pic7005. Sharpeville re-enactment, 1970

Bishop Ambrose Reeves speaking at a re-enactment of the Sharpeville massacre staged in Trafalgar Square on 21 March 1970. Around 3,000 people watched as actors dressed as South African police took aim and people in the crowd fell to the ground. The event was organised by the AAM and the United Nations Students Association (UNSA).

pic7012. Liverpool University sit-in, 1970

In March 1970 Liverpool students occupied the university’s Senate House to press five demands that included disinvestment from South Africa and the resignation of the University’s Chancellor, the Marquess of Salisbury. Lord Salisbury was an outspoken supporter of the minority white regime in Rhodesia. The sit-in lasted 10 days and got national press coverage. Nine students were suspended and one, Pete Cresswell, was expelled. Among the suspended students was Jon Snow, seen here interrupting a meeting with representatives of the university authorities.

pic7010. Sharpeville 10th anniversary vigil, Exeter

Anti-apartheid campaigners marked the tenth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre with a vigil outside Exeter Cathedral on Sunday 22 March 1970.

pic7003. March for David Kitson, May 1970

In the early 1970s the Ruskin College Kitson Committee organised an annual march from Oxford to London over the Whitsun holiday. The group campaigned for the release of political prisoner and former trade unionist David Kitson, serving a 20-year sentence in South Africa. The 1970 march ended in a rally in Trafalgar Square at which trade union leaders asked workers to refuse to work on arms for South Africa. The photo shows the marchers setting off from High Street, Oxford. 

pic7008. ‘Down with Racist Sport’

Anti-apartheid protesters at the Surrey Grass Court Tennis Championships in Surbiton, Surrey on 11 June 1970. They were protesting against the participation of a South African player in the tournament.

pic7011. South African Foreign Minister protest

South African Foreign Minister Hilgard Muller was met by AAM demonstrators when he visited the British Foreign Office on 20 July 1970. The visit took place shortly after the announcement by the newly elected Conservative government that Britain would resume arms sales to South Africa.

pic7004. South Africa House occupation, August 1970

On 25 August 1970 anti-apartheid activists infiltrated the South African Embassy in London and sat in its entrance hall until they were ejected by embassy officials. They were protesting at the trial in Pretoria of 20 South Africans on charges of belonging to the ANC. The 20 included Winnie Mandela and Benjamin Ramotse, who was later sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

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.