1970s

pic7405. Angela Davis in London

US civil rights leader and former prisoner Angela Davis visited London to campaign for South African political prisoners, 10–13 December 1974. She spoke at a meeting at Friends House organised by the AAM, International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF) and Liberation. She said black Americans felt a special responsibility to support the struggle of their sisters and brothers in Southern Africa. On the right is future Labour Cabinet Minister Charles Clarke.

zim15. ‘Rhodesia or Zimbabwe?’

From 1973, as guerrilla warfare escalated within Zimbabwe, the Smith regime carried out secret hangings of its opponents and charged thousands of people with political offences. This leaflet highlighted the repression and stressed the continued responsibility of the British Labour government as the legal authority in Zimbabwe.

70s13. ‘End Military Collaboration’ demonstration

In December 1974 the Labour government announced it would end the Simonstown naval agreement, but stated that there would be no ban on British ships using South African naval facilities. This leaflet advertised a demonstration on 23 March 1975 calling on the government to end all military collaboration with South Africa.

pic7501. ‘End Labour Government’s Collaboration’

AAM demonstrators marched through central London on 23 March 1975 to call on the Labour government to stop all military collaboration with South Africa. The government ended the Simonstown Agreement, but continued to supply spare parts and hold joint training exercises with the South African navy. In the photograph is Nigeria’s UN Ambassador Edwin Ogbu, Chair of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid.

70s14. ‘Why Are We Marching’

This leaflet was distributed on the AAM demonstration held on 23 March 1975. It argued that changes promised by Vorster and Smith were a sham and that the Labour government was collaborating with the white regimes.

pic7502. ‘Release political prisoners’

AAM supporters picketed South Africa in solidarity with 13 SASO (South African Student Organisation) and BPC (Black People’s Convention) leaders on trial in Pretoria, on 21 April 1975. They were joined by marchers who had walked from Brighton to raise money for SATIS (Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society).

pic7503. ‘We Mourn Bram Fischer’

Bram Fischer was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1966 for conspiring to commit sabotage and membership of the South African Communist Party. In 1963–64 he led the defence team at the trial of Nelson Mandela and his co-accused. The following year he went underground to keep anti-apartheid resistance alive within South Africa. The South African government refused to release him until a few days before his death from cancer on 8 May 1975. More than 300 people people gathered to honour him outside South Africa House.

po178. SWAPO women’s tour, 1975

Poster publicising a speaking tour of Europe by Putuse Appolus from the Namibian Women’s League and a representative of SWAPO’s Youth League in the summer of 1975. The two women spent two weeks in Britain, meeting women’s groups, student unions and labour movement representatives. The UN designated 1975 as International Women’s Year.