1960s

pic6005. Sharpeville massacre protest, 27 March 1960

Thousands of people marched through central London on 27 March 1960 to protest against the massacre of 69 unarmed South Africans at Sharpeville on 21 March. The march was organised by the Boycott Movement, together with the Movement for Colonial Freedom and the Committee of African Organisations. It was followed by a rally in Trafalgar Square, organised by the Labour Party. In the days following the shootings, there were scuffles with police outside South Africa House as crowds gathered to protest.

pic6006. Sharpeville massacre protest, 27 March 1960

Twenty thousand people gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest against the massacre of 69 unarmed demonstrators at Sharpeville on 21 March. The rally was organised by the Labour Party. Speakers included African National Congress leader Tennyson Makiwane, Labour’s Colonial Affairs spokesperson James Callaghan and Robert Willis from the TUC General Council. In the days following the massacre crowds gathered spontaneously outside South Africa House.

pic6007. Sharpeville massacre protest, 27 March 1960

James Callaghan, Labour spokesperson on Colonial Affairs, spoke at a 20,000-strong rally in Trafalgar Square on 27 March 1960 to protest against the Sharpeville shootings. The rally was organised by the Labour Party. Also on the platform were African National Congress leader Tennyson Makiwane, Robert Willis from the TUC General Council and Labour MPs Barbara Castle, Anthony Greenwood and Jim Griffiths. In the days following the massacre crowds gathered spontaneously outside South Africa House.

pic6008. Sharpeville massacre protest, 27 March 1960

 

Part of the 20,000-strong crowd in Trafalgar Square at the rally to protest against the massacre of 69 unarmed demonstrators at Sharpeville on 21 March. The rally was organised by the Labour Party. Speakers included African National Congress leader Tennyson Makiwane, Labour’s Colonial Affairs spokesperson James Callaghan and Robert Willis from the TUC General Council. In the days following the massacre crowds gathered spontaneously outside South Africa House.

60s03. ‘The Whole World is Angry’

Leaflet published soon after the Sharpeville massacre calling for a continuation of the boycott of South African goods. The reverse side reprints the list of South African goods on the leaflet distributed during the March Month of Boycott Action.

60s04. Penny Pledge Campaign

After its March Month of Boycott Action the AAM launched a Penny Pledge Campaign to raise funds and keep the boycott going. It asked supporters to donate one penny and sign a pledge not to buy South African goods.

pic6010. Oliver Tambo and Trevor Huddleston

Oliver Tambo and Trevor Huddleston in London in 1960.

pic6101. Commonwealth conference, 8 March 1961

In 1961 South Africa was forced to withdraw the Commonwealth because of its racial policies. The AAM held a 72-hour non-stop vigil outside the Commonwealth conference at Marlborough House. It organised a rota of people prominent in British public life, who wore black sashes marking the Sharpeville and Langa massacres.