Apartheid is Not a Game

Now out with Redwords and available from Bookmarks


Apartheid is Not a Game: Remembering the Stop The Seventy Tour campaign

By Geoff Brown and Christian Høgsbjerg

With a foreword by Peter Hain

This short pamphlet commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the Stop The Seventy Tour Committee (STST), and includes a foreword by Peter Hain, a leading STST member. The STST formed in 1969 and was the catalyst helping to generate an inspiring mass movement from below of international solidarity which included mass non-violent civil disobedience and militant direct action on a scale in the world of sport that had never been seen before in Britain. Focused mainly on the protests against the South African rugby union tour, it was a campaign that in defiance of police brutality and violent racist intimidation successfully halted the white South African cricket tour of England in 1970 and so represents a famous victory over racism in general and the apartheid nature of South African sport in particular. The question of apartheid South Africa helped politicise and radicalise a generation of young activists in Britain. These young activists then in turn amid the wider revolutionary tumult of ‘1968’ and workers and student protest internationally helped turn what was a campaign based on a strategy of ‘respectability’ and appeals to British ideas of ‘fair play’ by elite figures in the world of politics, sport and civil society into a mass movement from below that inspired further anti-apartheid activism internationally and further anti-racist and anti-fascist activism in Britain.

‘The Springboks glorious Rugby World Cup victory has its springboard in those game-changing Stop the Racist Tours of anti-apartheid protest of yesteryear. Now with a black African as captain of an inspirational team the clarion call to eject racism from all sport and wider society is deafening! ‘
Ronnie Kasrils (former South African government minister and anti-apartheid activist)


THIS neat pamphlet-cum-book looks at the origins, aims and tactics of the Stop the 70 Tour Campaign (SSTC), which successfully prevented South Africa’s all-white cricket team from touring England in 1970.  Featuring an introduction by Peter Hain, one of the SSTC’s prime movers, it’s a concise summary of events, drawing on reminiscences from some of the people who took part in the campaign’s demonstrations and direct actions, as well as some of its “victims,” among them South African cricketers.  The format is attractive and the general attention to detail, including an appendix listing the number of demonstrators at each protest, is impressive….
Peter Mason in the Morning Star, 7 April 2020.

A Redwords pamphlet published January 2020 – £4

ISBN: 9781912926589

Edited to add: Remembering an Anti-Racist Victory – The Stop the Seventy Tour campaign and Black Lives Matter today – a comment piece from the London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter