Local AA groups

Merseyside AA Group ran a long-running campaign for support for independent trade unions in South Africa. This factsheet highlighted the refusal of the British rubber manufacturer Dunlop to negotiate with the South African Allied Workers Union at its plant in East London. 

Members of City of London Anti-Apartheid Group call for the release of South African political prisoner David Kitson. The Group launched a non-stop picket of South Africa House in August 1982. Kitson served 20 years imprisonment in South Africa and was released in 1984. In the picture on the right are David Kitson’s wife Norma Kitson and son Steve.

Tyneside AA Group picketed a concert by singer-songwriter Leo Sayer in Newcastle City Hall in May 1983. Sayer had played in Sun City, South Africa, in contravention of the cultural boycott. In 1983 the UN Special Committee against Apartheid set up a register of performers who had played in South Africa. Newcastle City Council tried to cancel the concert, but was forced to let it go ahead after consulting legal opinion. In the picture is Namibian student Gotthard Garoeb.

Members of City Anti-Apartheid Group picketed the Guardian newspaper’s head office in February 1984 in protest against its refusal to ban South African advertisements.

Nelson and Winnie Mandela were awarded the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen in 1984, with the support of Labour and Liberal members of the city council. This press release tells how Aberdeen AA Group won support for the award from local residents in the face of opposition from Conservative councillors and the Aberdeen Evening Express.

‘Southern Africa – The Time to Act’ was the theme of a month of action against apartheid launched by the AAM in March 1984. The campaign was launched at a press conference in London by UN Special Committee Against Apartheid member Ambassador Sahnoun. It was taken up by anti-apartheid campaigners all over Britain. In the photograph supporters of West Glamorgan AA Group ask shoppers at a Tesco store in Swansea to boycott South African goods.

Leaflet advertising an interdenominational meeting in Bristol Cathedral on the immorality of apartheid. The speaker was the AAM’s President Archbishop Trevor Huddleston and the meeting was sponsored by the Anglican, Catholic, Baptist and Methodist churches.

From the late 1970s local AA groups held annual sponsored walks to raise funds for the ANC’s Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College on Tanzania. The walks took place around 16 June, the anniversary of the school students uprising in Soweto. Anti-apartheid supporters in Brent, north-west London, wore this badge on their walk in 1984.