Photos

pic7013. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

Around 10,000 people attended a rally in Trafalgar Square on 25 October 1970 to protest against the Conservative government’s plans to sell arms to South Africa. They marched up Whitehall, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. Speakers at the rally included Mike Terry, Secretary of the National Union of Students, Canon John Collins, Dick Seabrook, President of the shopworkers union USDAW, Labour MP Reg Prentice, David Sheppard, Bishop of Woolwich, the ANC’s representative in Western Europe Reg September and journalist Paul Foot. Demonstrators also protested outside the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested.

pic7014. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

The banner on the plinth in Trafalgar Square at the AAM’s rally on 25 October 1970 protesting against the Conservative’s government’s plans to sell arms to South Africa. Around 10,000 people marched up Whitehall, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. Speakers at the rally included Mike Terry, Secretary of the National Union of Students, Canon John Collins, Dick Seabrook, President of the shopworkers union USDAW, Labour MP Reg Prentice, David Sheppard, Bishop of Woolwich, the ANC’s representative in Western Europe Reg September and journalist Paul Foot. Demonstrators also protested outside the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested. 

pic7015. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

The ANC’s Western Europe representative Reg September speaking at the AAM’s rally on 25 October 1970 to protest against the Conservative’s government’s plans to sell arms to South Africa. The rally was attended by around 10,000 people, who marched up Whitehall, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. The other speakers at the rally included Mike Terry, Secretary of the National Union of Students, Canon John Collins, Dick Seabrook, President of the shopworkers union USDAW, Labour MP Reg Prentice, David Sheppard, Bishop of Woolwich, and journalist Paul Foot. Demonstrators also protested outside the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested. 

pic7016. ‘Stop Arms for Apartheid’ rally

Journalist Paul Foot speaking at the AAM’s rally on 25 October 1970 to protest against the Conservative’s government’s plans to sell arms to South Africa. The rally was attended by around 10,000 people, who marched up Whitehall, led by a model of a Buccaneer bomber. The other speakers at the rally included Mike Terry, Secretary of the National Union of Students, Canon John Collins, Dick Seabrook, President of the shopworkers union USDAW, Labour MP Reg Prentice, David Sheppard, Bishop of Woolwich, and the ANC’s representative in Western Europe Reg September. Demonstrators also protested outside the office of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, where several were arrested. 

pic7101. Protest against arms sales to South Africa

The 1970–74 Conservative government lifted Labour’s ban on British arms sales to South Africa. In March 1971 it announced the sale of seven Westland Wasp helicopters to the South African Defence Force. The photograph shows anti-apartheid supporters protesting in Downing Street. Although the Wasps were supplied, opposition from British public opinion and from the Commonwealth was so strong that that no other arms deals were agreed.

pic7102. ‘No Arms to South Africa’

Slogan painted on the wall of Westland Helicopters factory at Hayes, near London, the night before an AAM demonstration there on 20 March 1971.

pic7103. Demonstration at Westland Helicopters, 1971

Demonstrators outside the Westland Helicopters factory after a march through Hayes, Middlesex. In March 1971 the Conservative government announced a contract to sell seven Wasp helicopters to the South African Defence Force. Trade unionists at Westland’s Yeovil plant refused to work on the helicopters. Although the Wasps were supplied, opposition from British public opinion and from the Commonwealth was so strong that that no other arms deals were agreed.

pic7104. Demonstration against P W Botha, 1971

Demonstrators waiting for the arrival of South African Defence Minister P W Botha at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, 10 June 1971. Botha was seeking assurances from his British counterpart Lord Carrington that Britain would supply warships to South Africa. He was accompanied by SADF Commander in Chief General Hiemstra, a former Nazi sympathiser.