The ANC and the South African Indian Congress (SAIC), launched the Defiance Campaign, a programme of civil disobedience inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of passive resistance. Thousands of ANC and SAIC members committed to deliberately breaking apartheid laws, but always peacefully. They walked through ‘whites only’ entrances, sat on ‘whites only’ benches in ‘whites only’ parks. They refused to carry their passes.
They aimed to get arrested and flood the country’s prisons. But when the police responded with extreme violence, Defiance Campaign leaders decided to suspend the campaign.