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Labour for South Africa Rally
As everyone gathers, Peter Gabriel (approved by Blakesley) does a social-justice themed set, ending with “Biko.”

Tommy Dawson:

Dawson approaches the front of the dais wearing a frumpy outfit that can best be described as “1970’s geography professor”. He has various Anti-Apartheid pins affixed to his jacket and is donning his black, green, and gold ANC-themed flag tie.

Hello comrades! I’m going to keep my remarks short because I am sure we all want to hear what one of my greatest heroes, Nelson Mandela, has to say on this historic occasion.

Briefly, I’d be remiss to not address the current situation surrounding the former Prime Minister Marcus Drummond-MacBeath, whose cowardly decision to flee justice – after a spoiled life of virtue, grandeur and never facing repercussions for the immense harm he caused others – has spurred a profound international incident. Just as I am confident that the struggle for emancipation in South Africa will succeed, I’m confident that not only will Drummond-MacBeath be brought to justice but that the fetid order of inequality and mass-alienation that he fought for will be replaced with an equitable, just one that future generations will be proud of.

I’m sure many of us here have attended many marches. I’m sure many of us here have taken time out of their day to attend a picket, circulated a petition, or spoken to our neighbors, friends, and family to convince them to join in the fight to end the sickening Apartheid order in South Africa. If you’re anything like me, it’s likely that you’ve fought many lonely fights in this struggle, you’ve experienced moments of disenchantment or disempowerment feeling as though the forces we are fighting are so powerful, that they are so entrenched and fundamentally interested in maintaining the sordid order that there is nothing that can be done to achieve any semblance of justice.

Well – take a moment to look around you comrades – we aren’t alone anymore! Take a look at the situation in South Africa with the freedom of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress engaged in negotiations to forge an equal society. Those two realities are fundamentally intertwined. The ruling class aren’t the only ones capable of wielding power. When the people are organized together into a mass movement around a clearly-defined common cause of justice – in this case around the globe from Johannesburg, to Perth, to Glasgow – and when we leverage the power that we have with proper strategic analysis there is no force known on this planet Earth capable of maintaining the rotten-to-the-core old order. It is through the organizational strength, the tireless toil, and clarity of purpose of people throughout the world – primarily in South Africa but also right here in Britain – that we are now on the cusp of the end of Apartheid and the beginning of a new era of political freedom and material equity in South Africa. But we cannot grow complacent. We must continue to put the pressure on the Apartheid Government in order to ensure they relent to the demands of our movement. An effective way we can do this is to rally around Labour’s plan that will be announced soon by the Shadow Foreign Secretary to leverage the power of the international community in our cause for justice.

I leave this podium now prouder than I have ever been before in the socialist and justice movement seeing the fruit of our hard, organizing work on the horizon and imagining the better world we can achieve. Thank you!

Ruth Murphy:

Thank you, comrades.

It’s good to be here, and it is the honour of my life to be joined by Nelson Mandela today. The Labour movement in Britain and across the world owes him their gratitude. In his fight against apartheid, racism and injustice Mr. Mandela has been a beacon of hope for all who want to see a world free from poverty, injustice and inequality. He reminds us both that the fight against all of these great evils rages on, but that with hope, determination and conviction it can be won. It will be won.

And as inspiring as this rally is for all of us, we must be conscious that it should not be happening. Any government worth its salt would not be ignoring Nelson Mandela’s crucial voice against injustice in South Africa but working with him to finally bring an end to apartheid. When we have a government that is commanded by backbenchers who view Nelson Mandela as a villain, but our treacherous former Prime Minister as a hero, we can never have that government. The pressure must be on for the Prime Minister to not just take action against the apartheid government but within his own party.

Because we know this government will want to rewrite history and tell us that they are taking tough and decisive action against the South African government. Let’s be clear, comrades: this government has had years to act. We in the Labour movement and wider left had told them to take tough action for decades. Instead, through either silence or vocally and shamelessly they had taken the side of the oppressor against the oppressed. Where were the sanctions for apartheid? Where were the sanctions for the autocratic and despicable actions taken by the South African government which went against all of our values? They were not there.

This government only chose to act when scorned by one of its own, like a child throwing toys out of a pram.

That doesn’t just highlight this government’s moral priorities – it highlights that it is acting on the world stage in a kneejerk manner. We need a comprehensive strategy to bring justice to the South African government, not just a sanction here and a scornful statement there. It is not in this government we’ll find that plan, but in voices on the ground abroad like Nelson Mandela and the ANC and in excellent administrators at home in our Labour movement like Mr. Griff Rhys Morrison himself.

But we need you to help us make that change in Britain and across the world. The Labour movement has the conviction, the plan and the opportunity to make that very real change. It’s time we kick the Tories to the curb and get into government so that we can make it happen!

Trade Union Leaders:
Arthur Scargill of the National Union of Mineworkers and Ron Todd of the Transport and General Workers’ Union (both approved by Max) then speak, discussing the connections between the UK’s labour movement and the South African labour movement. Specifically Scargill discussed solidarity between the mine workers movements in Britain and South Africa invoking the Westcott Diamond Mines.

John Brown:

This should be a simple matter so I shall speak shortly and simply. If anything good came from the chaos that has descended upon our United Kingdom this past year let it be this: that it finally put the attention of the world upon the fight for equality, freedom, and justice in South Africa. None of this would be possible without the courage of Nelson Mandela, whose courage in the face of persecution, adversity, and danger is an inspiration to us all. We must follow in his footsteps and stand up with our persecuted brothers and sisters in South Africa and say “No More!” No more will we stand for citizens in any part of the world being treated as second-class. No more will we stand for any person being discriminated against based on the colour of their skin. No more will we, as nations of the world, tolerate Governments that perpetuate inequality and injustice throughout their land.

While this fight continues in South Africa, it will not end there. We must continue to stand against injustice and inequality throughout the world. We must follow Nelson Mandela’s lead of meaningful protest to topple a hard-hearted regime and send a clear message to all leaders of the world: we stand united in solidarity with all those who thirst for freedom, with those who fight for equality. Will will not stand for injustice. The fight ahead is long, and there will be difficult battles--but if we stand here together in the face of adversity, we will succeed not only for South Africa--but for the world.

James McCrimmon:

Good afternoon, comrades! I am so glad to be with you all today, together, fighting for justice and peace.

When I began to study South African history in uni, one of the first things I noted was the similarities of the lives of the black working-class there to the British working-class. We say that there is "power in a union," and their history proves why we say that - without a union, without the democratic power afforded to white people, the black population of South Africa has been taken advantage of.

I want to address the "why this, why now" question from a different angle - allow me to propose a new foreign policy doctrine "you break it, you buy it." Common at shops around this country, if you break something in the store, you're responsible for buying it. Similarly, if a country is a leading contributor to the breaking of a country, they should be leading in cleaning it up. For example, if Iran becomes broken (and some might say that it already is), we should expect the United States to lead in helping to restore human rights. So, where does that leave us with South Africa?

There are many ways that apartheid has affected the black population of South Africa. But one of these ways is the creation of compounds for black mineworkers. Initially designed as a way to avoid the creation of an illicit diamond trade, the historian Charles Van Onselen writes that they became solely "to do with employers seeking to maximise control over labour." And just who could have been profiting off of mining? Could that be British citizens? Could that be the Cecil Rhodeses of the world? Who, let's be clear - have not left us. In fact, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was born into a wealthy mining family in South Africa! Imagine that!

But this is about more than Isaac Westcott, Cecil Rhodes, or Marcus Drummond-MacBeath. What this is about is labour control. It is about human rights abuses. It is about access to democracy. It is about fighting for the rights of the working class, which as we all know, "unites the human race."  It is about making the necessary reparations to make up for what our governments and our citizens did to South Africa. If we are willing to send our troops to fight Hussein, we should be willing to commit our money, time, and sanctions to fighting for justice and equality in South Africa. Human rights are human rights, no matter where they're violated. And no matter how much our leaders may like any country or their leaders either!

Again, you don't need me to tell you this. You don't need me to talk about why South Africa needs reform, there's someone else here you need to hear talk about it instead, our guest tonight. Born and raised in the Cape Province, our speaker studied law at the University of the Witwatersrand where he faced racism as the only black student. During this time, he joined the African National Congress and, over the next few years became more and more involved in its organizing. Arrested in 1962, he was found guilty in 1964 for the charge of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. Additionally, he famously spoke at his trial, telling the world that he "cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," and that if needed, he was prepared to die for that ideal to be realised. He was imprisoned for almost thirty years on these trumped up charges before being released. Recently, on behalf of the ANC, which he now serves as President, he successfully negotiated the Groot Schuur Minute. It is my privilege to welcome to this rally one of this world's greatest fighters for freedom, a hero to us all, and, most importantly, our beloved comrade in the fight, Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela:
Nelson Mandela speaks about the South African struggle for emancipation and gives updates about the current state of the movement. It’s great. Afterwards, he shakes hands with the Shadow Cabinet members before Peter Gabriel leads everyone in the singing of “Shosholoza,” “The Red Flag,” “The Internationale,” and “Noksi Sikelel’ iAfrika.”
James McCrimmon
Leader of the Labour Party (1990-Present)
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1990-Present)

Member of Parliament for Glasgow Pollok (1970-Present)
Traits: Campaigning Guru, 2XP

Formerly Shadow Solicitor General (1972-1974), Attorney General (1974-1979), Shadow Attorney General (1979-1980), Shadow Health Sec (1981-1983), Shadow Environment Sec (1984-1987), Shadow Employment Sec (1987-1989), Shadow Social Security Sec (1989-1990)
Securing Mandela to appear at a rally is an undoubted coup for the Leader of the Labour Party, helping to showcase him as a potential Prime Minister in waiting.

The event also goes down well with the Labour Party faithful and those outside the party who have campaigned on Apartheid issues for many years. McCrimmon's speech introducing Mandela is well received and again reinforces his leadership credentials.

However, and perhaps to be expected, the event draws sly criticism from right-wing figures, with some arguing that Labour is a party of 'student union rallies' rather than one of government.

1XP to McCrimmon.
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