Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) is the successor organisation to the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM). ACTSA was formed in 1994 following calls by southern African groups and organisations for continued international support following the end of apartheid.
The Bristol branch of the Anti Apartheid Movement was formed in response to increasing oppression of people speaking out against apartheid in South Africa.
The group's first public meeting took place on 24th September 1964. The key speaker was Joe Slovo, a leading member of the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). He was later a minister in South Africa's post-apartheid government. The Bristol group became one of the most active anti-apartheid groups, organising meetings, pickets, vigils, fundraising events and political discussions.
At its peak in 1989, the Bristol AAM had 1150 members from all sectors of society. Supporters of the group included local politicians and Bristol City Council.
Bristol AAM set up a political prisoners group to highlight repression and violence against people who spoke out against apartheid in South Africa. The group's activities included petitions, letter-writing, vigils, street events and sending greetings to prisoners' families.
Bristol AAM actively supported the campaign to free Nelson Mandela.
Following the end of Apartheid with the first free elections in South Africa in 1994, Bristol Anti Aparthied Movement became the Bristol Branch of Action for Southern Africa and continued its campaigns for equality and peace in other South African countries throughout the 1990s and into the 21st Century.