The uprisings of June 1976 are remembered as a revolt of school students against an oppressive education system. But they were much more than that. Among other things, they spawned a radical temperance movement. En masse, kids tried to stop their parents’ generation from drinking.

As they moved through Soweto, groups of students poured wine, sherry and beer into the streets and strewed temperance graffiti across township walls. “Less liquor, more education!” read one slogan. “Away with boozers!” read another. By October, the students had formally declared a ban on liquor; a shebeen association was hastily assembled to negotiate with them...

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