1970s

pic7203. ‘No Independence Before Majority Rule’

A protester is dragged away during scuffles with police after a rally in Trafalgar Square demanding No Independence Before Majority Rule in Zimbabwe on 13 February 1972. At the end of the rally demonstrators marched to Rhodesia House in the Strand, where the police brought up reinforcements, including police horses. The police then charged into the crowd and police snatch squads made arbitrary arrests. Altogether 43 people were arrested.

pic7204. Petition against the Rhodesia settlement proposals, 1972

A petition calling for no independence for Rhodesia before majority rule was delivered to 10 Downing Street on 21 March 1972. It was part of the AAM’s campaign for the rejection of the Conservative government’s 1971 proposals for a settlement with the illegal Smith regime. The petition was widely circulated and reprinted in the Guardian newspaper. It was signed by 80,000 people. On the left in the photograph are Labour MPs Joan Lestor and Alex Lyon and on the right trade union leader Jack Jones.

zim12. Pearce Commission London hearings

The Pearce Commission was set up to determine whether the proposals agreed by the Conservative government and the Smith regime in November 1971 were acceptable to the majority of the Zimbabwean people. The AAM organised daily pickets outside the Commission’s London hearings in March 1972 calling for no independence before majority rule. The Commission found that the majority of Zimbabweans rejected the proposals, in spite of widespread intimidation within the country.

zim13. ‘Fight the Sell-out’

This leaflet drew attention to the widespread repression within Zimbabwe while the Pearce Commission was conducting its test of African opinion on the settlement proposals agreed by British Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home and Ian Smith in 1971. It set out ways in which AAM supporters could alert British public opinion to the failure of the proposals to ensure African majority rule.

pic7205. South Africa rugby tour protest

A protester being carried away by police after trying to block a coach carrying the England rugby team to the airport en route to South Africa on 12 May 1972. Demonstrators formed a human barrier in front of the coach. Others disrupted a training session. The England team played seven matches in South Africa against segregated teams, including an international against the all-white Springboks in Johannesburg on 3 June 1972.

po019. Prominent South African public figure seeks white workers

Poster showing a picture of Prime Minister Vorster superimposed on a picture of the South African police attacking African women. It asked British workers not to emigrate to South Africa and highlighted the role of leading British companies in supporting apartheid.

70s06. AAM membership leaflet

The AAM depended on membership subscriptions and donations from individual supporters to fund its campaigns. This membership leaflet asked people in Britain to join the AAM and support its campaigns to end the many ways in which Britain supported apartheid.

pic7301. ‘We demand recognition of African trade unions’

British trade unionists picketed South Africa House calling for the recognition of African trade unions on 15 February 1973. In 1973 a work stoppage at British company Metal Box’s South African subsidiary in Durban sparked a wave of strikes by thousands of African workers. The AAM asked British trade unions to show their solidarity.