‘Nationalism, the Bomb and ‘moral jiu-jitsu’: British anti-colonial networks, global peace movements and decolonization in Africa, 1959-62

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

Abstract

Between 1959-1962 a small group of international peace campaigners sought to forge links with African leaders and launched a series of protest campaigns that they hoped would be the basis of a transnational pacifist network. From anti-nuclear campaigns in Ghana through to independence movements in Zambia,  these protesters aimed to locate African struggles at the heart of the global peace movement. At the heart of these efforts was a network of activists from Britain and the US, including the anti-apartheid campaigner Michael Scott and the Civil Rights organiser Bayard Rustin. Alongside plans for dramatic interventions in the Sahara and Central Africa, they planned to establish major training centres for non-violent activism, but their efforts largely failed – in part as a consequence of the shift towards armed struggle against the remaining bastions of colonialism in southern Africa.

But, the history of these activists’ endeavours nevertheless reveals something of the multiple and contradictory narratives around liberation, progress and development that informed international visions of the so-called Third World in the 1960s. This paper explores the ways in which these campaigns might be considered more than a ‘footnote’ in history, but offer insight into the dynamic relationships between British activist networks, global peace movements and decolonization in Africa
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020
EventIn Search of Britain - Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France
Duration: 18 Nov 202018 Nov 2020
https://searchofbritain.wordpress.com/

Seminar

SeminarIn Search of Britain
CountryFrance
CityAmiens
Period18/11/2018/11/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • Peace Activism
  • anti-colonial movements
  • Decolonization

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