1970s

tu05. TUC fringe meeting, 1970

Every year the AAM held a fringe meeting at TUC congress. The 1970 congress took place soon after the newly elected Conservative government announced it would resume arms sales to South Africa. The AAM worked with sympathetic unions to ensure that congress passed a resolution deploring the decision.

arm07. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. Campaigning against arms sales became the AAM’s top priority. This leaflet advertised an AAM demonstration on 25 October. 10,000 people marched up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. Demonstrators also besieged the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested.

arm10. Declaration against arms sales to South Africa

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This Declaration was launched in November 1970 and in the next seven weeks it was signed by over 100,000 people. It was presented to the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference in Singapore by the AAM’s Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty in January 1971.

po012. ‘British arms will make a great contribution to South Africa’s way of life’

Poster for the AAM’s campaign against the resumption of arms sales to South Africa by the 1970–74 Conservative government. The campaign was supported by the churches and the TUC. It involved marches, threats by trade unionists to boycott work on arms for South Africa and a 100,000-signature declaration presented at the 1971 Commonwealth conference in Singapore. As a result of the campaign, the only weapons sold were five Westland Wasp helicopters.

po013. ‘British arms will make a great contribution to South Africa’s way of life’

Poster for the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s campaign against the resumption of arms sales to South Africa by the 1970–74 Conservative government. The campaign was supported by the churches and the TUC. It involved marches, threats by trade unionists to boycott work on arms for South Africa and a 100,000-signature declaration presented at the 1971 Commonwealth conference in Singapore. As a result of the campaign, the only weapons sold were five Westland helicopters.

70s08. Cabora Bassa and the Struggle for Southern Africa

The huge Cabora Bassa dam project in Mozambique was a collaboration between South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal. The project was intended to supply electricity to South Africa. This pamphlet was written for the Dambusters Mobilising Committee, a coalition of groups set up to campaign against the involvement of British companies in the project. The pamphlet and a campaign poster were funded by the WCC’s Programme to Combat Racism.

tu08. ‘Stop Arms Sales’ Yorkshire conference

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This leaflet advertised a regional conference in Leeds for British trade unionists, to discuss how to campaign against arms sales to South Africa. Similar conferences took place in Swansea, Manchester, Edinburgh and Croydon, London. A Gallup poll showed that 71 per cent of the British public were opposed to arms sales. The only weapons sold to South Africa under the 1970–74 government were seven Wasp helicopters.

arm14. ‘British arms will make a great contribution to South Africa’s way of life’

One of the first decisions of the Conservative government elected in June 1970 was to resume arms sales to South Africa. This leaflet described life under apartheid and set out the moral case for an arms ban.