Mandela light

First published in Letters

NELSON Mandela is dead, but the flame of freedom he lit will live on.

He was a beacon of light in a world of indifference.

I was proud to stand by all those in the Wales Anti Apartheid movement, in the fight to free this great man and his people.

We in Côr Cochion were jailed in Merthyr for collecting for the prisoners of apartheid while singing freedom songs. We blocked the tills in the supermarkets that were selling South African goods in spite of the boycott. We disrupted the Glamorgan cricket match.

Many of those who now shed crocodile tears on Mandela’s death said we were fighting a lost cause.

When Nelson Mandela was released we sang on top of Caerphilly Mountain; and the day he came to Cardiff was unforgettable. It did not matter that we were kept behind the barriers at Cardiff Castle, whilst the great and the good – some of whom had refused to allow us to collect money for the Anti Apartheid campaign – soaked up the honour of being in the great man’s presence.

The best way to honour his memory is to support the campaigns against modern day apartheid, whether in Palestine or against the racism experienced by Roma and other minorities throughout the world.

Ray Davies Pandy Road Caerphilly

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