DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On this day
The passive resistance movement begins with a Mass meeting of 2000 Africans on the 30th March, 1919.
The passive resistance movement began on 30 March 1919 when a mass meeting of two thousand Africans in Vrededorp decided to reject the passes. The next day, three thousand Africans demonstrated outside the Johannesburg pass office, dumping bags full of passes. The demonstrations were peaceful. The South African Native National Congress (SANNC) had even hired constables to ensure this was upheld. However, police used force on the crowd and arrested hundreds. When asked about their main grievances, the representatives stated two things:
1. The denial of the rights of citizenship.
2. The denial, through the operation of the color bar, of the rights of ordinary human beings.
More than two hundred Africans were brought to court and charged with disturbing the peace or inciting the workers to strike. Despite their efforts, the demonstrations proved futile. The government did not abolish the pass laws for men.