Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #115) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #115)
Transcript: letter ended with the threat that if we pursued the contemplated course of action the government would make full use of the machinery at its disposal to quell any disturbances and thereafter deal adequately with those responsible for inciting subversive activities of any nature whatsoever.
We were irrevocably committed and we embarked on preparations for mass action in real earnest. In a second letter to Malan we pointed out that we were not concerned with biological differences but with citizenship rights which were denied to us by man and lwas that were artificially imposed. We denounced his rejection of our demand for direct representation as the kernel of the policy of apartheid and stressed that nothing in the Bantu Authorities Act could be a substitute for direct representation in the councils of state. We placed on record that as a voteless and defenceless community we had explored other channels without success and that we had no alternative but to resort to civil disobediance.
Neither we nor the government could afford to make ampty threats and we accepted Malan's rejection of our demands as a declaration of war, demanding immediate mobilisation of the forces on both sides. At this time the whites were preparing to celebrate on April 6th 1952 the 300th anniversary of the landing of Jan van Riebeeck and on that day preliminary skirmishes broke out when we held protest meetings in various centres. On May 31st the executives of the ANC and SAIC met in Port Elizabeth and announced that the defiance campaign would begin on June 26th, the anniversary of the first National Day of Protest. They also set up a National Action Committee to direct the campaign and a National Volunteer Board to recruit and train volunteers. I was
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