Congress of the People and the Freedom Charter

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  • Congress of the People and the Freedom Charter
    • By ANC
      • Clear statement on future of South Africa
      • Invited whole of South Africa to record their demands so they could be incorporated into a common document
    • Freedom Charter timeline
      • 1948-1961
    • People
      • Motsamai Keyecwe Mpho
      • Douglas Chadwick Thompson
    • Outcomes
      • Document would be accepted at Congress of People
      • Following 1955, all members of Congress Alliance adopted Freedom Charter in their national conferences as their official programme
        • Thus Freedom Charter became common programme enshrining hopes and aspirations of all progressive people of SA
    • Events
      • Thousands of people participated in campaign and sent in their demands for kind of South Africa they wished to live in
      • June 25 and 26, 1955
        • Congress gathered  at Kliptown, outside Johannesburg
          • Large, colourful, exciting event
        • Three thousand delegated gathered
          • Workers
          • Peasants
          • Intellectuals
          • Women
          • Youth and students
          • of all races and colours
          • Congress constituted most representative gathering in history of South Africa
        • Congress adopted Freedom Charter, a vision for a united, non-racial and democratic SA
      • June 26, 1950
        • Declared  Freedom Day
      • 1950
        • Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) had called for a May Day strike to protest against Unlawful Organisation Bill
          • Strike resulted in police violence and death of 18 people
      • 20 June 1950
        • CPSA was forced to dissolve and ANC took over planning for a 'Day of Mourning' for those who died in May Day Strike
          • Also called for day to be celebrated as Freedom Day in future
    • Notable achievements
      • Campaign united most of liberation forces in SA
      • Nothing in history of liberation movement in SA caught popular imagination as Congress of People Campaign
      • Sustained political activity after curbing Defiance Campaign
      • Developed and strengthened political organisation by broadening geographical and social bases of liberation movement
      • Raised political consciousness of the masses by offering a vision of an alternative social order

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