Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #171) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #171)
Transcript: those who called for a fight to the finish added that the whole country was in an explosive mood, and that the people would only rally to a call for something more spectacular than the half hearted reaction of a mere protest.
The case for a protest rested upon the premise that a mass campaign should be influenced not by idealistic considerations but by objective factors, that we should rely on our own organisation, the ANC, and make our plans on the basis of what we ourselves could do, that to launch a campaign for a permanent boycott would require a gigantic machinery and vast resources we did not possess, and that our past campaigns had shown the dangers of exaggerating our strength and underestimating that of the enemy. It was further argued that we could not stage a show down when we had been caught unprepared and that victory over the enemy at a later stage when we would be better prepared would still be as magnificent. Finally, it was argued that we should call for a week's boycott. This view prevailed in the Executive and I shared it fully, having helped to urge it on those colleagues who held the other point of view.
The National Executive therefore resolved that the people be organised not to send their children to school for a week, beginning April 1, 1955 and recommended accordingly to the Annual Conference which met in Durban during December 1954. Delegates to the Conference were in an aggressive mood and rejected the recommendation. Conference resolved in favour of an indefinite boycott. This mood was so strong that when the issue came up before a special conference at which the Liberal Party was also present at Port Elizabeth four months later delegates remained steadfast
Extent and Medium: 1 page