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Mells Park Talks - ANC Notes

  • ZA COM NMAP 2010/21-1
  • Series
  • 1987 to 1990
Copies of notes taken by Tony Trew of the secret meetings which took place between the ANC and the apartheid government at Mells Park, United Kingdom.

Trew, Tony

A. Philip Randolph

Mr A. Philip Randolph, an African American labour and civil rights activist, was a member of the Committee of Americans for South African Resistance (AFSAR), founded in 1952 to support the Defiance Campaign. He was also a member of the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and headed the Committee on Conscience against Apartheid, formed by ACOA. He was very active in the End Loans campaigns.

Action Committee on Southern Africa [Actie Komitee Zuidelijk Afrika] : [Part 1]

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).

Africa Centre

The Africa Centre was established in 1964 in London to create awareness about developments in Africa. Leading African artists, writers, politicians and musicians met at the centre and it served as a platform by organising evenings with theatre and discussions.

Africa Educational Trust

The Africa Educational Trust (AET) was founded in 1958. Originally it was part of the Africa Bureau, which later split into the Africa Bureau and Africa Educational and Publication Trust. The main aim was to help exiles and refugees with their education.

Africa Fund : [Part 1]

The Africa Fund was founded in 1966 by the American Committee on Africa (ACOA). They shared offices and staff but had separate boards and budgets. It supported health and educational projects of the liberations movements. It also supported the South African Council of Churches to aid political prisoners and their families. It researched American corporations and their ties with South Africa. It merged in 2001 with the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) and ACOA to form Africa Action.

Africa Fund : [Part 2]

The Africa Fund was founded in 1966 by the American Committee on Africa (ACOA). They shared offices and staff but had separate boards and budgets. It supported health and educational projects of the liberations movements. It also supported the South African Council of Churches to aid political prisoners and their families. It researched American corporations and their ties with South Africa. It merged in 2001 with the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) and ACOA to form Africa Action.

Africa Groups of Sweden [Afrikagrupperna] : [Part 1]

The AGS was formed in 1974 by several local Africa groups, some of them already active in the early 1960s. It gave unconditional support to the liberation struggle. It began its work by supporting the struggles in the Portuguese colonies and continued to work on Southern Africa lobbying the Swedish government to institute sanctions. It initiated the establishment of the Isolate South Africa Committee (ISAK). In 1992 the AGS merged with the Africa Groups Recruitment Organisation / Afrikagruppernas Rekryteringsorganisation, and continues to operate as Afrikagrupperna.

Africa Groups of Sweden [Afrikagrupperna] : [Part 2]

The AGS was formed in 1974 by several local Africa groups, some of them already active in the early 1960s. It gave unconditional support to the liberation struggle. It began its work by supporting the struggles in the Portuguese colonies and continued to work on Southern Africa lobbying the Swedish government to institute sanctions. It initiated the establishment of the Isolate South Africa Committee (ISAK). In 1992 the AGS merged with the Africa Groups Recruitment Organisation / Afrikagruppernas Rekryteringsorganisation, and continues to operate as Afrikagrupperna.

Africa Groups Recruitment Organisation [Afrikagruppernas Rekryteringsorganisation]

The ARO was initiated by the AGS 1978, initially to recruit health care workers, teachers and administrators to work in the former Portuguese colonies. It expanded its work to ANC camps and schools and was active in these areas until 1992. When apartheid ended and Namibia became independent, ARO’s main task became to support the reconstruction of South Africa and Namibia. As a consequence, the activities of ARO and the Africa Groups of Sweden became similar, and the organisations merged in 1992 under the name the Africa Groups of Sweden (Afrikagrupperna).

African Skies : [Part 1]

African Skies is a foundation for audio-visual archives and productions on Southern Africa. African Skies was founded in 1995, shortly after the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. The roots of African Skies can be found in the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement. The Dutch AAM facilitated and sponsored the foundation of African Skies.

American Committee on Africa : [Part 2]

The American Committee on Africa (ACOA) was formed in 1953 to support the liberation struggle in Africa. It grew out of the ad-hoc organisation Americans for South African Resistance (AFSAR), set up to support the Defiance Campaign of the ANC in 1952. It started with an office in New York City and opened an office in Washington DC in 1967. The NYC office had a national focus and organised sanctions and divestment campaigns at universities, churches, states and cities. It merged in 2001 with Africa Fund (AF) and Africa Policy Information Centre (APIC) to form Africa Action.

Amnesty International Netherlands

Amnesty International (AI) Netherlands started in 1968 and was mainly active around issues concerning political prisoners, the death sentence and other human rights violations in South Africa.

Amnesty International USA

The AI-USA started in the early 1960s and has several offices in the country. It is an affiliate of AI- International Secretariat and bases its activities on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The campaigns concentrate on the rights of political prisoners and unfair trials, working towards the release of prisoners of conscience.

Anglican Church of Canada : [Part 1]

The Anglican Church of Canada took a very active stand against apartheid. In the late 1980s, Archbishop Ted Scott served on the Commonwealth of Nations ‘Eminent Persons Group’ which advocated the implementation of sanctions against South Africa.

Anti-Apartheid Movement : [Part 3]

The AAM started in 1959 under the name The Boycott Movement Committee. It changed its name to AAM in 1960 after the Sharpeville massacre to become a permanent organisation. It grew into one of the biggest anti-apartheid organisations in the world with committees covering specific subjects and branches all over the UK. It was a member of the European Liaison Group. It was often the fore-runner and initiator of international campaigns and worked closely with the ANC and UN agencies. It dissolved itself in 1995 to continue as Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).

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.

Anti-Apartheid Movement, London (London Anti-Apartheid Committee) branch : [Part 2]

AAM London was the umbrella organisation for the 32 anti-apartheid groups in the Greater London area, and a regional committee of the national anti-apartheid movement. It took an active role in promoting the boycott movement, encouraging local groups to picket supermarkets, branches of Barclays Bank, Shell garages and other organisations supporting apartheid. It also encouraged involvement by the trade unions and churches, among many other organisations, in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Association of Concerned Africa Scholars

ACAS was founded in 1977 at Michigan State University to provide an alternative analysis of Africa and US policy towards Africa. It developed communication and action networks between scholars in Africa and the USA. It mobilised support in the USA for anti-apartheid solidarity. It continues to work on current African issues.

Campaign Against Racial Exploitation : [Part 2]

The Campaign Against Racial Exploitation (CARE) was a national anti-racist umbrella organisation whose activities focused on anti-apartheid and Australian Aboriginal issues. It was formed in 1973 as the first national anti-apartheid and anti-racism network in Australia, at the suggestion of South African exile Neville Curtis, and formally launched in December 1974. CARE launched many campaigns, including those against South African company Rothmans, as well as Woolworths and Shell, and was prominent in sports boycotts.

Champaign-Urbana Coalition against Apartheid

This was a campus based group at the University of Illinois. It operated from 1964 till about 1991 and worked especially for divestment by the university, boycott and human rights campaigns. The organisation continued and broadened its work in the early 1990s and changed its name to the Champaign-Urbana Coalition on Africa.

Citizens Association for Racial Equality

Founded in 1964, the Citizens Association for Racial Equality (CARE) campaigned to eliminate all sporting contacts with South Africa so long as it practiced apartheid. CARE spearheaded opposition to the 1965 Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand. Besides working towards a boycott of all sports contacts with South Africa it also focused on racism in New Zealand.

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.

Committee for Health in Southern Africa

CHISA was a specialist organisation, founded in 1984 and operating till 1995. This specialist organisation worked on health and related human rights issues in South Africa as well as the role of health professionals and organisations. It maintained contacts with NAMDA (National Medical and Dental Association), a progressive health organisation in South Africa). CHISA was also active in other countries in North America.

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.

Committee on South African War Resistance : [Part 2]

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.

Community Aid Abroad Southern Africa

In 1979 the group formally became a constituent of Community Aid Abroad, under the name Community Aid Abroad (Southern Africa). The core members of CAASA came together in 1983 to form the African National Congress Support Group. The group proclaimed their support for the ANC in the liberation struggle in South Africa. In 1984, as a result of Eddie Funde's request, the group became Anti-Apartheid, Melbourne. It grew rapidly in support and numbers until internal politics and outside pressures caused the group's dissolution in September 1985.

Council on Ecumenical and International Relations, Church of Norway [Mellomkirkelig råd] : [Part 1]

The Council of the Church of Norway, the official Norwegian church, became involved in anti-apartheid issues through their contacts with churches in South Africa around 1948. It worked especially with the South African Council of Churches and the Christian Institute. South Africa became the central focus for the Church of Norway’s international work. It gave a lot of direct, financial support as well.

Country Committee for South Africa Action [Landskomiteen Sydafrika-Aktion] (Danish Anti Apartheid Movement) : [Part 1]

The Country Committee for South Africa Action (LSA) was formed in 1978 by several organisations and political parties. It was one of the first organisations to co-ordinate campaigns at the local level. It organised several information campaigns involving speaking tours of ANC members as well as cultural events. It continues to operate as Africa Contact.

Coventry Borough Labour Party : [Part 2]

The Coventry Labour Representation Committee was founded in December 1902. The Coventry Borough Labour Party, which grew out of it and was established in 1906, expanded its influence so that by 1923 Coventry had returned its first Labour MP. The party was instrumental in establishing the Coventry Anti-apartheid Committee in 1960. The early records of the party were destroyed during the blitz on the city in 1940, and the surviving records mostly date from after the war.

Dennis Brutus : [Part 2]

Dr Dennis Vincent Brutus was a Zimbabwean-born South African activist, educator, journalist and poet best known for his campaign to have apartheid South Africa banned from the Olympic Games. His efforts eventually led to the country’s expulsion from the Games in 1970. Following 18 months on Robben Island and another year of house arrest, Brutus and his family were allowed to leave South Africa, settling in London in 1966. In 1970 he moved to the USA, and was granted political asylum in 1983. He was president of the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SAN-ROC).

Dennis Brutus : [Part 3]

Dr Dennis Vincent Brutus was a Zimbabwean-born South African activist, educator, journalist and poet best known for his campaign to have apartheid South Africa banned from the Olympic Games. His efforts eventually led to the country’s expulsion from the Games in 1970. Following 18 months on Robben Island and another year of house arrest, Brutus and his family were allowed to leave South Africa, settling in London in 1966. In 1970 he moved to the USA, and was granted political asylum in 1983. He was president of the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SAN-ROC).

Enuga Sreenivasulu Reddy : [Part 1]

ES Reddy was born in India and moved to the USA to study at New York University. He held several positions at the United Nations and a driving force behind the Special Committee against Apartheid (of which he was Secretary from 1963 -1965) and its Centre against Apartheid (of which he was Director from 1976-1983). He also served as Director of the UN Trust Fund for South Africa and the Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa.

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).

Impact Visuals

Impact Visuals was a cooperative photo agency dedicated to social documentary photography. It started in 1964 and operated till 2001. Most of the archive comes from Afrapix, a now-dissolved South African collective of freelance photographers. Although most of the collection containing photographs, slides and negatives come from South Africa, it also covers other countries.

International Council for Equality of Opportunity Principles

The ICEOP was founded in 1977 to promote social justice in South Africa. Reverend LH Sullivan devised a set of principles for companies conducting business in South Africa. This voluntary business code became known as the ‘Sullivan Principles’. The code required an annual independent evaluation of individual business activities in South Africa. The results were published in the public domain. The American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and other anti-apartheid organisations disapproved of the ‘Sullivan Principles’ since it provided companies with a way out of the boycott.

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.

International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa Canada : [Part 1]

The International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa Canada (IDAF Canada) operated from 1980-1990. It focused mainly on raising funds to support political prisoners and their families in South Africa and Namibia. US-IDAF executive director Kenneth N. Carstens was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian IDAF.

International Defense and Aid Fund for Southern Africa- United States Committee

The US-IDAF was established in 1972. In addition to raising funds for legal defense of prisoners and aid for their dependents, it also disseminated information about conditions in Southern Africa and supported boycotts and other solidarity actions. It grew out of the International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF). US-IDAF executive director Kenneth N. Carstens was also instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian IDAF.

International Solidarity Committee of the Norwegian Labour Movement [Arbeiderbevegelsens Internasjonale Støttekomité]

The International Solidarity Committee of the Norwegian Labour Movement was a solidarity committee organised under the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, supporting and working with international solidarity and union issues. The Norwegian Trade Union movement was one of the key movements in Norway supporting the liberation struggle in Southern Africa. AIS worked closely with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)

International Transport Workers’ Federation : [Part 2]

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is an international trade union federation of transport workers' unions. The ITF was founded in London in 1886 by European Seafarers and Dockers’ union leaders who realised the need to organise internationally against strike breakers. The ITF represents transport workers at world level and promotes their interests through global campaigning and solidarity. It works for the advancement of fundamental human rights and trade union rights and opposes discrimination. The Reports on Africa contains reports on its activities, amongst others, in South Africa.

Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement : [Part 1]

The Irish AAM was established in 1964 and functioned till 1994. It was co-founded by Kader Asmal (who later became a South African MP and cabinet member) and started with sport, cultural, economic and academic boycotts and grew into an organisation that was active in all areas of anti-apartheid and solidarity. It gave direct support to the liberation movements and worked closely with the ANC. It continues to be active as the Ireland South Africa Association.

Isolate South Africa Committee [Isolera Sydafkrika-Kommittén]

ISAC was an umbrella organisation consisting of a variety of organisations in one way or another engaged in the support for the struggle against apartheid and colonialism in southern Africa. ISAC started in 1979 when it organised its first annual campaign to isolate South Africa and to support the liberation movements and political prisoners. It became an influential lobby group and often worked together with other Nordic countries. Its campaign work expanded from the annual campaign to year-long activities. It ceased to function in 1995.

National Anti-Apartheid Movement New Zealand

NZAAM merged with HART in 1980 to form HART: NZAAM. It became one of the major AAMs in New Zealand and was very active in boycott campaigns and actively lobbied the government to take a strong stance against apartheid. In the last decade of its existence it focused increasingly on race issues in New Zealand.

Norwegian Council for Southern Africa [Fellesrådet for det sørlige Afrika] : [Part 1]

NOCOZA was formed in 1967 by a merger of NAMA and CFSA. It was an umbrella organisation for youth organisations and undertook solidarity work for southern Africa and anti-apartheid activities. It opened for individual membership and other organisations in 1976 and started local committees. It also worked with the Shipping Research Bureau on the oil boycott of South Africa. It continued to operate after 1994 as Norwegian Council for Africa.

Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund [Studentenes og Akademikernes Internasjonale Hjelpefond] : [Part 1]

SAIH was established in 1961 and worked with other NGOs and institutions to support projects in Africa and Latin America. It organised local universities and colleges around educational projects and supported many projects from the liberation movements. A substantial amount of their funding came directly from students’ contributions.

Operation Day’s Work [Operasjon Dagsverk]

ODW is a student organisation that organises annual solidarity campaigns in Norway. The money earned by volunteers for one day's work is donated to education projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Norwegian Council for Southern Africa (NOCOZA) and SAIH both were beneficiaries of this initiative.

Organisation of African Unity

The OAU was founded in 1963 to work towards unity and solidarity amongst African countries and act as a collective voice for the African continent. It worked towards the eradication of all forms of colonialism. The OAU's Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa (Liberation Committee) organised diplomatic support and channeled financial, military and logistical aid to liberation movements. The OAU was disbanded in 2002 and replaced by the African Union (AU).

Organisation of Solidarity with the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America [Organización de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de Asia, Africa y América Latina] : [Part 1]

OSPAAAL was established following the Tricontinental Conference held in Havana, January 1966, to promote "solidarity with the Third World people's struggles, claims and most precious desires". The organisation supported struggles against colonialism and apartheid, and notably produced a large number of brightly coloured propaganda posters to promote its cause.
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