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Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives
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Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee : [Part 5]

The SKSSAA was the state organisation through which a lot of the Soviet support to the liberation movements was channelled. SKSSAA was active internationally in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. SKSSAA provided the African National Congress in exile with material resources, such as food, clothes and vehicles. The SKSSAA and other Soviet NGOs received South Africans in need of medical treatment, and arranged stays for them at Soviet hospitals. The organisation also coordinated activities for South African students in the Soviet Union. In 1992 the organisation was renamed Society of Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity and Co-operation.

Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee : [Part 6]

The SKSSAA was the state organisation through which a lot of the Soviet support to the liberation movements was channelled. SKSSAA was active internationally in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. SKSSAA provided the African National Congress in exile with material resources, such as food, clothes and vehicles. The SKSSAA and other Soviet NGOs received South Africans in need of medical treatment, and arranged stays for them at Soviet hospitals. The organisation also coordinated activities for South African students in the Soviet Union. In 1992 the organisation was renamed Society of Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity and Co-operation.

State Archives, The Netherlands [Het Staatsarchief]

The State Archives collection focuses mainly on the Dutch squatter movement, and includes material related to the movement's activities against apartheid. The movement carried out radical actions against companies dealing with South Africa, and operated in a semi-underground manner. The archive is housed at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam.

Support Group for the People of South Africa [Stödgruppen för Sydafrikas Folk]

The SSF started in 1974 and worked closely together with the Africa Groups of Sweden (AGS) and the Stockholm Africa Group. At that time the AGS was mainly involved with the former Portuguese colonies. It became a working group at the ANC office in Stockholm in 1979, and ceased to be an independent organisation in the same year.

Support Group Klaas de Jonge & Hélène Passtoors [Steungroep Klaas de Jonge & Hélène Passtoors]

The support group was formed when Dutch-Belgian couple De Jonge and Passtoors was arrested in South Africa in 1985 for smuggling weapons and explosives for the ANC into the country. De Jonge managed to seek refuge in the Dutch embassy in Pretoria, which caused a big diplomatic row. He stayed there for two years until he was exchanged with a South African prisoner. Passtoors was convicted of High Treason and imprisoned from 1985-1989. The support group, which campaigned for their release, closed down in 1989.

Swedish Labour Movement Archives and Library [Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek]

The Labour Movement Archives and Library hold substantial collections of the Swedish labour movement from around the 1950s. It holds records from political parties and other organisations as well. It concentrates on archives of the central and Stockholm-based local organisations. It holds a big Africa collection.

Swedish South Africa Committee [Svenska Sydafrikakommittén]

The SSAC was formed in 1961 as an umbrella organisation of NGOs to start campaigning for a consumer boycott of South African products. It pressured the Swedish government to apply sanctions and later supported the ANC’s armed struggle. The committee dominated the anti-apartheid work in Sweden during the 1960s but its activities decreased as other organisations became more active.

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 : French-speaking branch [Mouvement Anti-Apartheid Suisse] : [Part 2]

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 : French-speaking branch [Mouvement Anti-Apartheid Suisse] : [Part 3]

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.

Swiss Anti-Apartheid Movement : German-speaking branch [Anti-Apartheid Bewegung der Schweiz] : [Part 2]

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.

Task Force on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility : [Part 1]

The Task Force on Churches and Corporate Responsibility (TCCR) was established in 1975 as a coalition of Canadian Churches. It worked towards social responsibility in Canadian based corporations and financial institutions. It supported the South African Council of Churches (SACC) proposal for a code of business ethics for companies operating in South Africa. It campaigned strongly to end loans to the apartheid regime and approached shareholders to accomplish this. In 2001, TCCR became part of KAIROS Canada.

Task Force on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility : [Part 2]

The Task Force on Churches and Corporate Responsibility (TCCR) was established in 1975 as a coalition of Canadian Churches. It worked towards social responsibility in Canadian based corporations and financial institutions. It supported the South African Council of Churches (SACC) proposal for a code of business ethics for companies operating in South Africa. It campaigned strongly to end loans to the apartheid regime and approached shareholders to accomplish this. In 2001, TCCR became part of KAIROS Canada.

Terence McCaughey

Reverend Terence McCaughey is a Presbyterian minister, and served as president of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement. He is currently the president of Irish anti-war lobby group Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), and is a former spokesman for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa Project

This site provides archival lists of primary source materials that can be found at Nordic archival institutions, NGOs and archives of individuals who have been involved in the liberation struggles of Southern Africa. The website includes interviews, photographs, publications, posters and newspaper cuttings from 1960-1996. It also provides some archival materials in PDF format.

The Road to Democracy in South Africa

'The Road to Democracy in South Africa' is a series of books published by the South African Democratic Education Trust (SADET). Volume 3 is dedicated to the International Solidarity movement and organisations. Volume 5 deals with the African Solidarity movement.

Thomas Oliver 'Tom' Newnham

Tom Newnham was a New Zealand political activist. He was involved in several causes, including attacking institutional racism in New Zealand, and opposing the 1981 Springbok Tour and apartheid in general. He was national president and secretary of the Citizens Association for Racial Equality (CARE) at various times.

Trades Union Congress : [Part 1]

The TUC is a federation of trade unions in the UK which started in 1868. It gave direct support to unions in South Africa and was active in boycott campaigns nationally and internationally.

Trades Union Congress : [Part 2]

The TUC is a federation of trade unions in the UK which started in 1868. It gave direct support to unions in South Africa and was active in boycott campaigns nationally and internationally.

TransAfrica

Transafrica was founded in 1977 as the African American Lobby on Africa and the Caribbean. It worked closely with the Congressional Black Caucus and was active in divestments, boycott and other campaigns. It organised and participated in sit-ins in the office of the South African ambassador in Washington, followed by demonstrations outside South African embassies and consulates, organised by what became the Free South Africa Movement (FSAM).

Trevor Richards

Trevor Richards was national chairman of the Halt All Racist Tours (HART) movement from 1969-80, then its international secretary until 1985. He has also written extensively about the history of NZ sporting relations with apartheid South Africa.

United Nations

The UN is an international organisation that aims to facilitate cooperation in international law, security, economic development, social progress, human rights and achieving world peace. It was founded in 1945 and replaced the League of Nations. It has been concerned with the issue of racial discrimination since its beginning and racism became an important item on the United Nations agenda after African nations attained independence and after the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa in 1960. The Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1963), which led to the International Convention in 1965. It proclaimed the International Year for Action to Combat Racial Discrimination in 1971 and the three Decades for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination in 1973. Besides the specialised agencies on apartheid, several other agencies of the UN were also involved in anti-apartheid and solidarity activities.

United Nations Centre against Apartheid : [Part 1]

The Centre against Apartheid started in 1976 in the UN Secretariat under the name Unit on Apartheid. Its role was to promote publicity against Apartheid and it worked under the guidance of the Special Committee and in cooperation with the Department of Public Information. During its existence, it published hundreds of posters, audio materials and documentary films. It organised art competitions and exhibitions. It had radio broadcasts to South Africa in several languages. It worked closely together with the liberation movements and the AAMs. Many of the documents published by the Centre were written by members of liberation movements and the AAMs.

United Nations Centre against Apartheid : [Part 2]

The Centre against Apartheid started in 1976 in the UN Secretariat under the name Unit on Apartheid. Its role was to promote publicity against Apartheid and it worked under the guidance of the Special Committee and in cooperation with the Department of Public Information. During its existence, it published hundreds of posters, audio materials and documentary films. It organised art competitions and exhibitions. It had radio broadcasts to South Africa in several languages. It worked closely together with the liberation movements and the AAMs. Many of the documents published by the Centre were written by members of liberation movements and the AAMs.

United Nations Centre against Apartheid : [Part 3]

The Centre against Apartheid started in 1976 in the UN Secretariat under the name Unit on Apartheid. Its role was to promote publicity against Apartheid and it worked under the guidance of the Special Committee and in cooperation with the Department of Public Information. During its existence, it published hundreds of posters, audio materials and documentary films. It organised art competitions and exhibitions. It had radio broadcasts to South Africa in several languages. It worked closely together with the liberation movements and the AAMs. Many of the documents published by the Centre were written by members of liberation movements and the AAMs.

United Nations Centre against Apartheid : [Part 4]

The Centre against Apartheid started in 1976 in the UN Secretariat under the name Unit on Apartheid. Its role was to promote publicity against Apartheid and it worked under the guidance of the Special Committee and in cooperation with the Department of Public Information. During its existence, it published hundreds of posters, audio materials and documentary films. It organised art competitions and exhibitions. It had radio broadcasts to South Africa in several languages. It worked closely together with the liberation movements and the AAMs. Many of the documents published by the Centre were written by members of liberation movements and the AAMs.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The UNHCR is the UN agency for the protection and care of refugees. It started to operate in 1950, based on the Geneva Refugee Convention. Besides playing a role in improving the status of refugees through international agreements and measures at national level, it also works at a practical level. It supported various anti-apartheid liberation movements.

United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid

The Special Committee against Apartheid was set up in 1962 and operated till 1994. Initially named the Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the name was shortened in 1971 to Special Committee on Apartheid and changed again in 1974 to Special Committee against Apartheid. One of its main roles was to secure effective, mandatory sanctions against South Africa. It worked closely together with the OAU, the liberation movements and the AAMs.

University of the Western Cape, Robben Island Museum / Mayibuye Archives

The archives of the Robben Island Museum are housed at and managed by the UWC/RIM Mayibuye Archives. Some are located on the island, but the bulk is at the UWC Campus in Belville, Cape Town. The archives hold a large collection of artifacts, documents, photographs, artworks, personal papers and audio-visual materials. Although the emphasis is on South African organisations and people, many AAMs (national and international) and other international anti-apartheid organisations are represented in the collection. The IDAF, for example, deposited its entire archive at UWC/RIM Mayibuye.

Uppsala Africa Group

The UAG grew out of the Uppsala South Africa Committee (USAK) which was started in 1963 by the Uppsala Student Union. It reorganised itself in 1968 and became UAG which operated till 1994. It developed into a general membership organisations which also supported the armed struggle.

Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement : [Part 1]

The Welsh Committee of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) was established in 1981 and adopted the name The Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement (WAAM). WAAM operated as a national movement in Wales, with a clear Welsh identity. It was dissolved in 1994 following the first democratic elections in South Africa and its assets were transferred to Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) Wales, which continues to campaign and work for peace and democracy in Southern Africa.

Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement : [Part 2]

The Welsh Committee of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) was established in 1981 and adopted the name The Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement (WAAM). WAAM operated as a national movement in Wales, with a clear Welsh identity. It was dissolved in 1994 following the first democratic elections in South Africa and its assets were transferred to Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) Wales, which continues to campaign and work for peace and democracy in Southern Africa.

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.

Washington Office on Africa

The Washington Office on Africa (WOA) was founded in 1972 to support the movement for freedom from white-minority rule in southern Africa. It was initially sponsored by five organisations including the American Committee on Africa. It grew out of the Washington Office of the American Committee on Africa, which was established in 1967. Churches and labour unions supported the organisation to work with the Congress on Southern Africa legislation. The Washington Office on Africa Educational Fund (WOAEF) was established as the educational division of WOA.

We and Them Foundation [Stichting Wij en Zij]

The We and Them Foundation was founded in 1982 by the International Development Cooperation of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV). Besides direct support to trade unions in South Africa, the foundation also participated in campaigns of the national AAMs. It changed its name to FNV Mondiaal in 1997.

William Julius Henry 'Joe' Harris : [Part 1]

WJH (Joe) Harris was a carpenter and member of the Queensland branch of the Building Workers' Industrial Union of Australia. He became a freelance journalist writing on the history of the labour movement. He played an active role in, amongst others, the campaign against the South African Springbok Rugby tour.

William Julius Henry 'Joe' Harris : [Part 2]

WJH (Joe) Harris was a carpenter and member of the Queensland branch of the Building Workers' Industrial Union of Australia. He became a freelance journalist writing on the history of the labour movement. He played an active role in, amongst others, the campaign against the South African Springbok Rugby tour.

William Julius Henry 'Joe' Harris : [Part 3]

WJH (Joe) Harris was a carpenter and member of the Queensland branch of the Building Workers' Industrial Union of Australia. He became a freelance journalist writing on the history of the labour movement. He played an active role in, amongst others, the campaign against the South African Springbok Rugby tour.

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.

Women against Apartheid - Frankfurt [Frauen gegen Apartheid - Frankfurt] : [Part 2]

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.

Women’s Union of the Dutch Labour Party [Vrouwenbond Partij van de Arbeid] : [Part 1]

The Women’s Union started its activities in 1946 as the women’s union of the political party PvdA. In 1969 the Women's Union changed its name to Women's Contact. It was renamed the Red Women (Rooie Vrouwen) in 1975. They participated in campaigns of the national AAMs as well as Amnesty International Netherlands.

Women’s Union of the Dutch Labour Party [Vrouwenbond Partij van de Arbeid] : [Part 2]

The Women’s Union started its activities in 1946 as the women’s union of the political party PvdA. In 1969 the Women's Union changed its name to Women's Contact. It was renamed the Red Women (Rooie Vrouwen) in 1975. They participated in campaigns of the national AAMs as well as Amnesty International Netherlands.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, New Zealand Section

In December 1916, a New Zealand branch of WILPF was established in Auckland. Branches in other cities were soon organised. In 1981 WILPF NZ organised a Women Against the Tour march in Auckland. Seven hundred people took part and 550 signed a petition, urging that the South African rugby team’s tour of NZ be cancelled. WILPF NZ members also took part in protests held when the tour went ahead. In 1989 the section’s name was officially changed to WILPF Aotearoa.

Working Group Kairos [Werkgroep Kairos] (Kairos Study Group) : [Part 1]

The Working Group Kairos was founded in 1970 in support of the Christian Institute in South Africa. Its main focus was on human rights violations and to raise support for sanctions and disinvestments and campaigned against Shell. It worked especially in the Christian community in the Netherlands and was instrumental in the foundation of the Shipping Research Bureau (SRB). It was renamed Stichting Kairos (Kairos Foundation), date unknown.

Working Group Kairos [Werkgroep Kairos] (Kairos Study Group) : [Part 2]

The Working Group Kairos was founded in 1970 in support of the Christian Institute in South Africa. Its main focus was on human rights violations and to raise support for sanctions and disinvestments and campaigned against Shell. It worked especially in the Christian community in the Netherlands and was instrumental in the foundation of the Shipping Research Bureau (SRB). It was renamed Stichting Kairos (Kairos Foundation), date unknown.

Working Group Kairos [Werkgroep Kairos] (Kairos Study Group) : [Part 3]

The Working Group Kairos was founded in 1970 in support of the Christian Institute in South Africa. Its main focus was on human rights violations and to raise support for sanctions and disinvestments and campaigned against Shell. It worked especially in the Christian community in the Netherlands and was instrumental in the foundation of the Shipping Research Bureau (SRB). It was renamed Stichting Kairos (Kairos Foundation), date unknown.

Working Group Woman, Church, Twothirds World [Werkgroep Vrouw, Kerk, Tweederde Wereld]

VKW was founded in 1976 by representatives from Christian women’s organisations and continued to operate till 1991. It was a solidarity organisation with women in developing countries and encouraged women in the Netherlands to be active for change. It had a special working group on South Africa and worked especially on practical support to women’s organisations in South Africa and boycott campaigns.

World Campaign against Military and Nuclear Collaboration with South Africa

The World Campaign started in 1977/78 on the initiative of the AAM and the patronage of President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, and was supported by the Special Committee of the UN. It monitored and strengthened the arms embargo against South Africa and exposed military collaborations. It worked closely with the special committee. In the 1980s, it lobbied for expulsion of South Africa from the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA). Abdul Minty was the Director from 1979 to 1994.

World Gold Commission

The World Gold Commission (WGC) was founded in 1988 to promote worldwide sanctions against South African gold sales. It received financial support from the UN Centre Against Apartheid and was backed by the AAM and the liberation movements. It was active in information dissemination and the presentation of evidence to international bodies.

World University Service - Denmark [Solidaritet og Bistand]

The World University Service Denmark (WUS-D) started in 1966 as part of WUS International. It became independent in 1970. It started its solidarity activities in 1966 and became a member of the Anti-Apartheid Committee. It supported the liberation movements in Southern Africa. It distributed funds to the South African Committee for Higher Education (SACHED) and other bursary programmes. WUS continues its activities now as IBIS.

Broadcasters for Radio Freedom [Omroep voor Radio Freedom]

The OvRF started in 1982 on the initiative of the AABN and mobilised people in the broadcasting sector to support Radio Freedom, the radio station of the ANC. Their aim being to raise financial support to train and equip several broadcasting stations for Radio Freedom. The organisation operated until 1995.

Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives

  • ZA COM MR-AAO
  • Record Group

The international movement of solidarity with the struggle for freedom in South Africa was arguably the biggest social movement the world has seen. Virtually every country in the world has a history of anti-apartheid activity, in diverse forms. In many countries, anti-apartheid activities were linked (formally or informally) with local struggles against oppression of many kinds. Most anti-apartheid movements (AAMs) did not restrict their activities to South Africa, but supported liberation movements in Southern Africa more broadly. Besides individual countries, a range of regional and international organisations added their voices to the struggles against apartheid.

What follows is an overview of some of the extant archival records of this extraordinary history. It is a first step towards a more comprehensive picture; it is at this point but a marker.

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