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po139. The South African Bomb

Poster publicising a meeting organised by Hackney AA Group and Hackney CND.

po062. Solidarity with Wilson-Rowntree Strikers

In February 1981, workers at Wilson-Rowntree’s East London factory were sacked for striking in protest at the dismissal of three colleagues. Wilson-Rowntree was a subsidiary of the British company Rowntree-Mackintosh. The AAM campaigned with the British unions GMWU, USDAW and TGWU  to make the company reinstate the sacked workers and recognise SAAWU (South African Allied Workers Union). In June 1982 it held a Week of Action in support of the sacked workers and a march in York, where Rowntree-Mackintosh had its headquarters.

po063. Boycott Barclays: Apartheid’s First Bank

In 1976 Barclays invested ten million rand in South African defence bonds; it also advertised in South African Defence Force magazines. This poster shows SWAPO refugees killed in SADF raids in Angola and asks ‘Is this how you want to be treated by your first bank?’

po071. Apartheid Disables

Disabled People Against Apartheid was formed in 1981 after the Paraplegic Sports Society banned sportswoman Maggie Jones for distributing anti-apartheid leaflets at the European Paraplegic Table Tennis Championships. This poster advertised a demonstration calling for South Africa to be excluded from the Stoke Mandeville International Paraplegic Games, forerunner of the Paralympics. South Africa was expelled from the Games in 1985.

po070. Boycott Products of Apartheid

Poster produced for the campaign for a boycott of South African goods. The text reads: ‘Fruit is mostly picked by black women and children in South Africa and Namibia. 60% of canned fruit and vegetables exported by South Africa is consumed by Britain and the EEC. Watch out for fresh fruit sold under the label of CAPE and OUTSPAN.’

po056. Britain: Hands Off Namibia Solidarity with SWAPO

Poster advertising a week of action on Namibia, 27 October to 3 November 1982. The week began with a march through London when ‘summonses’ were served at the offices of companies that collaborated with South Africa’s illegal rule in Namibia. It also featured a speaking tour by SWAPO representative Jacob Hannai and a special leaflet on Barclays and Namibia.

po072. Look Before You Buy. Boycott the Products of Apartheid

Poster produced for the campaign calling for a boycott of South African goods.

po073. The Freedom Charter

The Freedom Charter was adopted by the Congress of the People held in South Africa in 1955. In the 1980s it once again became a rallying point for anti-apartheid organisations within the country.

po074. Stop the Namibian Uranium Contracts

In the 1970s and 1980s Britain imported uranium from RTZ’s Rossing mine in Namibia in contravention of UN resolutions that said the country’s natural resources should only be sold with the consent of the UN Council for Namibia. The uranium was imported under contracts signed in the late 1960s by the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Rio Tinto Zinc. Lord Carrington, featured in the poster, was a Director of RTZ and British Foreign Secretary,1979–1982.

po075. Free All South African & Namibian Political Prisoners

One of many posters published by the Anti-Apartheid Movement to publicise the campaign for the release of political prisoners in South Africa and Namibia.

po076. Cancel the Namibian Uranium Contract

In the 1970s and 1980s Britain imported uranium from RTZ’s Rossing mine in Namibia in contravention of UN resolutions that said the country’s natural resources should only be sold with the consent of the UN Council for Namibia. The uranium was imported under contracts signed in the late 1960s by the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Rio Tinto Zinc. The Campaign Against the Namibian Uranium Contract (CANUC) was set up in 1977 by the Namibia Support Committee, the Haslemere Group and the AAM.

po140. South Africa Recruitment Boycott

Because of a shortage of skilled white labour, South African companies were keen to recruit students from British universities. The National Union of Students produced this poster to urge students not to emigrate to South Africa.

po148. Concert for Mandela

This poster advertised a concert in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank, one of many events held to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 65th birthday on 18 July 1983. It raised funds for the 1983 Free Nelson Mandela Campaign, which brought together trade unions, the Church of England’s Board of Social Responsibility, and black and ethnic minority organisations.

po145. Festival of African Sounds, Alexandra Palace

Poster advertising the Festival of African Sounds, held at Alexandra Palace, north London on 17 July 1983, the eve of Nelson Mandela’s 65th birthday. The concert featured new music by African musicians. The all-star line-up included Hugh Masekela, Jazz Afrika, Dudu Pukwana and the Ipi Tombi dancers. The concert was organised by the AAM and sponsored by the Musicians Union, Arts Council and Greater London Arts Association.

po159. Anti-Apartheid Benefit Concert, 1983

Poster advertising a concert organised by University of London students to raise funds for the AAM. 

po077. Anti-Apartheid Presents

Poster advertising fundraising gig at Camden Town Hall, Central London, with Jabula, Immigrant, Red Rinse and Mayibuye.

po172. London Against Racism rally

Poster advertising a rally organised by the Greater London Council on 21 March 1984, the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. The main speaker was ANC President Oliver Tambo. In December 1983 the GLC launched an Anti-Apartheid Declaration pledging that it would discourage all links between London and apartheid South Africa.

po078. Stop the Tour in ’84!

Poster advertising a demonstration outside the John Player rugby cup final at Twickenham in protest against the Rugby Football Union’s tour of South Africa in May–June 1984. Student activists demonstrated at Heathrow on the day of the team’s departure. The tour went ahead in spite of a long-running campaign against it. The Conservative government expressed its opposition to the tour but took no action to stop it.

po082. St Paul’s Apartheid Free Zone Campaign

Anti-apartheid supporters in the multi-racial district of St Paul’s, Bristol campaigned to turn the area into an apartheid-free zone in the mid-1980s. Most of the area’s independent shops and businesses signed a declaration pledging themselves to boycott South African goods. The local branch of Tesco stopped stocking South African products.

po166. ‘South Africa Must Be Free’ demonstration

Poster publicising a student demonstration in Trafalgar Square on 19 October 1985. Hundreds of students staged a sit-down protest in front of the South African Embassy as part of a national week of student anti-apartheid action. More than 300 colleges all over the country took part in the week. Several Barclays branches were occupied by demonstrators and the NUS renamed its north London headquarters Nelson Mandela House.

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