Gatnarek, Heather Lynn. “The People Shall Govern”, Boston College, 2005. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/391.
The institution of apartheid (or official segregation), implemented in South Africa in 1948, drew immediate and prolonged opposition. For decades, groups within South Africa and in countries around the world protested government policies and repression. Many anti-apartheid activists expressed their objections to the system of apartheid through expressly nonviolent actions, including strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, and the formation of alternative institutions. Opponents of apartheid also garnered support from the international community to pressure the South African government with sanctions and embargoes. At the same time, several groups of anti-apartheid activists chose to resort to violent means to protest the government. These acts of violence included sabotage and, occasionally, the deaths of government officials or collaborators. This paper examines historical and contemporary theories of the morality and effectiveness of nonviolent action. After studying the history of the struggle against apartheid and the use of nonviolent action in South Africa, the argument is made that the consistent and prolonged use of nonviolent actions played the most crucial role in the downfall of the apartheid system.