Independent Lens

Have You Heard from Johannesburg? - The New Genera

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This mini-series chronicles the unprecedented international movement of citizen activists who fought for three decades to bring down the brutal, racist system of apartheid in South Africa when their governments would not. It is youth, both inside and outside, who next join the growing movement against apartheid. Buoyed by new support in western countries, Oliver Tambo returns to the United Nations to try to convince the world body to sanction South Africa. His efforts gain new public support as the brutal suppression of a youth uprising in the South African township of Soweto and the murder of freedom fighter Steve Biko turn South Africa from a country into a cause, a worldwide emblem of injustice. A significant victory is won when the United Nations issues a mandatory arms embargo: the first in history. But South Africa's strongest trading partners in the West still will not sanction it economically. And as Tambo heads to Zambia to minister to the ANC's growing guerrilla army, a bloodbath seems inevitable. But even as the most powerful western governments refuse to heed Tambo's calls for cultural and economic boycotts, the citizens of those western nations will help turn the tide.

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