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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 2. 7th March 1973



Drawing of a clock and 'Das Salient'

For weeks rumours have been spread around Wellington that the Labour Government is definitely going to stop the Springbok Tour. There have been some indications that it will do so; for example Kirk and Faulkner's categorical statements that they will not use the army against demonstrators. But the Tour is officially still on, and Mr Kirk is running out of time to call it off.

The anti-apartheid movement cannot wait for Mr Kirk to make up his mind. People must start planning now on the assumption that the Springboks will arrive in New Zealand in about 12 weeks. At the national anti-apartheid conference last year it was made clear that no one who opposed the tour would be forced to take action they disagreed with. Those who support Care and Hart's policies of disruption do so because they believe these policies will work. Others will find different forms of protest which are just as legitimate. Yet there are still some groups which ostensibly oppose the tour but spend their time trying to undermine the established anti-apartheid groups, under the phoney cover of 'principled debate' about tactics.

"Overseas and local experience shows that disruption has worked, where more respectable tactics such as lawful demonstrations and deputations have failed. The anti-apartheid movement will have to undertake widespread disruptive actions once the Springboks get here because these tactics will be the only unofficial means through which the tour will be stopped. The alternative to a disrupted tour is a trouble free tour.

It was shameful that the South African team were invited here in the first place, and it will be an insult to humanity if they arrive and play here. If their sojourn is marred by no more than meek banner waving we are capitulating to racism. The white minority regime in South Africa, which the Springboks represent, are no better than Nazis who want to spread their ideas of the master race, the herrenvolk, that they inherited from Hitler. Our parents did more than wave banners at Hitler, and we must do more now.

Last week we stressed that international opinion, and especially African opinion, demands that the Tour be called off. If the Government fails to stop it, it will be up to the anti-apartheid movement to do so. Staff and students at this university can play a major part in this action, but now is the time to stop talking and start planning action.

— Peter Franks & Roger Steele.