Passive Resistance in South Africa


Mass meetings outside the Hamidia Mosque in Johannesburg helped kickstart the passive resistance Campaign. © Museum Africa.

The passive resistance movement in South Africa is seen as, largely, led by M K Gandhi and the Indian Congresses campaigns. However, this form of passive resistance or non violent protests came to dominate the tactics used by the liberation movements in the period of the armed struggle.

This feature includes anti apartheid mass actions which demonstrates the links and discontinuities of the Gandhi legacy in South Africa.

We have included similarly influenced campaigns in South African history.

Non violent mass campaigns forged a new form of struggle against oppression that became a model for political and ethical struggles in other parts of the world.

This week SAHO features the Passive Resistance Campaign of 1913 by highlighting the events that preceded the campaign, the campaign itself and the aftermath of the campaign.

Passive or non-violent mass action campaigns against the apartheid state, includes the anti pass, defiance and ECC campaigns among other such campaigns.

This year marks 100 years since the 1913 Passive Resistance Campaign. 

This feature was put together to celebrate the centenary of the campaign. The feature looks at the various important 'passive resistance' or 'non-violent' campaigns in 20th Century South Africa namely;

Last updated : 29-Sep-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 30-Mar-2011

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