Tag Archives: Direct Action

Opposing apartheid then, defending human rights now

On Tuesday 8 December (at 18.30), as part of the Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, Gavin Brown will be giving a talk, at the Secular Hall, exploring what anti-apartheid campaigning in the 1980s can teach human rights defenders … Continue reading

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Working with anti-apartheid memories

By researching the historical geographies of the Non-Stop Picket, we are constantly confronting the multiple ways in which memory operates. The very act of remembering the Non-Stop Picket is an intervention into the ways in which the struggle against apartheid is … Continue reading

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Marking South Africa House with ‘blood’ on election day 1987

As South Africa celebrates twenty years since the end of apartheid, and prepares for tomorrow’s election, I want to remember a protest that responded to a very different South African election. On 6 May 1987, there was a white-only general … Continue reading

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“Did you really think I wouldn’t write on your walls?”

One of the pleasures of writing this blog is the opportunity it provides to record the stories of small incidents from the history of City Group’s anti-apartheid activism that might not end up being used in our other work.  This … Continue reading

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Obstructing the highway from inside a building

In addition to maintaining the Non-Stop Picket outside the South African Embassy, the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group frequently protested at the offices of South African Airways in Oxford Circus. A favourite tactic was to occupy the airways’ offices.  In … Continue reading

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The Poll Tax Riot and the burning of the South African Embassy II

Last year, I wrote about how the South African Embassy was attacked, with its windows smashed and a tourist display set ablaze, during the Poll Tax Riot in Trafalgar Square on 31 March 1990.  Recently we have obtained new photos … Continue reading

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“Pik off Botha”: attempting to arrest the South African Foreign Minister

On the evening of Wednesday 15 March 1989, South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha visited the South African Embassy in London for ‘secret’ talks with his British counterpart, Geoffrey Howe.  The City of London Anti-Apartheid Group (and the national Anti-Apartheid … Continue reading

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