The significance of March 21, 1960, in the history of the liberation struggle is often played down to the level of raising worldwide sympathy for victims of apartheid and to commemorate the Sharpeville-Langa massacre. For the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) it represented and still represents the beginning of the end of settler colonialism through a roll-out of the Positive Action Campaigns, until final victory, in terms of which the African people were urged to take their destiny into their own hands.
Positive action was a phrase, akin to mass action, that would lead to a groundswell of defiant activities which forms an insurrection until the apartheid system was brought to its knees. The pass book was a badge of slavery for Africans to carry around their necks as a daily reminder that they were temporary in white South Africa. The powers that be panicked and shot peaceful demonstrators who demanded to be arrested without bail, without defense, and without fine.