Liverpool supports the demo

25 November 1969

Guild Gazette has this account in the current issue of the meeting last Wednesday addressed by Peter Hain, and the plans for Liverpool students to join the demonstration against the South African rugby team in Manchester next week:

Peter Hain addressing the meeting in Lounge Hall on Wednesday

Liverpool University is to send 200 students to join the “Stop the Tour” demonstration at Manchester on Wednesday when the South African Rugby touring team play the  Northern Counties.

At a mass meeting, which 300 students attended, last Wednesday lunch hour, Mr Aziz Pahan a member of the African National Congress and Mr Peter Hain, organiser of the “Stop the Tour” campaign spoke of the reasons why they object to Apartheid.

Quoting Dr Vorster, Premier of South Africa, who has declared, “We want to keep South Africa white” and “No mixed sport will be practised in South Africa”, Mr Pahan emphasised that while the National Liberal Movement has carried on for years with a non-violent campaign, the Government has become more violent.

”There are now 80,000 political prisoners in South Africa and all chance of bringing about change is no longer possible. We must submit or fight,” he declared.

“We feel that confrontation with South Africa will involve not only them but the whole world,” continued Mr Pahan. “Armaments are supplied by Western Europe and North America and foreign investments are about 26% 0f total investment capital”, Mr Pahan alleged.

Mr Pahan claimed that the rugby team is here under false pretences. ”It is a white South African team whose members have the best of both worlds here and at home”, said Mr Pahan, “and they are far from being innocents –  they are collaborators.

The meeting listened quietly as Mr Pahan listed examples of racial discrimination in sport by South Africa, particularly the boxing champion Wanderwult who lost all his titles because he was declared coloured.

“When   the   New   Zealand   All Blacks rugby team went to South Africa with two Maoris, they were declared white for the duration of the tour and”  – warned Mr Pahan – “this may  be  South  Africa’s  last bid for recognition in the Western world in view   of   the Kenyans’ refusal  to   participate  in the Mini-Olympics.”

Mr  Pahan received  loud applause. Mr Peter Hain then laid emphasis on Mr Pahan’s words, adding that the aims of the Stop the Tour Committee were to isolate white South Africa from all international sport and to sever South   Africa’s last cultural link and force them to compromise.

Commenting  on the  present tour, Mr Hain spoke of peaceful demonstrators being beaten up by vigilantes,   virtually a private  army  of  “toughs”  who  wear orange arm bands for identification. “What   kind   of  sport needs   to guard  players   and   spectators   with hundreds   of   police?”   asked   Mr Hain.   “Let   me    tell   you    that South Africa brought politics into sport not  us.”

Mr   Jon   Snow   addressing    the meeting  pleaded   that  there  be   no violence on our side, or our case would be spoiled. “There    is    supposed   to be a large   amount   of   opposition  here to the demo”, said Mr Snow, “yet though   the   whole   University   was invited to  attend, no-one   has opposed  the  whole   argument against  white South       Africa policy.”

Mr  Dave   Robertson,   who   left the University this year, and who is organising    the    coaches, concluded the meeting by stating that about 500 students are going from other colleges   in  Liverpool.

On Thursday a  motion  was passed at  the   Extraordinary Meeting of Guild Council to the effect   that   the   Council   supports the action of students demonstrating   to   stop    the    Springbok   team and as a measure of that support, gives financial backing to the amount of £50.

This was later declared invalid by Executive under article 5 of the constitution.

However at an official Mass Meeting on Friday at which over 600 students were present, a motion proposed by Mr Richard Morris was carried unanimously supporting other universities in their demonstration against  the Springboks.

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Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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