Boycott Apartheid

"We are not asking you, the British people, for anything special. We are just asking you to withdraw your support from apartheid by not buying South African goods"

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"With this simple appeal the Boycott Movement was founded in Britain in 1959, with the aim of supporting non whites in South Africa. A year later the shocking events at Sharpville, where 69 unarmed protesters were shot dead by South African police, intensified emotions and the renamed Anti Apartheid Movement (AMM) stepped up its action from a simple consumer boycott to campaigning for full economic sanctions and the complete isolation of apartheid South Africa. 

From students to celebrities, trade unionists to religious leaders, Labour to the Communist party, the cause gained widespread support."

Marchers, Central Press, 1969-12-20, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1969: Bishop David Sheppard, Anne Kerr MP, Lord Donald Soper and Ian Mikardo MP

Freedom Song, Trevor Humphries, 1963-11-04, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1963:  Vanessa Redgrave, Barbara Castle and Robert Resha 

Bishop Of Stepney, Steve Eason, 1993-06-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Anti-Apartheid, Mike Stephens, 1978-09-12, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Anti-Apartheid, Keystone, 1965-06-27, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1993: Former Bishop of Stepney, Trevor Huddleston 1978: Labour MP Joan Lestor  1965:  Actor Patrick Wymark, Bishop Reeves and journalist Ruth First

Stop Apartheid, Evening Standard, 1974-10-30, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1974: British military investment continued despite opposition

"In truth the UK was South Africa's largest foreign investor and South Africa was the UK’s third biggest export market. Even Labour party support dissipated after their sweep to power in 1964 when Harold Wilson declared trade sanctions "would harm the people we are most
concerned about - the Africans and those white South Africans who are having to
maintain some standard of decency there."

"

"However the AMM scored several major victories including the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth in 1961.

One of the most controversial battlegrounds was played out on the sports fields from lawn tennis championships to rugby internationals. Campaigns like the 'Stop the Seventy Tour', set up to stop the tour of the South
African Cricket Team to England, meant frequent clashes with police. 

After the AMM succeeded in geting their suspension from Tokyo in 1964 South Africa was finally expelled from the Olympics in 1970. "

Anti - Apartheid, Leonard Burt, 1970-03-07, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1970:  'Stop the Seventy Tour' meeting

Apartheid Demo, Clive Limpkin, 1965-06-17, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1965: demonstrators picket the Waldorf Hotel in London where South African cricketers are staying

Anti Apartheid Arrest, Keystone, 1964-05-16, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Apartheid Protest, Ian Showell, 1970-04-25, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1970: campaigners outside Sutton Hard Court Tennis Club

St Helen's Riot, Fox Photos, 1969-11-15, From the collection of: Getty Images
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1969: A policeman was stabbed in the riot at St Helen's Rugby Ground, Swansea,  during a match with the South African Springboks. The AAM continued its activities in Britain until 1994 when the African National Congress party (ANC) came to power. 

Credits: Story

Curator—Sarah McDonald, Getty Images

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