1960s

arm04. ‘No British Arms for South Africa’

The Labour government elected in October 1964 continued to supply spare parts for South African military equipment and to train SADF personnel. It also supplied 18 Buccaneer aircraft under a contract signed by the Conservative government. The AAM campaigned against this as a betrayal of Labour Leader Harold Wilson’s pledge to ‘stop this bloody traffic in the weapons of oppression’.

60s26. Anti-Apartheid News flyer

In January 1965 the AAM launched a monthly newspaper, Anti-Apartheid News. It told the British public about life under apartheid and publicised AAM campaigns. AA News was published 10 times a year without a break until 1994.

60s22. Lobby of Parliament postcard

The AAM had high hopes of the Labour government elected in 1964, but was soon became disillusioned by its failure to impose a total arms embargo against South Africa. On 8 March 1965 it organised a lobby of Parliament. It printed 30,000 of these postcards with a picture of the Sharpeville massacre for supporters to send to the Prime Minister.

60s24. AAM Programme, 1965

Leaflet setting out the AAM’s campaign programme, February to June 1965.

60s25. ‘Fight apartheid with your shopping basket’

This leaflet asking shoppers to boycott South African goods was produced as part of the AAM’s 1965 campaign.

pic6501. Vigil to remember the victims of Sharpeville

Anti-apartheid supporters outside the South African Embassy in London holding wreaths in memory of the 69 people shot at Sharpeville, on the fifth anniversary of the massacre in 1965. An ‘in memoriam’ book was signed by 3,500 people in St Martin’s in the Fields and a public meeting was held there to commemorate the anniversary. Students at University College London held a South Africa week and Cambridge City Council voted to ban South African produce from its civic restaurant.

60s23. South Africa Freedom Day

In June 1965 the AAM presented a dramatisation of life under apartheid. This leaflet advertised the event and set out campaign priorities for 1965.

pic6502. Launching an academic boycott of South Africa

Philosophers Isaiah Berlin and A J Ayer were among the supporters of an academic boycott of South Africa launched in 1965. The boycott pledge was signed by 509 British academics. Left to right: Professor K W Wedderburn from the London School of Economics, AAM President David Ennals MP, and novelists Angus Wilson and Iris Murdoch at the launch of the boycott in the House of Commons.