Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #367) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #367)
Transcript: generally understood that the campaign would climax on June 26th with the burning of passes. In preparation for this event massive demonstrations were to be held on 31st March. Head Office officials at once toured the country, field workers laboured systematically in the townships, in factories and in other firms and in trains and buses publicising the decision. Leaflets, stickers and posters were printed and circulated. The campaign was definitely catching on and the people were beginning to talk about it.
It was at this stage that the PAC decided to jump the gun and announced that it would launch its anti pass campaign on the 21st March. Up to this moment they had no definite plans in this regard. No conference was held by them to discuss the matter and no organisational work of any significance had been undertaken for the prupose. But when they saw the splendid build up of our activities they viewed the whole matter not from the point of view of concerted action against a common enemy but of pure opportunism and tivalry. They climbed on the band wagon and exploited the explosive mood that prevailed and which we had created.
They announced that on 21st March batches of people in different parts of the country would march to the local police stations and hand in their passes and thereby court arrest. It was expected that the masses of the people would demonstrate in solidarity with the volunteers. Another example of their naivety was their belief that the action of surrendering their passes would earn them sentences of 3 or 4 weeks only. Indeed it was said that a number of them especially took their annual leaves from employment in order to participate in the campaign.
Extent and Medium: 1 page