OBITUARY | At the struggle’s forefront, Graeme Bloch was a ...

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OBITUARY | At the struggle’s forefront, Graeme Bloch was a shining beacon

He helped form the End Conscription Campaign and was part of the launch of the United Democratic Front

Chris Barron

Graeme Bloch, who has died in Cape Town at the age of 65, was at the cutting edge of the struggle against apartheid in the Western Cape.

When he was 20, he was detained for two weeks and banned for five years for leading University of Cape Town students on a “solidarity march” after the June 1976 uprisings. When his banning order was lifted in 1981 he immediately resumed open anti-apartheid  activism, becoming a founding member of the Detainee Parents Support Committee the same year. In 1983 he was part of the formation of the End Conscription Campaign, an organisation that rejected military service under the apartheid government.

In 1983 he was part of the launch of the United Democratic Front in Cape Town. He was put in charge of coordinating the soup-making marshals which turned into a significant logistical challenge when attendance soared well beyond the 3,000 or so expected by organisers to around 15,000...

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