Students

pri12. ‘Torture in South Africa’

In the 1960s the AAM used theatre to alert the British public to the increasing use of torture in South Africa. Actors like the National Theatre’s Robert Lang took part in this dramatised presentation of what it was like to be a political prisoner. Students from the University of London’s Society Against Racial Discrimination held a torchlight march to the event.

stu12. ‘Free the Political Prisoners!’

London students demonstrated in support of Nelson Mandela and other South African political prisoners in February 1964. This leaflet publicised a march preceding a dramatised presentation of prisoners’ lives organised by the World Campaign for the Release of South African Political Prisoners in Central Hall, Westminster. It was organised by University of London Union (ULU) Society Against Racial Discrimination. ULU later elected Nelson Mandela as its Honorary President.

pic6402. Students march for Rivonia trialists

Sussex University students marched from Brighton to London on 12 and 13 June 1964, on the eve of the sentencing of Nelson Mandela and his co-accused. The march was organised by Thabo Mbeki, whose father Govan Mbeki was one of the accused.

pic6501. Vigil to remember the victims of Sharpeville

Anti-apartheid supporters outside the South African Embassy in London holding wreaths in memory of the 69 people shot at Sharpeville, on the fifth anniversary of the massacre in 1965. An ‘in memoriam’ book was signed by 3,500 people in St Martin’s in the Fields and a public meeting was held there to commemorate the anniversary. Students at University College London held a South Africa week and Cambridge City Council voted to ban South African produce from its civic restaurant.

60s35. ‘Anatomy of Apartheid’

Leaflet advertising ‘Anatomy of Apartheid’, a dramatic presentation staged at Central Hall, Westminster on 21 March 1966. The show drew on court case records and personal affidavits from people who had suffered under apartheid. It was scripted by John Hales and Christopher Williams from the Royal Shakespeare Company and starred Joss Ackland, John Bird and Eleanor Bron. The show led to a big increase in the membership of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

zim03. ‘March behind the student banner’

On 26 June 1966 a crowd estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000 people attended a rally in Trafalgar Square calling for majority rule in Rhodesia. This leaflet urged students to join the demonstration. At a press conference before the march the AAM released a Declaration on Rhodesia signed by 41 ‘eminent people’, including writers Brigid Brophy and Iris Murdoch, pianist Fou T’Song, naturalist Peter Scott and academics and trade unionists.

zim07. Zimbabwe-Rhodesia – Britain’s Vietnam?

Leaflet advertising a march organised by the Zimbabwe Solidarity Action Committee on 12 January 1969. Demonstrators, mostly students and young people, tried to occupy Rhodesia House but were driven back by mounted police. Marchers then moved on to South Africa House, where only one policeman was stationed at the side entrance, and smashed the windows looking onto Trafalgar Square. Before the march, a group of writers had already infiltrated Rhodesia House and two climbers had scaled its flagpole to replace the flag of the illegal regime with the Union Jack.

60s31. Conference on liberation and guerrilla warfare, 1969

In 1967 and 1968 ANC and ZAPU guerrilla units joined forces to try and fight their way through Zimbabwe to South Africa. This leaflet advertised an AAM conference that emphasised armed struggle as the main strategy for achieving liberation in Southern Africa. It gave a platform to representatives of the liberation movements from all the countries of the region. The conference took place in the climate of youth militancy that followed the 1968 student demonstrations in France and other European countries.