Witness Seminar and Open Forum Series (No 9)

The Anti Apartheid Struggle in Scotland
Recorded on 23 June 2007

On 26 June 1959 a group of South Africans and their British supporters held a public meeting in Holborn Hall, Theobalds Road, London, to call for a boycott of fruit, cigarettes and other goods imported from South Africa.  The choice of date for the meeting was 26 June, South Africa Freedom Day, and the choice of tactic, like the date, had wholly South African origins.  On 29 December 1959 the Committee met for the first time under its new name the Boycott Movement Committee.  This Committee cast its net wide and letters for support were sent to trade unions, co-ops, women organisations, constituency labour parties, local liberal parties, conservative associations and churches and religious organisations.  The Boycott Movement became the Anti Apartheid Movement after the Sharpville massacre of 21 March 1960 and this movement not only fought for an end to apartheid in South Africa, but reorientated its strategy to counter the evolving “unholy alliance” against African freedom in Southern Africa. 

As far as the Anti Apartheid Movement in Scotland is concerned, branches supporting the organisation existed in Glasgow and Edinburgh through the 1960’s, however the mid 1970’s (minutes begin from 8 May 1976) saw the establishment of a Scottish Committee.  It had a certain degree of autonomy within the UK structure.  Brian Filling remained in the Chair and John Nelson remained Secretary of this Scottish Committee for its complete existence and went on to hold the same positions in Action for Southern Africa, ACTSA, Scotland.

This Witness Seminar and Open Forum brings to life some of the work done in Scotland in support of the struggle against apartheid.

In collaboration with Spoken Word Services

Part 1 : 1 hour, 10 minutes, , 07 seconds


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Part 2 : 1 hour, 17 minutes, , 28 seconds


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Last Updated: 23 July, 2007
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