page 311 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_311.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 10-311

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_311.jpg]

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  • 1976 - (Creation)

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page

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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what happened. But the people were determined to the bitter end and inspired by the great victories they had scored in the past, showed tremendous solidarity and stamina.

In spite of the government attempts to smear the boycott as a dangerous political move and its appeal to employers to dismiss latecomers or to cut down wages in proportion to the hours worked, the response of the black and white public was good. As usual religious, welfare, cultural and political organisations came together and set up a committee under the chairmanship of Bishop Ambroze Reeves to mobilize support for the boycotters. Many whites, especially those living in the northern suburbs, gave lifts, others shortened the hour of work so that workers could start off on their walk home early. All these developments gave a new dimension to what originally was a purely local affair. It became an important battleground in which the contending parties were rallying support in a bitter struggle to wear out each other.

Success has always been the best organiser and in a few weeks the boycott snowballed first to the South Western Townships of the city and to the Western Areas of Sophiatown and surroundings and soon the huge corporation buses were running empty there as well. A co ordinating committee was established under the secretaryship of Alfred Nzo and consisting of representatives from the various areas. ANC men played a prominent part in organising the solidarity boycotts. Even in far off New Brighton in Port Elizabeth the African people responded in full force to the call of the ANC there and walked to and back from that city in sympathy with the people of Alex. There were similar but less spectacular demonstrations of solidarity in Pretoria and Durban. The bus boycott

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