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NUJ encourages donations to London Recruits film

© London Recruits

9 September 2016

Former NUJ president Lionel Morrison and the current chair of the union's Black members council, Marc Wadsworth, feature in a new short video calling for support to help make a film called London Recruits.

In the late 1960s a group of white activists known as the London Recruits, including NUJ members, left for South Africa to join the struggle against apartheid. The recruits masqueraded as young holidaymakers, business trippers or honeymooning couples.

The union is backing the film and the NUJ was an active participant in the struggle against apartheid. The union disinvested in subsidiaries with South African connections including the £1 million investment in the Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance.

The NUJ was also able to galvanize the power of free speech, that was denied to black people, by speaking out about the censorship and repression of journalists; condemned the clamp downs on the press and spoke out against the imprisonment of journalists including the New Nation editor Zwelakhe Sisulu who was detained without trial under state of emergency regulations in December 1986.

Today and in a world still infused with racism and discrimination, the film London Recruits intends to tell the stories of those who risked their lives and liberty for the anti-apartheid movement.
These historical stories still hold significance for activists and trade unionists today.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"The NUJ has a very proud track record, my trade union was on the right side of history in the struggle against racism and apartheid in South Africa.
"The story of the London Recruits needs to be told and I'd encourage our members and other trade unionists to donate what they can to support the film."

Watch the Lionel Morrison and Marc Wadsworth video.

Trade union general secretaries and NUJ representatives appeal for support for the project.

If you would like to find out more about the film or want to donate, visit the London Recruits website

Tags: , south africa, anti-racism, racism, solidarity, london, film, history, nuj, nuj history