Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #421) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #421)
Transcript: the demand for counter measures on our part became even stronger. We were aware that this was now the main topic of interest both inside and outside the Congress movement and early in June 1961 the Working Committee of the ANC felt that resort to violence was inevitable and put the whole matter on the agenda of its National Executive which met in Durban that same month.
The matter was discussed under the shadow of the Treason case where the main issue was whether or not the policy of the ANC was violent or non violent and where the nature of our defence tended to overstress the question of non violence. The Crown case was that we believed in violent methods and merely used non violence in our public statements as a smokescreen to cover our real aim of overthrowing the State by violent means. In the circumstances we presented the whole question of non violence as an established policy and not as a tactical one to be changed as conditions warranted. This made it even more difficult, so soon after the Trial, to convince one another on the feasability of the changes that were now being advocated. Sharp differences were to be expected but finally we unanimously endorsed the decision of the Working Committee.
The following evening we discussed the matter at a joint meeting of the Congresses. Chief Luthuli who presided announced the decision of the ANC but suggested that we should handle the issue as if the ANC had not discussed it. In a matter of such importance members of the ANC thought it would be dangerous to rely on technicalities and readily accepted the Chief's suggestion.
The discussion reiterated the arguments used at the meeting of the Joint Executives earlier in the
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