ANC Founded January 8, 1912; ANC Terrorism Commences 1961
Group is inactive
The African National Congress (ANC) is an influential organization in South Africa. Founded in 1912, it was one of the primary forces that pressed for racial equality in South Africa. After nearly 50 years of nonviolent protest, the ANC adopted terrorist tactics in the early 1960s. ANC terrorism would continue until the group was legalized in 1990. Following the group's legalization, ANC and its famous jailed member Nelson Mandela pushed for the final abolishment of apartheid. Today, ANC is a legal political party and current South African President Thabo Mbeki is an ANC politician.
On January 8, 1912, the African National Congress was established to protest rampant racial discrimination and to advocate for legal reforms establishing racial equality. Black South Africans had curtailed rights in the workplace, were restricted from living in certain areas, and suffered from a host of other discriminatory policies. The ANC was a moderate organization, which pushed from racial equality but also publicly supported British rule of South Africa. ANC members traveled to Britain twice in the 1910s, requesting equal rights in South Africa. However, the British government replied that the issues were internal to South Africa and would have to be resolved by the South African government.
In 1943, a segment of ANC members broke off and formed their own organization, the Congress Youth League (CYL). CYL criticized the ANC leadership as excessively passive, and the CYL was determined to more aggressively pursue racial equality. CYL organized public rallies, strikes, and other forms of civil disobedience but did not engage in terrorism. During this time, South Africa moved beyond racial inequality to the official sanction of apartheid. The CYL eventually rejoined the ANC, and several CYL members, including Nelson Mandela, were elected to ANC leadership positions. Due to the ANC's successful outreach in the 1950s, the South African government retaliated, banning the group and arresting its leaders. In 1961, nearly fifty years after its formation, ANC imitated terrorist attacks against government facilities. The ANC formed a military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (aka MK or Spear of the Nation), to lead its terrorist attacks. ANC and Umkhonto directed their terrorist attacks against facilities and did not directly target people. Police raids and arrests eradicated Umkhonto by 1964. Resistance to apartheid continued throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The ANC was implicated in several terrorist incidents in the 1980s that targeted international corporations with facilities in South Africa.
The African National Congress was legalized in 1990 and no longer engages in terrorist activities. Today, it is a prominent political party in South Africa.
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