Congress of the People (COP)
By Basia Bibbo
Congress of the People, made in 1955, was formed as an "alliance of anti-apartheid congress movements" (Oxford 56). Their main goal was to join together to form the largest anti- apartheid group "to turn the freedom struggle into a truly mass movement". They joined with the ANC, the colored community, any many more. They wanted to expand their movement and truly work together and involve as many as they could in order to fulfill their aspirations in life. They formed "gatherings' conferences, campaigns, and rallies" to simply raise awareness. Their most popular and history changing accomplishment was the joint creation of the Freedom Charter, a document that would change African history.
Significance - The Freedom Charter
The Freedom Charter will go down to be one of the most important documents in South African history. On June 26th, 1955, in Kliptown, South Africa, over 2,800 delegates including Nelson Mandela joined to compose the "iconic document of the freedom struggle". The document was composed of different topics and sub-topics that called for an end to the Apartheid system. The document also consists of reasoning for the need for the country to equally distribute the wealth and resources. Essentially a constitution for the South Africans, the government, however, saw it as a "treason against the state", thus leading to the Treason trial. Although the aftermath of the Freedom Charter was not as the people planned nor how they expected it to go, in the long run the document opened the eyes of many and gave South Africa the national attention they aspired.
59 years since the adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown