Remembering the anti-apartheid protests against Springbok tour

December 7, 2013
1971 Springbok tour of Australia - YouTube/goori2

The death of Nelson Mandela on December 5 has focused attention once more on the global struggle against South Africa's aparthied regime. The heroic struggle of the Black population inside South Afica and the solidarity shown by ordinary people around the world was essential to winning Mandela's freedom and dismantling apartheid.

Australia was the scene of dramatic protests and repression against South African sporting tours in the 1970s. Hardline conservative Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen attracted national attention in July 1971 when he declared a "state of emergency" in Queensland to control demonstrations against a South African Springbok rugby union tour.

The Springboks tour resulted in widespread condemnation of South Africa's racial policies around Australia. The last leg of the Springbok rugby tour was to take place in Brisbane in July, 1971.

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