Reflect on the Anti-Apartheid Movement - Seeker's Thoughts

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Reflect on the Anti-Apartheid Movement

Apartheid classified South Africans by race, requiring them to live in separate areas and limit access to education. Hendrik Verwoerd refined this system further with homelands that excluded Blacks from national politics (Zunes 1999).

Nonviolent resistance against apartheid gained momentum through student-led boycotts of white businesses that highlighted how easily widespread discontent could be mobilized. Meanwhile, rising labor militancy brought international awareness of this regime.

The African National Congress (ANC)

As apartheid began to dismantle in the late 1980s, South African blacks gained renewed vigor in their fight. The African National Congress, founded as a Native National Congress in 1912 and known as SA NNC until 1994, changed its focus against National Party government and institutionalized apartheid; gradually gathering more support among nonwhites, it promoted more direct forms of resistance such as strikes and boycotts against it (Zunes 1999).

Additionally, the ANC encouraged blacks to form alternative community institutions like cooperatives, clinics, and legal resource centers as a complement rather than replacement for official governmental institutions. They were also encouraged to participate in mass demonstrations designed to bring international awareness of their cause while pressuring governments into lifting sanctions against blacks.

Between April 1960 and February 1990, the government banned the African National Congress (ANC), leading to many members being imprisoned on Robben Island. Following its win of the 1994 election by Nelson Mandela as president-elect, this ban was lifted and its membership became eligible to vote again.

At first, the African National Congress (ANC) focused on nonviolent resistance to apartheid system and integrated black consciousness ideas into its political philosophy, helping energize members and the larger anti-apartheid movement. Over time, however, its focus shifted and expanded internationally, garnering support and increasing economic sanctions against South African government that ultimately led to end of apartheid in South Africa.

The South African Communist Party (SACP)

Lodge asserts that when the African National Congress formed an alliance with the South African Communist Party in 1949, one of its key organizational structures became SACP. Lodge asserts that SACP's influence was far-reaching than was previously recognized. Their writing and speeches helped shape generations of members within both organizations - members of ANC itself, Umkhonto we Sizwe armed wing, as well as people living in black neighbourhoods - to consider covert resistance as an option against apartheid regime. They also helped introduce covert resistance ideas among new generations of activists.

Apartheid was vulnerable due to its dependence on nonwhite labor, southern African neighbors and international economic support from industrialized West. When these foundations of support began crumbling away, apartheid was increasingly undermined.

Student-led protests triggered global outrage against South Africa's regime and led them to divest from it, eventually becoming religious organizations' movement before Congress finally passing the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986.

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced through an oppressive security force, separate public facilities, and legal restrictions which barred black participation in national government. Under Hendrik Verwoerd as prime minister, apartheid policies were further refined into 10 Bantu homelands called Bantustans; by keeping various Black communities separate it enabled the government to claim that apartheid was founded upon self-determination rather than segregation.

The South African Defence Force (SADF)

The apartheid government used military force to quell protests and rebellion. Young white men aged 18 were conscripted into the South African Defense Force (SADF) at age 18, as part of their state's "total response" against communism and African nationalism - something young black students saw as threats from communism and African nationalism; young black students formed trade unions and campaigned for higher wages while being drawn into movements such as Stephen Biko's Black Consciousness Movement which encouraged pride in African cultures and communities alike.

Covert resistance continued to present an uphill challenge to the apartheid government, with black workers outraged by poor working conditions leading to nationwide strikes by black workers and prominent Afrikaner clerics and intellectuals abandoning support of government policies; SADF crackdowns led to violent crackdowns during protests leading to the deaths of 69 individuals at Sharpeville.

Once they had experienced Sharpeville, both ANC and PAC leaders realized apartheid could not be overthrown through peaceful means alone. Both organisations formed their respective armed wings - Umkhonto we Sizwe for the ANC and Poqo for PAC respectively - which detonated numerous bombs without posing much of a threat to government; instead it had virtually exclusive control of modern weaponry at this point in history.

The army also sent troops to assist with the war in Namibia and Angola, leading to the deaths of 788 South Africans (mostly conscripts). Apartheid began to show its strain; economic pressure from sanctions and military adventurism; annual inflation topped 14 percent; and foreign investment capital began withdrawing.

The United Democratic Front (UDF)

Apartheid was a system of laws in South Africa which upheld segregation between white and nonwhite citizens, prohibiting contact between them, restricting labor union and political organization formation for Black citizens, as well as accessing education and public facilities. Hendrik Verwoerd refined apartheid further with "separate development," creating 10 Bantu homelands which excluded Blacks from national government; coupled with brutal police tactics this policy effectively undermined Black cultural identity while depriving them of equal quality of life comparable with that enjoyed by their white counterparts.

After the Soweto students' uprising, many South Africans sought a mass anti-apartheid movement that could unite township communities and black neighbourhoods under one banner against apartheid. Many covertly read revolutionary-style literature while discussing banned ANC materials and black consciousness theory; finally in August 1983 at Mitchell's Plain they launched the United Democratic Front (UDF). Their national leadership consisted of Archie Gumede, Oscar Mpetha, Albertina Sisulu as national leaders while Popo Molefe served as general secretary while Patrick Lekota served as publicity secretary - all three positions having participated as leaders within it since its formation.

The United Democratic Front served as an umbrella organization for hundreds of community-based civil society organisations in South Africa. While these affiliates focused on their own issues-ranging from free text books in schools, liberation theology, campaigns for lower rents and safer streets-affiliation with the UDF gave these bread-and-butter concerns more meaning; millions of South Africans felt like part of a liberation movement thanks to this affiliation. While embracing Freedom Charter principles allowed its members considerable independence but its goal remained one of creating non-racial society

The International Community

As apartheid escalated in South Africa, international pressure to end its racist policies increased significantly. Anti-apartheid activists within South Africa intensified efforts to make it unruly through strikes, boycotts, and acts of sabotage; by the 1980s many internal political groups such as church and youth organizations had emerged; government response included crackdowns and bans against these political organizations; however this did not put a stop to its growth and success.

Anti-apartheid activists sought to exert influence over foreign policy as well. They pressured the United Nations to recognize South Africa's dire situation as a threat to world peace and take effective steps, including sanctions, to end racist tyranny in South Africa.

The United States and other nations reacted strongly to apartheid, with some taking steps that proved particularly effective at drawing global attention to South Africa's oppressive conditions. One such measure was divestment - businesses, state governments and universities working to cut ties with South African corporations and institutions - providing moral backing to voices outside South Africa calling for reform; television coverage of violence, massacres and segregation also contributed significantly in raising public awareness.

In 1948, Afrikaners in power began enforcing existing laws of racial segregation through apartheid. Under this system, nonwhite citizens were denied access to public facilities, their union activities were limited, and they could no longer participate in national government. Hendrik Verwoerd further refined this system with his Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act; creating 10 "Bantustans" with families belonging to specific races or ethnicities.

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