Local authorities

Leeds City Council, local trade unions, and Leeds City and University AA Groups came together to organise a week of anti-apartheid events in October 1984. Activities included a vigil for political prisoners, collection of material aid, film shows and fundraising concerts, and an activists conference.

Over 500 people picketed the opening night of Funny Girl, starring Marti Caine, at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in 1984. They were protesting against Marti Caine’s 14-month contract at Sun City and her outspoken defence of South Africa. Local Equity members signed a petition supporting the protest. The Crucible later agreed with Sheffield Council that it would not employ actors who appeared on the UN Register of performers who had appeared in South Africa.

This Declaration was adopted by Glasgow District Council in March 1985. Glasgow was also the first city to honour Nelson Mandela by making him a Freeman of the City in 1981.

Local councillors handed in a petition for sanctions to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on 18 March 1985. The petition was supported by 42 councils. Local authorities all over Britain organised exhibitions and film shows and supported local AA group activity during a week of action against apartheid, 18–22 March. Left to right: Councillors Mike Pye (Sheffield), Phil Turner, Phyllis Smith (Sheffield), Paul Boateng (GLC) and Hugh Bayley (Camden).

Anti-apartheid supporters unveiled the AA logo on the Mound in Edinburgh as part of a local authority week of action against apartheid, 18–22 March 1985. The week was organised by the Scottish Committee for Local Authority Action set up at a conference in Glasgow on 21 March. In the picture are Edinburgh District Councillor Chris McKinnon and members of Edinburgh AA Group.

Survey of anti-apartheid policies adopted by British local authorities, compiled in 1985. The report found that more than 120 local councils had taken some form of action, ranging from banning South African and Nambian produce in their schools and town halls to granting the freedom of their city to Nelson Mandela. The survey was commissioned by the UN Centre Against Apartheid and published by Sheffield Metropolitan District Council.

The London Borough of Islington made this Declaration on Southern Africa in 1985. As well as boycotting South African and Namibian goods and withdrawing investments from companies involved in South Africa, it pledged it would encourage the positive history of the Southern Africa freedom struggle in Islington schools.

Exeter AA Group collected thousands of signatures to this petition in 1985, calling on Exeter City Council to to declare itself an apartheid free zone. Sheffield City Council was the first local authority in Britain end all links with South Africa, in 1981.