Anti-apartheid iACTION!

(No. 4)
by Bay Area Free South Africa Movement
Oakland, California, United States
October 1985
4 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Language: English

BAFSAM Opposes Trade With Apartheid • Reagan's Toothless Sanctions • Government Terror, Apartheid's Bottom Line • The Bay Area Free South Africa Movement (BAFSAM) met with the Oakland Port Commission on October 8 to demand that the Port of Oakland forbid the handling of incoming and outgoing trade with South Africa. This is part of an international effort to break diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with the apartheid regime. The South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) and other black trade unions have called for breaking these ties with South Africa, and it has been endorsed by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), and the International Labor Organization of the United Nations (ILO). BAFSAM joins with workers and community activists in New Orleans, Vancouver, B.C., Los Angeles, Tacoma, and Vancouver in Washington state, and San Francisco who have refused to unload or have delayed unloading South African cargo, often risking violation of state and federal labor laws and existing contract agreements. On August 17, member of BAFSAM and 20 other community organizations and trade unions attended the West Coast Meeting to Stop South African Trade at the Local 10 meeting hall of the International Longshore Workers Union. On September 10, Reagan announced limited sanctions against South Africa, a tactic to buy time for the apartheid regime. Most of the sanctions provisions proposed by Reagan are weaker than measures already being implemented by many U.S. banks and businesses; for example, banks themselves are already banning loans to the South African government. The ban on sales of computer technology to South African government agencies that administer or enforce apartheid is misleading because, under the current "state of emergency," all government agencies and all businesses licensed to operate in South Africa are legally required to assist in enforcing apartheid. The ban on sales of nuclear technology has already been circumvented through close cooperation with Israel. The ban on export assistance to U.S. corporations that do not adhere to the fair employment practices in the so-called "Sullivan Principles" ignores the fact that these voluntary principles are little more than window-dressing to justify the continued presence of U.S. corporations in South Africa. Despite police and army terror, the nation's black majority has sustained a struggle against the apartheid government for over a year. Government-sponsored "urban councils" have been dismantled and genuine people's councils established; known police informers have been run out of town and in some cases killed. The U.S. is exporting $219 million of aircraft and aircraft turbines, $122 million of computers and computer parts, and other vital machinery for South Africa's mining and manufacturing industry. The newsletter mentions the anti-nuclear Peace Navy, Leo Robinson of Local 10's African Liberation Support Committee, Solly Simelane, the African National Congress (ANC), Bank of Boston, Citibank, Chase Manhattan, President P.W. Botha, Thami Mali, UDF (United Democratic Front), sham elections, an electoral boycott, Nelson Mandela, treason trials, Victoria Mxenge, Griffiths Mxenge, Umlazi Township, Robben Island, Craddock Township, Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkhonto, Siselo Mhlawuli, Fort Calata, Thozamile Gqueta, the South African Allied Workers Union, Ismail Mohammed, Albertina Sisulu, Walter Sisulu, Archie Gumede, Oliver Tambo, the Krugerrand, black workers, Del Monte Corporation, Thozamile Botha, David Bacon, BAFSAM's Labor Committee, and constructive engagement. 

Used by permission of David Bacon, a former member of the Bay Area Free South Africa Movement.
Collection: Miloanne Hecathorn papers