1970s

pic7002. Sharpeville Re-enactment, 1970

On the tenth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre the AAM staged a re-enactment in Trafalgar Square. Around 3,000 people watched as actors dressed as South African police took aim and people in the crowd fell to the ground. The event was organised by the AAM and the United Nations Students Association (UNSA).

pic7005. Sharpeville re-enactment, 1970

Bishop Ambrose Reeves speaking at a re-enactment of the Sharpeville massacre staged in Trafalgar Square on 21 March 1970. Around 3,000 people watched as actors dressed as South African police took aim and people in the crowd fell to the ground. The event was organised by the AAM and the United Nations Students Association (UNSA).

int03a. Ethel de Keyser interview clip

Ethel de Keyser worked full-time for the Anti-Apartheid Movement from 1965 to 1974 and was appointed as its Executive Secretary in 1967. She continued to serve on the AAM Executive Committee until the mid-1980s. She later became the Director of the British Defence and Aid Fund and set up the Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa.

In this clip Ethel de Keyser talks about the importance of the visual image of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and describes the dramatisation of the Sharpeville massacre in Trafalgar Square and a show at the Lyceum Theatre in 1970.

70s02. An Evening of Freedom Theatre

On 22 March 1970 the AAM staged a fundraising evening of Freedom Theatre to mark the tenth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. The programme included short plays by leading British playwrights and attracted an audience of 1,500 at the Lyceum Theatre. The evening received wide media coverage. The AAM depended on membership subscriptions and events such as this to fund its campaigns.

pic7010. Sharpeville 10th anniversary vigil, Exeter

Anti-apartheid campaigners marked the tenth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre with a vigil outside Exeter Cathedral on Sunday 22 March 1970.

arm06. Where would Britain’s balance of payments be without them?

This leaflet was issued in the run-up to the 1970 British general election. It accused the Labour government and the Conservative opposition of being equally culpable of giving military support to South Africa.

70s05. Kitson Committee march

In the early 1970s the Ruskin College Kitson Committee organised an annual march from Oxford to London over the Whitsun holiday. The group campaigned for the release of political prisoner David Kitson, a member of the trade union DATA, who was serving a 20-year sentence in South Africa. This leaflet publicising the march was printed just before the cancellation of the 1970 Springbok cricket tour.

pic7003. March for David Kitson, May 1970

In the early 1970s the Ruskin College Kitson Committee organised an annual march from Oxford to London over the Whitsun holiday. The group campaigned for the release of political prisoner and former trade unionist David Kitson, serving a 20-year sentence in South Africa. The 1970 march ended in a rally in Trafalgar Square at which trade union leaders asked workers to refuse to work on arms for South Africa. The photo shows the marchers setting off from High Street, Oxford.