Nelson Mandela – Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strikers to sign book of condolence at Mansion House in Dublin 5pm Saturday (meeting 4:45pm) December 7, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, South Africa, The Left.
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Nelson Mandela – Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strikers to sign book of condolence at
Mansion House in Dublin 5pm Saturday (meeting 4:45pm)
Group to include Mary Manning, Karen Gearon (shop steward) and Brendan Archbold (trade union official during strike)
THE DUNNES STORES ANTI-APARTHEID STRIKERS will sign the book of condolence for Nelson Mandela RIP at the Mansion House in Dublin at 5pm on Saturday 7 December.
Amongst the group will be Mary Manning, whose support for the international boycott of produce from the apartheid state by refusing to handle South African produce on 19 July 1984 saw the start of the nearly three-year strike. With Mary will be Karen Gearon (shop steward) and Brendan Archbold (the trade union head office official throughout the dispute), and the other strikers who endured one of Ireland’s longest trade union struggles in solidarity with South Africa’s oppressed.
ELEVEN YOUNG WORKERS (ten women and one man) at the Henry Street, Dublin, branch of Dunnes Stores took a stand against apartheid in on 19 July 1984. They thought it would last two weeks – it went on for two years and nine months.
The strikers – including Mary Manning, Karen Gearon and Brendan Archbold – were held at gunpoint at Johannesburg Airport and deported by South African security police when they flew there in 1985 at the invitation of Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu while Mandela was still in prison. Brendan Archbold quipped at their deportation that the young Dubliners must be “the most dangerous shop workers in the world”.
Strikers Karen Gearon and Michelle Gavin later went to New York to address the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid.
The strike only ended when the Irish Government agreed to ban the import of South African fruit and veg until the apartheid regime was overthrown.
Nelson Mandela met almost all of the strikers when he visited Dublin in 1992 except for Mary Manning and Vonnie Munroe, who had emigrated to Australia.
Brendan Archbold also saw Nelson Mandela in 2008 while on a family holiday in South Africa.