Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #340) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #340)
Transcript: suspected that it was as a result of their visit to our home. We never saw the second again.
The anti pass demonstrations stretched from about 1955 to 1960 and involved a substantial number of women throughout the country, and in Sekhukhuneland, Zeerust and Natal they reached the brink of open revolt. But once again we came up against the hard realities of the situation. We had no votes with which we could influence government policy nor arms to defend ourselves or break through to final victory. When dealing with a stubborn and ruthless enemy whose answer to the people's genuine grievances and demands always is the use of force, the most powerful demonstrations and costly sacrifices often fizzles out long before the moment of real and lasting victory comes.
Soon the enemy took counter measures and the possession of a pass became as essential condition which affected African women in numerous ways. Without it public authorities refused to grant them land and houses, trading licences, to solemnize marriages, allow movement from one area to another, grant old age pensions and permits to visit relatives in jail. It became illegal for employers to take on employees who did not possess these documents and in due course pressing needs began to punch holes in our ranks and that powerful movement petered out.
But early in 1959 the Congresses opened another front and again the peole throughout the country rallied marvellously. Labour conditions on white farms have always been shockingly bad and African and Coloured workers exposed to merciless exploitation. Industrial legislation designed to
Extent and Medium: 1 page