1960s

60s35. ‘Anatomy of Apartheid’

Leaflet advertising ‘Anatomy of Apartheid’, a dramatic presentation staged at Central Hall, Westminster on 21 March 1966. The show drew on court case records and personal affidavits from people who had suffered under apartheid. It was scripted by John Hales and Christopher Williams from the Royal Shakespeare Company and starred Joss Ackland, John Bird and Eleanor Bron. The show led to a big increase in the membership of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

nam02. International Conference on South West Africa

From its formation in 1960, the Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned for an end to South Africa’s illegal rule in Namibia (South West Africa). In March 1966 writer Ronald Segal convened a international conference on the territory, sponsored by the AAM and the Africa Bureau, and chaired by the future Prime Minister of Sweden, Olaf Palme. The conference published papers on South Africa’s violation of its mandate, economic and legal issues, and the responsibility of the international community.

zim04. ‘Freedom for Rhodesia’ rally

On 26 June 1966 a crowd estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000 people joined a rally in Trafalgar Square to hear speakers, including British Council of Churches representative Rev. Bill Sargent, speaking on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Judy Todd, call for majority rule in Rhodesia. At a press conference before the march the AAM released a Declaration on Rhodesia signed by 41 ‘eminent people’, including writers Brigid Brophy and Iris Murdoch, pianist Fou T’Song, naturalist Peter Scott, and academics and trade unionists.

zim03. ‘March behind the student banner’

On 26 June 1966 a crowd estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000 people attended a rally in Trafalgar Square calling for majority rule in Rhodesia. This leaflet urged students to join the demonstration. At a press conference before the march the AAM released a Declaration on Rhodesia signed by 41 ‘eminent people’, including writers Brigid Brophy and Iris Murdoch, pianist Fou T’Song, naturalist Peter Scott and academics and trade unionists.

zim06. Rhodesia Betrayed?

Postcard circulated to local anti-apartheid committees and student groups in November 1966 and August 1967. Local groups collected signatures to the postcard on high streets and in student unions and thousands were sent to the House of Commons.

60s27. ‘The Crisis in Southern Africa’, conference

The morning session of this conference highlighted South Africa’s alliance with the Smith regime in Rhodesia and Portugal, the colonial power in Angola and Mozambique. The afternoon session reflected the AAM’s disillusion with the Labour government. Similar conferences were held in Manchester in February and Birmingham in June 1967.

pic6701. MPs protest at naval visit

A delegation of MPs on their way to 10 Downing Street to hand in a letter protesting at a visit by three British warships to Cape Town in June 1967. A motion ‘regretting the visit’ was tabled in the House of Commons and a lobby of Parliament took place on 31 May. Left to right: Liberal MP and President of the AAM David Steel, Liberal MP John Pardoe, Labour MPs Joan Lestor, Joyce Butler and Hugh Jenkins, Lord Brockway, and Labour MPs Frank Judd, Michael Barnes and Andrew Faulds.

gov03. Letter from S Abdul (Abdul Minty) to Harold Wilson

In November 1967 reports in the British press suggested that the Labour government was about to lift its arms embargo against South Africa. The AAM wrote to Foreign Secretary George Brown, who agreed to meet an AAM delegation, but failed to give assurances that the arms ban would be maintained. After protests from Labour MPs and three crisis Cabinet meetings, Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced that the arms embargo would stay.