Mark Perryman explains the launch of a Philosophy Football initiative in memory of Mandela and raisng funds for social justice in South Africa today
Nelson Mandela's unique achievement lies in dreaming of a free society, fighting for that dream in the face of the most vicious oppression, never surrendering that dream during the long years of imprisonment. And then turning that dream into some kind, however imperfect, of reality that shines brightly compared to South Africa's still recent Apartheid past.
Philosophy Football's T-shirt ,with exclusive portrait specially created by Philosophy Football co-founder Hugh Tisdale, depicts the young Mandela. The dreamer, the fighter, the courageous resistance he showed at his Rivonia Trial in 1964 before the 26 years of imprisonment he would face.
The T-shirt will raise funds for the successor campaign to the Anti-Apartheid Movement , Action for South Africa. A shirt not for the political hypocrites and come-latelies who have discovered Mandela's towering presence only in the past week yet when it mattered wouldn't lift a finger to help him. Instead its for us. The ones who boycotted Cape Apples and Barclays, stopped the Tours, marched and picketed, danced to the 'Free Nelson Mandela' beat. A shirt for the memories, to be worn with pride in what we were part of.
The spirit of our ambition is to raise £1000 for ACTSA before Christmas. In South Africa thousands of ex-miners are now suffering from silicosis after years of digging for apartheid gold with no compensation or decent healthcare provided. We will help ACTSA's Justice for South African Miners Campaign fund the fare for a spokesperson of these workers to come to Britain for the annual general meeting of Anglo American, the largest gold mining company in South Africa throughout the twentieth century. They will meet with shareholders, politicians, trade unions and the media and put pressure on Anglo American to pay for decent compensation and support.
South Africa's struggle for human dignity in South Africa continues, now more than ever we should remember that.
The Nelson Mandela T-shirt rising funds for ACTSA is now available from Philosophy Football
Mark Perryman is a member of both the Labour Party and Momentum. Co-founder of the self-styled ‘sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction’ aka Philosophy Football, he has also edited numerous books on the politics of the Left. The latest is Corbynism from Below and is published by Lawrence & Wishart, available to order from here.