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China, capitalism and class struggle May 18 13
The struggle against apartheid - what did you do?
bristol | protests | press release Saturday June 30, 2012 10:27 by Dave Spurgeon davespurgeon at blueyonder dot co dot uk
The defeat of apartheid in South Africa was one of the more momentous events of the 20th century. A key element of the struggle was the role the international community and millions of people around the world played through solidarity action. For some people that meant boycotting South African goods, protesting against South Africa's sporting and international links, supporting political prisoners, fundraising for the ANC; for others, it was more dramatic action.
A public meeting being held in Bristol on 10th July, From Apartheid to Democracy: the role of international solidarity, both celebrates the role international solidarity played in defeating apartheid as well as exploring themes and understanding its role in other, on-going struggles.
The meeting - marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ANC (Africa's oldest liberation movement) - is being organised by Bristol ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa), the successor organisation to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, in conjunction with Bristol Trades Council, Cuba Solidarity, Palestine Solidarity, Stop the War, and the Troops Out Movement. It will provide an opportunity for those organisations to highlight their campaigns and identify the links between different acts of solidarity.
The keynote address will be given by Ronnie Kasrils, ANC, SACP, and Umkhonto we Siswe stalwart. Ronnie is also an ex-South Africa government minister and UN special representative as well as remaining an activist.
Following Rennie's address there will be a panel discussion with representatives of partner organisations fielding questions and comments from the audience.
The meeting will be opened by Bristol Red Notes Socialist choir and will also be the launch of London Recruits - the secret war against apartheid - a book exploring the undercover role many people from Britain played in overcoming apartheid. It tells of how the London exile community of the ANC recruited young, white, non-South African men and women to go on secret missions to help the anti-apartheid cause. Some smuggled weapons into South Africa; some heldp ANC fighters to enter the country; some posted hundreds of letters and packages; some set off devices that scattered leaflets high into the air; some set up street broadcasts of recorded speeches and freedom songs. Three were arrested, jailed, and tortured. Many of the devices used by the recruits were developed by South African exile and Bristol ACTSA and Bristol TUC member, Ronnie Press, when he lived in Bristol.
Ken Keable, editor of London Recruits, said "the book is an inspiring, untold story of youthful idealism, international solidarity and self-sacrifice of which Britain can be proud. The defeat of the apartheid regime struck a heavy blow against racism all round the world and especially in Britain - so, a victory for one is a victory for all". A timely reminder as people organise to keep the EDL off Bristol streets.
The meeting takes place on Tuesday 10th July at 7.30 pm in Hall 2, Colston Hall, Bristol - all very welcome. For further information contact Dave Spurgeon (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07856 740679)