Local authorities

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.

The ANC’s cultural group Amandla was formed in Angola after the 1976 Soweto uprising. It was made up of 30 young South African singers, dancers and musicians. On its1985 tour of Britain it visited centres all over the country, performing and holding workshops on music, dance and drama. The tour included shows at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Shaw Theatre. It was sponsored by trade unions and local authorities.

ANC President Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zenani Mandela unveiled a bust of Nelson Mandela on London’s south bank on 28 October 1985. The bust was created by sculptor Ian Walters and sponsored by the Greater London Council.

Sticker produced by Islington Borough Council in north London asking shoppers not to buy South African goods.