This year’s ‘Walk for Southern Africa’ marks the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising. These were a series of protests led by students from numerous Sowetan schools in South Africa that began on the morning of 16 June 1976 in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction.
An estimated 20,000 students took part in the protests. They were met with fierce police brutality. The amount of casualties is unclear, with numbers ranging from 176 to 700 people dead and thousands injured. Many saw the Soweto Uprising as a turning point that eventually led to the defeat of apartheid. Today, South Africa remembers the events of June 16th and commemorates the lives of the lost students through a public holiday called Youth Day. From 1978 anti-apartheid local groups held sponsored walks on the anniversary of the Soweto uprising to raise funds for the ANC’s Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School in Tanzania. The Bristol Soweto Walk first took place in 1980 and we’re still walking!
You can also visit Action for South Africa’s JustGiving Page.
Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) campaigns with the people of Southern Africa as they strive to build a better future. Working for peace, democracy and development across the region, ACTSA is the successor organisation to the Anti-apartheid movement.