1970s

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.

pic7302. Solidarity with South African strikers

John Gaetsewe of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) outside South Africa House on 15 February 1973. With him are T P Callinan from the shopworkers union USDAW and Eddie Marsden from the construction workers union. Embassy officials rejected a letter signed by the general secretaries of 12 British unions condemning apartheid.

pic7308. ‘Rhodesia after Pearce’ conference, 1973

In May 1972 the Pearce Commission found that the Smith-Home proposals for a settlement in Zimbabwe were unacceptable to the majority of Zimbabweans. The following year on 24 February 1973, the AAM organised a conference that looked at the significance of the new situation in Zimbabwe for developments in the rest of Southern Africa. It showed how South Africa was violating sanctions against the Smith regime and giving it military support. Left to right: Abdul Minty, John Sprack, Didymus Mutasa, chair of the multi-racial Cold Comfort Farm Society, and Guy Clutton-Brock.

zim14. ‘Rhodesia After Pearce – Betrayal or Freedom?’

In May 1972 the Pearce Commission found that the Smith-Home proposals for a settlement in Zimbabwe were unacceptable to the majority of Zimbabweans. This leaflet advertised an AAM conference looking at the significance of the new situation in Zimbabwe for developments in the rest of Southern Africa.

pic7303. South African student ban protest

The apartheid government banned the entire leadership of the black student organisation SASO (South African Student Organisation) in February 1973. Leaders of NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) were also banned. British students picketed South Africa House on 2 March 1973 in protest against the bannings.

pic7314. AAM trade union conference, 1973

Starting in 1969, the AAM held an annual conference to build support among British trade unionists. The conference held in March 1973 stressed the importance of building a rank and file solidarity movement. In the photograph (left to right): James Phillips and Archie Sibeko (Zola Zembe) of SACTU, Robert Skillicorn from the public sector workers union NUPE, Christine Page from the shopworkers union USDAW and Colin Clark from NUPE.