1990s

90s09. Sechaba Festival, Glasgow

As part of Glasgow’s 1990 European City of Culture celebrations, Mandela Club Nights showcased bands from Southern Africa. The Sechaba Festival brought 60 South African poets, musicians, actors and dancers to Glasgow in a two-week programme of events. The Festival included a five-day international conference on cultural resistance to apartheid, and performances, exhibitions and films. The Club and the Festival were organised by Sechaba Festivals Ltd., established by the Scottish AAM Committee and the STUC with support from Glasgow City and Strathclyde Regional Councils and individual trade unions.

90s08. Freedom Run leaflet

From 1989 the AAM held an annual sponsored Freedom Run and free concert in Brockwell Park, south London. The event raised funds for the AAM and publicised anti-apartheid campaigns. This leaflet advertised the 1990 Freedom Run.

pic9016. ‘Call to Freedom’ declaration, 1990

After the unbanning of the South African liberation movements in 1990, the AAM launched a ‘Call to Freedom Declaration’ on 26 June. The declaration called for an elected constituent assembly to agree on a new constitution for South Africa. Left to right: TUC president and NALGO officer Ada Maddocks, TUC General Secretary Norman Willis, Ron Todd, General Secretary of the transport workers union and Barbara Switzer, Deputy General Secretary of the supervisory workers union MSF sign the declaration at the 1990 TUC congress.

pic9007. ‘Go Home, De Klerk’

AAM demonstrators lined the entrance to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s country residence, Chequers, when South African President F W de Klerk arrived there in July 1990.

pic9014. ‘Save the Upington 14’

Supporters of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) asked Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to intervene on behalf of the Upington 14, sentenced to death on 26 May 1989. Thirteen men and a woman, 60-year old Evenlyn de Bruin, were sentenced to hang because they were present at a demonstration during which a black policeman was killed. The sentence was overturned in May 1991.

pic9008. South African Airways protest

Demonstrators blocked the entrance to the South African Airways office at Oxford Circus on 3 September. In 1990 the AAM campaigned stepped up its campaign to persuade holidaymakers to not to visit South Africa. One of the few sanctions Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher agreed to was a voluntary ban on the promotion of tourism to South Africa or Namibia, but the British government did nothing to put this into practice.

pic9009. ‘Release South African political prisoners‘

On 11 October 1990, designated as UN South African Political Prisoners Day, Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) held a vigil outside the British Foreign Office calling for the release of all South African political prisoners. SATIS asked the British Prime Minister to press President de Klerk to implement his pledge to free the prisoners.

90s06. ‘From Apartheid to Democracy’ conference

The AAM held a conference for anti-apartheid activists in October 1990 to discuss how the international solidarity movement could help promote negotiations for genuine majority rule. The keynote speakers were Max Coleman from South Africa’s Human Rights Commission and former South African Council of Churches staff member Saki Macozoma.