Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #155) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #155)
Transcript: houses were even built to accomodate the displaced people.
By the middle of 1953 the anti removal campaign, led by the local branches of the ANC and TIC (Transval Indian Congress) and the Ratepayers Association was underway and the masses of the people were being mobilised to resist. From now on until the actual removal eventually began in 1955 the Sophiatown branch, under the leadership of Robert Resha, held weekly public meetings addressed by leading Congressmen, standholders, tenants, city councillors, churchmen and other public figures. It was in the course of this campaign that I made the violent speech for which I was reprimanded. Our first real victory in the fight against the removals was when the government was forced to postpone the removal operations until houses had been built in Meadowlands.
The largest protest meeting in the history of this area was held in 1954 and was originally scheduled to be addressed by Chief Luthuli. It was widely publicized in the press and through pamphleteering and was expected to bring to Sophiatown a record crowd. The Chief flew from Durban to Johannesburg to deliver his speech but on his arrival at Jan Smuts airport the police served him with a banning notice which precluded him from attending the meeting. Walter Sisulu ably filled the gap and at the end of his speech the large gathering strongly denounced the proposed removal and pledged to fight to the bitter end.
A few months before that, a well attended conference was held at a local cinema. The police, rough and provocative as usual, invaded the cinema and demanded admission. Robert Resha blocked the
Extent and Medium: 1 page