‘Wij waren nette mensen, wij gooiden geen stenen’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 132 Number 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



In 1956 the first Dutch anti-apartheid movement, the Comité Zuid-Afrika (CZA), was found. Following the example of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, the CZA modelled itself as a politically representative moderate movement that was based on solidarity with the oppressed black population in South-Africa. As this article shows, the meaning of this solidarity became fiercely contested within the movement after the African National Congress (ANC) shifted from non-violent action towards armed resistance in the wake of the Sharpeville bloodbath in 1960. Following David Featherstone’s conceptualization of solidarity as a ‘relationship’ that is not a static given, this research shows that solidarity was constantly being contested and redefined in debates between individual members of the CZA. Within the movement many feared that solidarity, once declared, was by definition unconditional. The CZA eventually defined its relationship of solidarity with the ANC as support for non-violent resistance only. Its successor, the Anti-ApartheidsBeweging Nederland (AABN), which like other international anti-apartheid movements in the early 1970s was led by younger and more ideological activists, defined solidarity as unconditional. This different understanding of solidarity made this second generation of anti-apartheid activists participants in the violent resistance against apartheid.


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