1980s

pic8302. Festival of African Sounds, Alexandra Palace

The Festival of African Sounds at Alexandra Palace, north London, celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 65th birthday in July 1983. Zenani Mandela was a special guest. The bust of Mandela in the photograph was created by sculptor Ian Walters. Mandela’s birthday was marked by events all over Britain. The London Borough of Greenwich awarded him the freedom of the borough and public gardens were named after him in Leeds and Hull.

pic8303. Festival of African Sounds, Alexandra Palace

Mike Terry, Bob Hughes MP and Abdul Minty at the Festival of African Sounds held to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 65th birthday in 1983. Zenani Mandela was a special guest. The bust of Mandela in the photograph was created by sculptor Ian Walters. Mandela’s birthday was marked by events all over Britain. The London Borough of Greenwich awarded him the freedom of the borough and public gardens were named after him in Leeds and Hull.

gov25. Letter from Malcolm Rifkind to Trevor Huddleston

The 1980s Conservative government was strongly opposed to sanctions against South Africa, arguing instead for ‘internal reform’. This letter from Malcolm Rifkind, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, followed up a meeting with a delegation from the AAM which focused on Namibia, sanctions and South African involvement in the building of an airfield in the Falkland Islands in the aftermath of the Falklands war.

80s13. ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Act’ activists conference

The AAM followed up its 1982 ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Choose’ conference with a campaign on the theme ‘Southern Africa: The Time to Act’ the following year. This leaflet advertised a conference on how to organise local anti-apartheid campaigns. The conference provided a political analysis of the situation in Southern Africa and workshops for activists from local anti-apartheid and student groups. Speakers included representatives of the ANC and SWAPO, Abdul Minty from the AAM and Paul Blomfield, Chair of the AAM’s Student Committee and Secretary of Sheffield AA Group.

pic8306. ‘You think you’ve got problems?’

Students from University College London built a hut from scrap materials on the steps of St Martin’s in the Fields to show passers-by how black South Africans lived in shanty towns like Crossroads, October 1983.

bar04. ‘Apartheid Terror – Guess Who Pays for It?

Barclays Bank was the biggest bank in South Africa and Namibia. This leaflet set out the many ways in which it supported the apartheid government. Anti-apartheid supporters campaigned for Barclays to withdraw from South Africa and Namibia from 1970 until the bank pulled out in 1986.

pic8307. Namibia Week of Action, 1983

Demonstrators marched to London’s Jubilee Gardens to protest against British companies’ support for South Africa’s illegal occupation of Namibia, as part of a Week of Action on Namibia, 27 October–3 November 1983. The march served ‘summonses’ at the offices of companies that collaborated with South Africa’s illegal rule in Namibia. The Week of Action featured a speaking tour by SWAPO representative Jacob Hannai and a special leaflet on Barclays and Namibia. It was organised by the AAM and the Namibia Support Committee.

pic8304. Nelson Mandela Building, Sheffield

ANC representative Ruth Mompati spoke at the renaming of Sheffield Polytechnic Student Union building as the Nelson Mandela Building. Sheffield Polytechnic was one of many student unions to rename buildings after Nelson Mandela in the 1980s.