The Freedom Army Grows Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #161)

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Johannesburg, South Africa

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Chapter 6 of the unpublished autobiography written on Robben Island. It covers the various campaigns, activities and the repression experienced until the mid 1950s.

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  • Title: The Freedom Army Grows Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #161)
  • Date: 1976
  • Date Created: 1976
  • Transcript: emotions. But there is more to it than this in fashioning a slogan. A slogan is a vital link between the organisation and the masses it seeks to activise and politicise. Ideally it ought to synthesize the particular grievances of the people, give the masses an insight into the real nature of their oppression by situating the particular grievances within the overall struggle, mobilise and direct their energies into active participation, and match these energies with the capacity of the organisation during the given period. The encapsulation of these needs in a pithy slogan is a task requiring careful thought and analysis. In this instance our slogan "Over our Dead Bodies" was premature and could only have concrete meaning when both the people and the organisation leading them were geared to measure up to the implications inherent in the slogan. A slogan is like a bullet charged with high explosive and lethal in effect; and the organisation may be likened to the gun. The effectiveness of a slogan depends on its matching the bone of the gun. Premature as was this slogan on the basis of which we ran the campaign, it was also evidence as yielded in the experience of the campaign, that more and more people realised that armed resistance was our ultimate weapon against the petty and short sighted men who ruled our country with an iron hand. Our people have been faced with forced mass removals over and over again. Again and again resistance to thse removals leaves them only two alternatives: protest and resist until the powers of the State compels their moving, or carry the resistance through to armed resistance. In several rural areas, such removals were to erupt into such spontaneous and localised outbursts. The fifties, especially the first six years, were packed with activity, and from the anti removal
  • Type: Book
  • Reference code: chapter 6, 161
  • Extent and Medium: Pages 144 to 191, 1 page
  • Collection: Unpublished autobiographical manuscript

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