About this Archive
The City of London Anti-Apartheid Group (CAAG) was formed in 1982 by Norma Kitson, an exile from South Africa. Initially the group was recognised as being a local group of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, however by 1986 the group had become 'disaffiliated' from the national anti-apartheid movement.
CAAG mainly held protests and demonstrations outside the South African embassy in Trafalgar Square, London, and publicly fought for the right to protest there. Arguably, the most notable demonstration was the 'Non-Stop Picket' of the South African embassy which was launched in April 1986, and expect for a temporary ban in 1987, it continued until 1990. The picket called for the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners.
The City of London Anti-Apartheid Group also held 'trolley protests' against the sale of South African goods in supermarkets across the UK. This protest was aligned with the group's call for the British to impose sanctions on South African goods. CAAG also organised frequent occupations of the South African Airways office in Oxford Circus in London as part of their 'No Rights, No Flights' campaign.
In 1992 the group organised demonstrations against the Springbok rugby tour of Britain, and held demonstrations against apartheid in sport at other sporting events in the UK.
The City of London Anti-Apartheid Group also contributed towards the development and functions of campaigns to help South African political prisoners, such as the Upington 14 and the Sharpeville 6. It also shared solidarity with anti-apartheid groups based in South Africa, often asking associated individuals to participate in CAAG demonstrations and pickets. The group also supported other UK and international solidarity movements, and shared a relationship with Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism and the Revolutionary Communist Group.
The group also campaigned for free elections to be held in South Africa, which finally happened in 1994.
Scope and content
Papers of the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group, including: papers and correspondence regarding City of London Anti-Apartheid Group’s administration, membership and finances, papers, ephemera and correspondence regarding City of London Anti-Apartheid Group’s ‘Non-Stop Picket’ and other demonstrations and activities, press cuttings and articles regarding anti-apartheid, media statements and releases regarding anti-apartheid, papers and correspondence regarding the Trafalgar 9 campaign, papers and correspondence regarding legal cases and arrests made during anti-apartheid demonstrations, papers and correspondence regarding campaigns against the Springbok rugby tour of the UK, papers and correspondence regarding the Sharpeville Six and the Upington 14 campaign, papers and correspondence regarding the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), papers and correspondence regarding the African National Congress (ANC), photographs of anti-apartheid rallies and demonstrations, papers and correspondence regarding the United Nations Centre Agains
Apartheid, audio-visual materials featuring content on anti-apartheid, South Africa, and solidarity movements, posters regarding anti-apartheid [and other liberation/freedom movements], photographs and text from collages/displays, papers and correspondence regarding solidarity groups and movements and other anti-apartheid groups, and clothing and banners from City of London Anti-Apartheid Group's demonstrations and events (1980-1994)
28 boxes, 109 posters, 21 banners, 11 items of clothing and 2 over-sized items.
* Photograph from the Format Photographers Agency archive held at Bishopsgate Institute