Anti-apartheid protest by Youth Against War and Fascism, 1976
YAWF was the acronym for Youth Against War and Fascism, the youth organization associated with Workers World Party. Founded in 1962, YAWF carried its orange banners in the many confrontational actions of the 1960s and 1970s opposing the war in Vietnam, in solidarity with the Black Liberation Movement in the U.S., and in solidarity with all the movements around the world fighting for self-determination and liberation from imperialism.
YAWF’s December 1976 action and the flier were examples of the group’s anti-imperialist stance and a challenge to Washington’s characterization of the liberation movement in South Africa. This action was in solidarity with the June 16, 1976, uprising of youths and students in Soweto, South Africa, and the rise of the Black Consciousness Movement in that country, led by Steve Biko, who was assassinated by five police officers in 1977.
Until 1990, when the worldwide anti-apartheid movement succeeded in freeing South African leader Nelson Mandela from decades of imprisonment on Robben Island, the African National Congress and its armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), were listed as international terrorist organizations by the CIA and the U.S. State Department.