1980s

tu23. Isolate Apartheid

The conference for trade unionists organised by the AAM on 27 November 1982 was a milestone in its attempts to win support from the British trade union movement. This report reproduces speeches made by TUC General Secretary Len Murray and Abdul Minty, Hon. Secretary of the AAM. This was the first time the TUC declared its unequivocal support for economic sanctions against South Africa. It was also the first time the TUC General Secretary spoke on an AAM platform. The conference was attended by 264 delegates from 160 trade union organisations.

pic8219. Lesotho vigil

In December 1982 South Africa forces crossed the border into Lesotho and massacred 42 South African refugees and Lesotho nationals. This was part of a pattern of South African armed raids and destabilisation of the frontline states throughout the 1980s. The photograph shows anti-apartheid supporters holding a torchlight vigil at South Africa House immediately after the raid.

pic8220. Leeds welcomes ANC representative

Leeds City Council formally welcomed ANC representative Ruth Mompati to Leeds in the winter of 1982. In the picture with Ruth Mompati is the Deputy Lord Mayor Rose Lund. The Council named the gardens in front of the Civic Hall the Nelson Mandela Gardens. Leeds was one of many local authorities to show its opposition to apartheid in the 1980s.

pic8224. Nelson Mandela Gardens, Leeds

In 1982 Leeds City Council renamed the gardens in front of Leeds City Hall Nelson Mandela Gardens.

80s10. ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Act’ workshop

The AAM followed up its ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Choose’ conference held in 1982 with a campaign on the theme ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Act’ the following year. This leaflet advertised a London Anti-Apartheid Committee workshop for local activists in March 1983. It focused on sanctions against South Africa, action against its illegal occupation of Namibia, support for political prisoners and how to build a British movement to help defend the frontline states against South African aggression.

po197. Southern Africa: The Time to Act

Poster produced for the AAM’s 1983 ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Act’ campaign. The campaign warned that South Africa was a threat to peace in Southern Africa and the world. It asked the British government to end its collaboration with the apartheid regime and impose sanctions on South Africa. It called for support for UN moves to bring about the independence of Namibia and for support for the Southern African front-line states in the face of South African aggression. 

80s15. Southern Africa ’83 Manifesto

The AAM drew up this Manifesto for Action as the centrepiece of its ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Act’ campaign in 1983. It was launched at a press conference in London on 24 March. Its aim was to promote discussion on Southern Africa in the run-up to the June 1983 British general election. The manifesto was sent to Prime Minister Thatcher and all the political party leaders. Tens of thousands were distributed throughout Britain.

80s11. ‘Time to Act’ conference, Scotland

This conference in Glasgow was held as part of the AAM’s 1983 ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Act’ campaign. It discussed action on Namibia and the frontline states as well as South Africa. From its formation in 1976 the Scottish AA Committee held events in Scotland that tied in with national events organised by the national AAM in London.