23 March 1990 was a big day for Laurie Nathan, national organizer of the End Conscription Campaign (ECC). In the morning he married Bo Peterson, a dark-haired young actress with the Cape Performing Arts Board. In the evening he was honoured at a press conference and reception for three hundred people at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre to mark the publication of Out of Step — an illustrated history of South Africa’s astonishingly successful anti-war movement. He was introduced by Frank van der Horst, Cape Town’s liberal Deputy Mayor, who spoke briefly but warmly about Laurie and the ECC’s work. People crowded in close, wine glasses in hand, as Laurie spoke. Many had been active with ECC. His remarks were essentially a celebration of what they, together had accomplished over the previous eight years. This was no dry academic talk, but a victory celebration. Laurie, a ruggedly handsome man of thirty, spoke with clarity and simple eloquence. Except for his Anglo-South African accent, he might have been a young member of the Kennedy clan addressing campaign supporters after an election victory.
KeywordsMilitary Service Black Community Conscientious Objector White Community Peace Corps
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