Photos

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.

pic7105. Demonstration against PW 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. Tomatoes and smoke flares were thrown at him as he entered the Ministry. Botha was seeking assurances that Britain would supply warships to South Africa. The 1970–74 Conservative government announced that it would lift the arms embargo against South Africa, but because of public opposition the only weapons it supplied were seven Wasp helicopters.

pic7106. PW Botha at the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall

South African Defence Minister P W Botha visited the Ministry of Defence on 10 June 1971 for talks with his British counterpart Lord Carrington. Protesters threw tomatoes and smoke flares as he entered the Ministry. Botha was seeking assurances that Britain would supply warships to South Africa. The 1970–74 Conservative government announced that it would lift the arms embargo against South Africa, but because of public opposition the only weapons it supplied were seven Wasp helicopters.

pic7107. Protest at the death of Ahmed Timol

This protester was one of a group of around 30 people who infiltrated the South African Embassy in London to protest against the death of Ahmed Timol. Timol was killed in detention by South African security police on 27 October 1971. His death provoked widespread protests in Britain. He was a former teacher and British teaching unions joined the protests. Ahmed Timol was the 20th political detainee known to have died in police custody.

pic7201. ‘No Independence Before Majority Rule’

Rally in Trafalgar Square calling for No Independence Before Majority Rule (NIBMAR) in Zimbabwe on 13 February 1972. Around 15,000 people marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square to protest against the British government’s agreement with the Smith regime. Bishop Abel Muzorewa said the settlement was not acceptable to the majority in Rhodesia. Other speakers at the rally were the leader of the Clyde shipbuilders work-in Jimmy Reid, black activist Althea Jones and Labour MP Michael Foot.