In the Spring of 1970 I was 22 years old, near to finishing my degree at the University College of Swansea and living with my then-boyfriend Hugh Pearce (‘Jack’). We were both active in many left-wing campaigns, particularly against the war in Vietnam and against apartheid.
LONDON RECRUITS BOOK LAUNCH 11th JULY 2012.Although published in February 2012, the book was officially launched on 11 July 2012 in a packed committee room at the House of Commons, London. The event was chaired by the Rt Hon Peter Hain MP (who is South African born and was a prominent anti-apartheid campaigner in his youth) and attended by the South African High Commissioner, Dr Zola Sweyiya, and by Ronnie Kasrils, the ANC official who had sent many of the Recruits on their missions. This amateur video was taken by one of the Recruits, who wishes to remain nameless. A few of the Recruits had just returned from a tour of South Africa, where they had been warmly received. Some of the Recruits present had never met before.
Among the speakers are Peter Hain MP, Ronnie Kasrils (SACP), Ken Keable (CPB, Editor), Sean Hosey (a YCL member who was arrested, tortured and jailed in South Africa), Katherine Levine (who smuggled arms), George Bridges, His Excellency Mr Zola Skweyiya (the South African High Commissioner) and Recruits John Rose (SWP) Mary Chamberlain andBob Newland.
The book records an inspiring episode in the history of the Communist Party, the Young Communist League and the Socialist Workers' Party, though it is important to note that some of the Recruits had no political label.
The video is a wonderful record of a historic and unforgettable occasion. About 100 people were present, including many more of the London Recruits who went on clandestine missions to South Africa from 1967 onwards to help the liberation struggle of theANC and SACP.