South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Anti-pass Campaign

The campaigns against the pass laws involved protests, demonstrations and the burning of pass books.

On 9 August 1956, now celebrated as South African Women’s Day, over 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest against the extension of the pass laws to women.

On 21 March 1960 police opened fire on men, women and children who were protesting against the pass laws at Sharpeville in the then Transvaal province, killing 69 of them.

A week later, amid mounting protests and demonstrations, a State of Emergency was declared.