Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #327) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #327)
Transcript: readiness with which the SABC publicised the statement shook Moses Kotane and he now doubted whether we had acted correctly in calling off the strike. But we assured him that on the basis of the reports received we had done the right thing in stopping the demonstrations irrespective of the way in which the enemy chose to exploit the situation.
Pickets were used in Sophiatown and the strike was almost a 100% success there. In Port Elizabeth the response was far better on the 2nd and 3rd days but only after the ANC had taken tough counter measures. We have often discussed the question to what extend we should rely on coercive measures in organising political demonstrations and we have had to choose between two alternative courses. We could rely purely on the support the people have freely given because they fully realise that successful demonstrations would be in their best interest and that any action on their part that directly or indirectly assists the enemy should be avoided, that once the majority supports a demonstration freely, coercion should be used against the dissident minority.
The other alternative is to rely from the beginning to end on coercion and to use it even if on a specific issue the majority of the people are against us. The ANC policy has been clear and unequivocal. The organisation declared itself against the use of coersive measures as a means of mobilising the support of the people. It is definitely undesirable and even dangerous to mobilise mass support by means of force alone and wherever possible a political organisation should try to avoid such extreme measures. It is far better that the masses should themselves regard the organisation as their principal fortress and should see a particular campaign as a means of solving
Extent and Medium: 1 page