Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Poster of the Week

Free Nelson Mandela

Rupert García

Offset, 1981

San Francisco, California

Nelson Mandela Day

In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly, announced that Nelson Mandela's birthday, 18 July, is to be known as "Mandela Day” to mark his contribution to world freedom. Celebrated around the world, this year also marked his 92nd birthday.

Mandela (born 1918) was an anti-apartheid activist and the leader of the African National Congress’ (ANC) armed wing. In 1962, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. He served 27 years, many on Robben Island with other political prisoners, opponents of the apartheid regime of South Africa. Apartheid was legalized racial segregation that was enforced by the National Party government between 1948 and 1994. Following Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990, he supported reconciliation and negotiation, and helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994-1999, the first South-African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. In 1993 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Not until 1990, the same year he was released from prison, did a retired Central Intelligence Agency official admit that the CIA was responsible for Mandela’s capture.

South Africa's apartheid government had designated the ANC a terrorist organization during the group's decades-long struggle against whites-only rule, and ANC members were barred from receiving U.S. visas without special permission. Despite being one of the most respected and revered people in the world, Mandela remained on the U.S. terrorism watch list until July 2008, when it took an act of Congress to remove him from this list.

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