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Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives Europe
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European Confederation of Free Trade Unions

In 1969 the European Trade Union Secretariat (ETUS) adopted a new name, the European Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ECFTU). It was active in the area of code of conduct for companies investing in South Africa, the conduct of national and international trade unions towards South Africa and the application of the European Community Code of Conduct for multinational companies. In 1973 the ECFTU merged with the Trade Union Committee for the European Free Trade Area (EFTA-TUC) and continued as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

The ICFTU was an international trade union founded in London in 1949 by unions opposing growing communist control of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). Its activities on South Africa were organised through the Coordination Committee on Southern Africa and the International Solidarity Fund Committee. ICFTU was dissolved in 2006 when it merged with the World Confederation of Labour (WCL) to form the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Miners' International Federation

The Miners' International Federation was founded in Jolimont, Belgium in 1890. The MIF was affiliated with the International Labour Organisation, which organised numerous conferences on South Africa and apartheid and was active on boycott issues related to workers’ rights. In 1995 the MIF merged with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy and General Workers' Unions (ICEM).

War Resisters’ International

The WRI was established in 1921 as an organisation against war. Its members refuse to support war or preparations for war in various forms, such as refusing to engage in military service, pay taxes to support the military, etc. It is fundamentally committed to nonviolent action as a form of social struggle. WRI has provided training in nonviolence and held a number of international conferences. WRI was involved with solidarity work with the End Conscription Campaign and the Conscientious Objectors Support Group, which was formally affiliated with WRI.

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs - World Council of Churches

The CCIA started to operate in 1946 and is comprised of thirty people nominated by churches and regional ecumenical organisations to advise the World Council of Churches (WCC) in international affairs. It focuses on peace-making and peaceful resolution of conflicts, militarism, disarmament and arms control. After 1975, a Human Rights Advisory Group was formed within the CCIA to advise on policy in this area. The scope of the organisation was much extended in 2006, when it merged with three other WCC advisory bodies.

Swiss Anti-Apartheid Movement : French-speaking branch [Mouvement Anti-Apartheid Suisse] : [Part 1]

The Anti-Apartheid Movement of Geneva (MAAG) was founded in 1965 as the French-speaking branch of the national anti-apartheid movement. The organisation changed its name to MAAS in 1970. The initiators of MAAS had mainly a religious background. Both MAAS and its German-speaking sister branch AAB were co-ordinated by a common national committee. MAAS dissolved in 1994.

Swiss Anti-Apartheid Movement : German-speaking branch [Anti-Apartheid Bewegung der Schweiz] : [Part 1]

The Swiss German-speaking branch AAB was established on 1 March 1975 with the secretariat based in Zurich. The AAB organised numerous demonstrations, protest actions, conferences and seminars. Both AAB and its sister branch, MAAS, were co-ordinated by a common national committee. AAB activities were supported by various religious and social organisations. The AAB initiated the establishment of two other organisations, namely the Früchteboykott (Fruit Boycott) and the Aktion Finanzplatz Schweiz-Dritte Welt. The AAB changed its name to AAB Südliches Afrika in 1994, and MAAS dissolved in the same year.

Len T. Holden

Len Holden was a Bedford Council member, and founder of the Bedford Anti-Apartheid Group. The group was active from the 1980s until 1991, lobbying companies and politicians to boycott the apartheid regime. Holden was also active in the Bedford Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament throughout the 1980s.

Justice

Justice, the British section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) was established in 1957 in response to the arrest of people in South Africa in 1956 (which led to the Treason Trial). It sent observers to the trial. It sees itself as an expert, independent body rather than a pressure group and its main aim is to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by securing fair trials, especially political trials of opponents of apartheid.

Anti-Apartheid Movement Austria [Anti-Apartheid Bewegung Osterreich] : [Part 4]

The AAM Austria started in 1977 in response to the Soweto uprisings with a small group of people who lobbied the general public and government to take a stand against apartheid. It organised numerous boycott and solidarity campaigns, pushing the Austrian government to take a more anti-apartheid position. It gave direct support to the liberation movements. Besides solidarity with South Africa, the AAM also worked for Namibia. It was a member of the European anti-apartheid movements group. It dissolved in 1993 to continue as the Southern Africa Documentation and Cooperation Centre (SADOCC).

Committee on South African War Resistance : [Part 1]

COSAWR was founded in 1978 by South African draft (military service) resisters active in the UK. It was a self-help organisation for those escaping conscription in the SADF and to support those who were resisting conscription within the country. It raised the issue of militarism in South Africa and conducted research into the South African military structure and resistance to it. COSAWR established a presence in several other European countries. Its magazine 'Resister' became the leading magazine on South Africa's militarisation.

Anti-Apartheid Movement Austria [Anti-Apartheid Bewegung Osterreich] : [Part 2]

The AAM Austria started in 1977 in response to the Soweto uprisings with a small group of people who lobbied the general public and government to take a stand against apartheid. It organised numerous boycott and solidarity campaigns, pushing the Austrian government to take a more anti-apartheid position. It gave direct support to the liberation movements. Besides solidarity with South Africa, the AAM also worked for Namibia. It was a member of the European anti-apartheid movements group. It dissolved in 1993 to continue as the Southern Africa Documentation and Cooperation Centre (SADOCC).

Action Committee on Southern Africa [Actie Komitee Zuidelijk Afrika] : [Part 2]

AKZA was a national organisation based in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium. It operated from 1972-1991 and developed out of progressive student organisations. It started as the Flemish Angola Committee and supported the liberation movements directly. They organised numerous boycott campaigns and was instrumental in the formation of the largest social action coalition in Flanders, the Flemish Anti-Apartheid Coalition (Vlaamse Anti-Apartheid Koalitie - VAAK). It also collaborated with other AAMs and was part of the Liaison Group of Anti-Apartheid Movements within the European Community (known as the Liaison Group).

Amnesty International : International Secretariat : [Part 3]

Amnesty International was founded in 1961 in London as an independent organisation to mobilise public opinion in defence of people who are imprisoned because their ideas are unacceptable to the government in their country. One of their areas of work is campaigning for the release of political prisoners and actions against torture.

Anti-Apartheid Movement : Scottish Committee : [Part 2]

Activities in Scotland started in the 1960s with AAM branches in Glasgow and Edinburgh, leading to the establishment of the Scottish Committee and opening an office in 1989. It was active in boycott campaigns, support to South African anti-apartheid organisations, the End Loans to South Africa campaigns and the call for comprehensive sanctions. It had a women’s subcommittee, youth desk and a trade union subcommittee as well as a Scottish Committee for Local Authority Action against Apartheid. It dissolved in 1994 and continued as Action for Southern Africa Scotland (ACTSA Scotland).

Anti-Apartheid Movement Austria [Anti-Apartheid Bewegung Osterreich] : [Part 3]

The AAM Austria started in 1977 in response to the Soweto uprisings with a small group of people who lobbied the general public and government to take a stand against apartheid. It organised numerous boycott and solidarity campaigns, pushing the Austrian government to take a more anti-apartheid position. It gave direct support to the liberation movements. Besides solidarity with South Africa, the AAM also worked for Namibia. It was a member of the European anti-apartheid movements group. It dissolved in 1993 to continue as the Southern Africa Documentation and Cooperation Centre (SADOCC).

Anti-Apartheid Movement Germany [Anti-Apartheid Bewegung] : [Part 2]

The Anti-Apartheid Movement Germany (AAB) operated from 1974 till 1994. It was formed on the initiative of the Mainz Working Group on Southern Africa (MAKSA). It was very active in the campaigns against the arms trade with South Africa, the release of Nelson Mandela, as well as the fruit, sport, Royal Dutch Shell and cultural boycott. It consisted of a network of local groups and worked with a variety of peace and religious organisations. In the late 1970s/early 1980s it used shareholders meetings (by buying shares) to pressurise banks not to deal with South Africa and pressured the Federal government to take an active anti-apartheid position. The AAB also participated in the Liaison Group. In May 1994 the AAB changed its name to Afrika-Süd Aktionsbündnis, which continued to carry out solidarity work with Southern Africa. Since the end of August 2001, Afrika-Süd Aktionsbündnis was dissolved and Koordination Südliches Afrika (KOSA, Co-ordination for Southern Africa) became the successor organisation.

City of London Anti-Apartheid Group (City Group) : [Part 2]

The City of London Anti-Apartheid Group was a breakaway group of the national AAM, founded in 1982 by Norma Kitson, and allied to the Revolutionary Communist Group. City Group developed a close working relationship not only with the ANC and SWAPO, but also with the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), AZAPO, and Black Consciousness supporters. In 1985 City Group was expelled from the national AAM, and from 1986 - 1990 its supporters maintained a Non-Stop Picket outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square calling for the release of Nelson Mandela. The City Group archives provide an opportunity to understand a different perspective on the international anti-apartheid movement.

Evangelical Women’s Group Germany [Evangelische Frauenarbeit in Deutschland - Frauen gegen Apartheid] : [Part 2]

This women’s group of the Protestant churches started its activities in 1977 with a boycott of South African fruit and established Frauen gegen Apartheid. It operated till 1993. It also campaigned against the Krugerrand and bank loans. For 15 years, they organised a vigil every Thursday in front of the South African Consulate.

International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa : [Part 2]

IDAF started in 1956 as Christian Action, later becoming the British Defence and Aid Fund which started its work with the 1956 Treason Trial in South Africa. IDAF became an international organisation in 1965. The South African Defence and Aid Fund was banned in 1966. Over the years, many national affiliates and branches were set-up. It smuggled millions of pounds into South Africa to defend thousands of political activists and provided aid to their families. It paid lawyers to defend political detainees and provided financial support families of political prisoners. It published numerous books and films on repression in South Africa.

Women against Apartheid - Frankfurt [Frauen gegen Apartheid - Frankfurt] : [Part 1]

This was a local organisation of women in Frankfurt which formed part of the national Women against Apartheid organisation. Its activities included a boycott campaign against the Krugerrand gold coin and campaigns against banks making loans to South Africa. It also participated in the Outspan fruit boycott, and worked in schools.
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