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Calls for Mandela Day in UK

There are calls for a national Mandela Day in the UK.

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It’s exactly 20 years today since that incredible moment in history when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

His freedom meant freedom had also arrived for South Africa, but it was also a victory for the long-running global campaign against apartheid, when progressives in London and the UK played a significant part.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said today: ‘We should celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from Robben Island. He is a beacon of hope and peace and has done wonderful work helping to reconcile diverse communities in South Africa.’

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg added: ‘Mandela Day is not only a time to celebrate Nelson Mandela and his legacy, but an opportunity to serve as global call to action for people from all backgrounds to realise their potential to make a real difference in their communities.’

Now a UK-based organisation is calling for Mandela Day (his birthday on 18th July) to be marked every year with mass volunteering.

Audrey Beckford, from the group Walk Good Promotions wants every citizen to donate 67 minutes volunteering, in honour of the 67 years Mandela has spent “changing the political consciousness of the world and fighting against apartheid for liberty, freedom and justice for all.”

Walk Good Promotions are launching a year of activities, under the banner The Audacity of World Freedom, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mandela’s release from jail. You can email them on: worldfreedom46664 @ gmail.com

Simon Woolley, head of Operation Black Vote, paid tribute to Mandela today, saying: ‘His release was a global victory against the wretched oppression of some of the poorest people in the world, who took up sticks and stones to defy the monster than was apartheid.

‘Simultaneously, the global response to Mandela’s cause nurtured a generation of political activists; many of whom today hold high office or are fronting grassroots organisations.

‘Perhaps the lasting legacy of Mandela’s release and subsequent presidency, has been because he’s one the greatest African leaders ever born.’

LH

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