[Dear Sisters and Brothers, As South Africans voted in their first democratic election last year, I thought many times of how every nail in the coffin of oppression is worth driving there …]

by Kathy Devine
Forest Park, Illinois, United States
February 1, 1995
1 page
Type: Mailing
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Mailing by Kathy Devine, who was one of the two coordinators of the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid until the organization ceased to exist at the end of apartheid. The mailing says Dear Sisters and Brothers, As South Africans voted in their first democratic election last year, I thought many times of how every nail in the coffin of oppression is worth driving there -- no matter how discouraging it sometimes seems. The mailing says inspired by striking South African miners in 1987, many unions together formed the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid. Perhaps we didn't expect the result -- defeat of apartheid in our lifetime -- but we kept going because they kept going. The mailing says we welcomed SA union representatives; saw union leaders released from jail; watched the squeeze of sanctions and political pressure take effect; celebrated Nelson Mandela's release; and greeted him in Chicago; then, the election; so much changed in a relatively short time; the solidarity between here and there was inspiring and educational. We accomplished a lot and learned a lot. The mailing says now I am enthused to think about seeing a free South Africa! The mailing says Cole Wright, who recently retired from the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, and I plan to leave in early March to visit unions we worked with during years of protests and to inform folks here of the progress of the revolution there; we will visit metal, health and mine workers unions, among others, in and near Durban, Capetown and Johannesburg. The mailing says our trip is thanks in large part to contributions for our travel collected by the UAW, AFSCME, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and others. The mailing discusses Cape Town, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), and AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).
Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers