Although the National Party held an extreme amount of power in South Africa, there was an unexpected amount of protest in the 1950s. There was resistance represented in the form of boycotts, stay-aways, strikes and civil disobedience. There were actions that were advocated in the African National Congress’s Programme of Action of 1949. The ANC was responsible for mass movements of resistance when it came to defying the unfair treatment of colored South Africans during the time of the apartheid. There were many protests that the ANC directed and one of the main forms of resistance was the Defiance Campaign in 1952 that was used to protest against the government’s new discriminatory legislation of unjust laws for colored South Africans. Although, this campaign ended up getting shut down by the government, and many of its organizers being imprisoned, it started a movement for mass campaigns and protests against unjust actions. The anti-apartheid movement saw one of the first major turning points in the 1960s when there were protests in Sharpeville that resulted in 69 deaths, the detention of 11,000 people, and the banning of ANC and Pan-Africanist Congress. Anti-apartheid movements by groups like the ANC and PAC had been non-violent in the past. More events like this took place and leaders of movement spoke up. Nelson Mandela was one of these leaders who was imprisoned for leading apartheid resistance. In 1964, after Mandela was sentenced to a life of imprisonment, he stated, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democracy and free society in which all persons live in harmony… It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Nelson Mandela was a huge leader when all of the protests were taking place, and he led the movement to a nation without apartheid.
Global Anti-Apartheid Movement … what prevented South Africas white supremacist government from escalating their own violence to Israeli levels of cruelty and audacity was not that they had greater scruples than the Zionist regime. It was recognition that they alone could not stand against a global anti-apartheid movement that was in solidarity with the internal resistance. Israels military deterrent has now been repeatedly discredited as a means to force Palestinians and other Arabs to accept Zionist supremacy as inevitable and permanent. Now, the other pillar of Israeli power Western support and complicity is starting to crack. We must do all we can to push it over. – Ali Abunimah, 2009
History, Resistance to Apartheid Robert Sobukwe, ..
Resistance to apartheid within South Africa took many forms over the years, from non-violent demonstrations, protests and strikes to political action and eventually to armed resistance. Together with the South Indian National Congress, the ANC organized a mass meeting in 1952, during which attendees burned their pass books. A group calling itself the Congress of the People adopted a Freedom Charter in 1955 asserting that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black or white.” The government broke up the meeting and arrested 150 people, charging them with high treason.