1990s

pic9017. Celebrating Nelson Mandela’s release, Bristol

Hundreds of people gathered at College Green, Bristol on 11 February 1990 to celebrate Mandela’s release.

90s01. Southern Africa Coalition Lobby

More than 4,000 people asked their MPs to support the maintenance of sanctions against South Africa on 27 February 1990. The lobby achieved a record coverage, with constituents lobbying 495 of 523 MPs sitting for English constituencies and a majority of Scottish and Welsh MPs. The day before Nelson Mandela’s release, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced that Britain would end its limited restrictions on new investment and tourism. The lobby was organised by the Southern Africa Coalition, a broad-based grouping of church organisations, trade unions, overseas aid agencies and the AAM.

pic9003. Lobby of Parliament, February 1990

Four thousand people from nearly every parliamentary constituency in Britain lobbied Parliament on 27 February 1990 calling for a ‘fundamental change in British policy’ towards South Africa. The lobby was organised by the Southern Africa Coalition and was the biggest ever parliamentary lobby on Southern Africa.

90s02. Southern Africa Coalition Lobby meeting

Leaders of the mass movement against apartheid within South Africa were the main speakers at a meeting held at the parliamentary lobby organised by the Southern Africa Coalition on 27 February 1990. The lobbyists asked their MPs to support the maintenance of sanctions against South Africa. The day before Nelson Mandela’s release, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced that Britain would end its limited restrictions on new investment and tourism.

boy17. ‘Don’t buy products of apartheid!’

After the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 the AAM continued to campaign for a boycott of South African goods. It argued that economic pressure was necessary to force the apartheid government to agree to genuine majority rule. This leaflet quoted Mandela, ‘Take whatever action you can to isolate apartheid’.

boy18. ‘Boycott Apartheid Gold!’

In 1990 the AAM focused on gold jewellery as part of its consumer boycott campaign. South Africa’s main trading partners banned sales of Krugerrands in the mid 1980s. As a result of the campaign, the jewellery chain Ratners agreed to remove identifiable South African gold from the jewellery sold in its shops. This leaflet was one of a series published after the release of Nelson Mandela arguing that continued economic pressure was necessary to force the apartheid government into negotiations.

boy19. ‘Stop Tourism to South Africa!’

In 1990 the AAM made tourism a major part of its consumer boycott campaign. It wrote to major British holiday companies about their policy on selling trips to South Africa. Local AA groups campaigned to persuade local travel agents to stop promoting South African holidays. In London local activists held a sit-in next to the South African Airways stall at the World Travel Market in the Olympia exhibition centre. This leaflet was published after Prime Minister Thatcher lifted Britain’s voluntary ban on encouraging tourism to South Africa. It was one of a series published after the release of Nelson Mandela.

boy20. ‘Apartheid is not dead! Keep up the boycott!’

After the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 the AAM continued to campaign for a boycott of South African goods. It argued that economic pressure was necessary to force the apartheid government to agree to genuine majority rule. This leaflet quoted Mandela, ‘Take whatever action you can to isolate apartheid’.