In 1971 South-West Africa (now Namibia) had been under the rule of South Africa’s apartheid government for more than fifty years. Apartheid laws forced indigenous Namibian tribes to live in assigned tribal areas in the northern third of the country and required passes for movement within the country. The Ovambos were the main group of indigenous people, making up close to half the population, and inhabited the area called Ovamboland. The South African government had imposed a contract labor law system on all indigenous people.
Zanzibar, a former colony of Great Britain, is an island off the coast of Tanzania, located in East Africa. Under British rule the population of Zanzibar was divided between small but influential groups of Arabs, Indians, and Europeans and the two larger, primary groups on the island: those Africans born on Zanzibar itself and those born on the mainland of Tanzania, who later immigrated.
In a shooting incident on May 30, 1925, Sikh police under British command opened fire on Chinese protestors in the International Settlement of Shanghai, killing nine demonstrators and wounding many others. News of the incident spread across China, triggering an outburst of nationalism and prompting protests all over, but especially in Shanghai and Canton (Guangzhou) – two cities with concentrated British interests.
From 1916 to 1921, villagers in Kumaon in northern India set hundreds of forest fires to protest the colonial British state’s increasing regulations of the natural environment.