FSAM (BACKGROUND)

by Free South Africa Movement
Undated, October 1988?
2 pages
Type: Report
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Background on the Free South Africa Movement (FSAM). The report says Thanksgiving Eve/November 21, 1984: U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Dr. Mary Frances Berry, D.C. Congressman Walter E. Fauntroy, and TransAfrica's Executive Director Randall Robinson launch campaign against apartheid and U.S. policy toward South Africa by submitting to arrest at the South African Embassy; the formation of the Free South Africa Movement is announced, with Dr. Sylvia Hill, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists President Bill Lucy, and IPS Senior Fellow Roger Wilkins joining as steering committee members. The report says within a week public demonstrations against South African consulates, Krugerrand coin dealers, and corporations tied to South Africa spread throughout the nation; more than 4500 people are arrested nationwide and grassroot campaigns develop in more than 40 cities over the course of the year; Senator Lowell Weicker, more than twenty members of the House of Representatives, Jesse Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Arthur Ashe, Tony Randall, Stevie Wonder, and Coretta Scott King are among the celebrities who join daily demonstrations at the South African Embassy; every state, major religious denomination, ethnic group and occupation is represented among those who serve as civil disobedience "messengers" for the Free South Africa Movement. The report says August 1985: after the South African government establishes State of Emergency and bans public funerals, Paul Newman, Jesse Jackson, major civil rights and labor leaders join 10,000 people in a "funeral march" to the State Department to protest the Reagan administration policy of "constructive engagement". The report says September 1985: mounting public pressure resulted in passage of first free-standing South African sanctions bills by House and Senate; in an attempt to halt this Congressional action, President Reagan promulgates an Executive Order imposing minimal sanctions against South Africa; Senate Majority leader Robert Dole uses procedural maneuver to prevent final vote on Congressional sanctions measure. The report says January 1986: FSAM joins with labor, religious, and civil rights organizations to launch an international campaign against the Royal Dutch Shell corporation. The report says October 2, 1986: Congress hands President Reagan his first major foreign policy defeat by overriding his veto of the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986; the 1986 Act imposes limited sanctions against South Africa. The report says February 17-20, 1987: despite the fact that the 1986 Act expressed strong support for coordinated international action against apartheid, the United States and Britain vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have made the sanctions imposed by the Act global and mandatory. The report says 1988: South Africa has detained 30,000 people without charge, arrested thousands of children, and effectively banned every representative organization; meanwhile, the Reagan administration has construed almost every instance of ambiguity in the 1986 law in favor of the South African economy. The report says September 1988: The House of Representatives passes HR. 1580, the Anti-Apartheid Act Amendments of 1988 despite an anti-sanctions corporate lobbying campaign led by Shell; the bill mandates disinvestment, a virtually complete trade embargo against South Africa, and prohibits any company involved in South Africa's fuel sector from receiving new U.S. government coal, gas, and oil leases. The report says September 1988: British government lobbies vigorously against sanctions measure prohibiting companies involved with South Africa's fuel sector from receiving new U.S. coal, gas, and oil leases. Senate Foreign Relations Committee passes S. 2576, a sanctions measure without without this strategic provision. The report discusses the United Nations (UN), and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).
Collection: Aubrey McCutcheon Southern Africa Papers, Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections