerts and theatre presentations held to raise funds for the AAM in the 1960s.

Pic6306. ‘Save Sisulu and Mandela’

Yusuf Dadoo and Joe Slovo on the march that launched the AAM’s ‘Anti-Apartheid Month’ on 3 November 1963 in response to increasing repression in South Africa and the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his comrades in July.

60s14. Anti-Apartheid Month, November 1963

The Anti-Apartheid Movement launched an ‘Anti-Apartheid Month’ in November 1963 in response to increasing repression in South Africa and the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his comrades in July. Its three main demands were an end to arms sales to South Africa, asylum for political refugees and the release of political prisoners. Anti-apartheid meetings were held all over Britain during the month, most of them organised by university anti-racialist societies and addressed by recently arrived South African refugees like Joe Slovo.

po002. March Against Apartheid, 3 November 1963

 The AAM launched an Anti-Apartheid Month in November 1963 with a march led by its president, Labour MP Barbara Castle. Speakers in Trafalgar Square included Vanessa Redgrave, Humphrey Berkeley, Woodrow Wyatt, Rev. Nicholas Stacey and Robert Resha of the ANC. The rally coincided with a UN Security Council debate on South Africa. Anti-apartheid meetings were held all over Britain during the month, most of them organised by university anti-racialist societies and addressed by recently arrived South African refugees like Joe Slovo.

po186. ‘No Arms for Apartheid’

The Anti-Apartheid Movement launched an ‘Anti-Apartheid Month’ in November 1963 in response to increasing repression in South Africa and the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his comrades in July. This poster, calling for an end to arms sales to South Africa, was part of the publicity for the month. The AAM was asking for an end to arms sales to South Africa, asylum for political refugees and the release of political prisoners. The campaign was launched with a march through London on 3 November. Meetings were held all over Britain during the month, most of them organised by university anti-racialist societies and addressed by recently arrived South African refugees like Joe Slovo.