Seven thousand people marched to London's Trafalgar Square in a rally Feb. 28 to launch a month-long boycott of South African goods in the U.
Seven thousand people marched to London's Trafalgar Square in a rally Feb. 28 to launch a month-long boycott of South African goods in the U.K. The boycott protests at the South African Government's policy of racial discrimination.
Hugh Gaitskell - Labour's Shadow Prime Minister - at the head of a 2,000-strong group of marchers, pledged his party's full support. Before a crowd on Trafalgar Square - traditional London pitch for free speech - he attacked apartheid "with our passionate protest against a repulsive doctrine".
A near-riot flared at the rally, though it began with a plea of non-violence. Bottles and fists flew at a group of supporters of the extreme right Union Movement of Sir Oswald Mosley.
Some Communists were involved. Police attempting to check the street fighting tackled demonstrators, arrested nine 'for insulting behaviour'.
The ruling Conservative Party gives no support officially to the boycott, but recalls Prime Minister Macmillan's speech in Capetown concerning differences of views between Governments.
The rally approved three messages to be sent to: 1. the South African Government; 2. Mr. Macmillan; 3. African organisations calling for the boycott - pledging abstinence from buying South African goods during March as a protest against racial discrimination.