Non-Stop Against Apartheid in 2013

Two events in 2013 brought significantly increased traffic to the Non-Stop Against Apartheid blog: the first was Margaret Thatcher‘s death; the second, of course, was Nelson Mandela’s. The day after Thatcher died, this blog received its most traffic in a single day (up until then).  That figure was dwarfed by the amount of visitors to the site after Mandela died – a quarter of all visits to the blog occurred in the week following his death. However, neither of these events necessarily generated interest in the posts we had anticipated!

Here is a countdown of the five most popular blog posts on our site over the last year:

5.  Political responses to assaults on anti-apartheid protestors.

4.  Non-Stop for Mandela: reflections on London’s four-year continuous protest for his release.

3.  Ken Bodden: anti-imperialist singer (1950 – 2013).

2.  Postcard from Dublin: (re)connecting the Dunnes Stores Strikers.

and the most popular post of the year was….

1.  Fighting for workers’ sanctions against apartheid, in Leicester.

This piece about two Leicester men who refused to work on an order for South Africa in 1989 has received a steady stream of readers since it was posted in August 2012, but it received a huge boost in views in the days after Mandela’s death thanks to a tweet about it by the journalist Paul Mason. Similarly, the piece about the Dunnes Store Strikers (originally from September 2012) gained renewed interest around the time of Mandela’s death thanks to independent mentions of it on social media.  The post about assaults on anti-apartheid protestors took on a life of its own through social media in the days after Thatcher died.

Immediately after Mandela died, many people found the site through search engines – either looking specifically for details of the Non-Stop Picket, or remembering Trafalgar Square on the day Mandela was released from gaol. As result, nearly twenty people shared their memories of the Non-Stop Picket through the form on the ‘West End Memories‘ page of this site – we’ll summarize their stories in the near future.

One of the other search terms that brought a large number of people to the site was “Zolile Hamilton Keke“, the name of the former Chief Representative of the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania in London at the time of the Non-Stop Picket.

2013 has been a successful year for the blog.  We wish all our readers a Happy New Year! We’ll be back with more stories from the Non-Stop Picket in 2014.

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About Gavin Brown

Lecturer in Human Geography University of Leicester
This entry was posted in Archival research, Dissemination, Interview material, Popular & Informal Education and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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