Thursday 21st January 2016
Head Office Circular No. NP/22/16
To the Secretary all Branches,
National Executive Committee members,
Regional Councils and Regional Offices.
‘London Recruits’ documentary – Appeal for Branch and Regional Council Funding
In the 1960s and 1970s a number of NUS and NUR activists (as well as members of other British unions) were recruited to perform secret work in apartheid South Africa on behalf of Nelson Mandela’s banned ANC.
RMT, as the successor of NUS/NUR, is supporting the work of Cardiff-based production company Barefoot Rascals, to bring this story to the screen through a documentary entitled London Recruits, inspired by a book of the same name published in 2012.
Among the stories featured will be the daring attempt to secretly land returning ANC activists off South Africa’s coast in a boat crewed by NUS members from Merseyside. A plaque h
onouring these brave men was unveiled in Liverpool last year.
In a separate mission, NUR members were among those involved in dangerous propaganda work distributing banned anti-apartheid literature within the country. They faced lengthy imprisonment and torture if arrested.
RMT donated £2,000 last year to help with the film’s initial costs, as did a number of other unions. The project is backed by the TUC and a growing number of its affiliates, Ffilm Cymru Wales and anti-apartheid veteran Peter Hain.
The producers have just launched their second phase of fundraising in order to complete the film and our Council of Executives agreed in December 2015 to circularise Branches and Regional Councils encouraging them to contribute from their own funds as a legitimate expense.
• Branches, Regional Councils (and individuals) can contribute by visiting www.londonrecruits.com/support. Various rewards are listed, including private screenings of the completed film, depending on the size of the donation.