Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #177) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #177)
Transcript: remember him as a fighter for national rights and a leader of the ANC whose most important single contribution was the idea that finally took shape as the present Freedom Charter. It is one of the ironies of history that ridicules one's judgement that a man often criticized as an illusive fence sitter should have conceived a dynamic idea which would form the vortex of our aspirations as a broad national movement and which whould lead to biggest and longest treason proceedings in the history of our country.
Many people assume that the Charter was drawn up in plush offices by a group of schooled politicians and imposed on our people. Nothing could be further from the truth and the way the document was prepared gives a valuable insight into the work of our organisation. One of the first steps taken by the Council of the Congress of the People (COP) after its formation was to give the widest publicity to the idea and to invite suggestions from the entire public as to the nature of the demands that should be written in the Charter. The actual principles it embodies were formulated out of demands that came from people from different walks of life. These came from sports and cultural clubs, church groups, ratepayers associations, women's organisations and meetings, students, schools, trade union branches. It was of great interest to many of us to see from the actual suggestions sent in just how far ahead of the politcians the masses were in several respects. The bulk of the demands were well thought out and dealt with crucial issues in plain language and a common feature was the universal realisation that political power was absolutely necessary in the struggle to build a new South Africa, and that that political power would be meaningless if the key sectors of the country's economy were in private hands. One man one vote and the nationalisation
Extent and Medium: 1 page