On this day in 1970, John Lennon paid the £1,344 fine for the demonstrators of the South African Rugby team. The individuals were protesting while the team toured England.
To get a better understanding of what was going on, we must remember that sports played a huge role in the anti-apartheid movement. Any sort of cricket or rugby tour by a South African team in the UK or New Zealand, for example, was met with mass protests.
The international sports boycott of South Africa played a major role in bringing an end to apartheid: “We understood, as South Africans, the significance of sport for white South Africa. It was like a religion. And if you hit them hard, then you were really getting the message across that they were not welcome in the world as long as they practiced racism in sport.” Abdul Minty, South African exile, British Anti-Apartheid Movement 1959 – 1994
This specific demonstration, which later resulted in hundreds of students being arrested, against the South African rugb...