Statement by JOSEPHINE LEWIS BROOKS, Chicago City Council

by Josephine Lewis Brooks, United Steelworkers of America
Chicago, Illinois, United States
February 22, 1988
4 pages

Josephine Lewis Brooks testified representing United Steelworkers of America (USWA) District 31 Director Jack Parton and the 50,000 members in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee and Will in northern Illinois and Lake, Laporte, Porter and St. Joseph In northwestern Indiana. Brooks addresses the resolution condemning the government of South Africa for its atrocious treatment of its black labor leaders and the plight of Moses Mayekiso, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). Brooks spoke about South Africa’s apartheid system and the deprivations faced by South Africa's black workers and prohibition of independent trade unions. Black trade union leaders are bravely challenging the system and have been in the front lines suffering the brunt of the clubs and bullets of the paramilitary forces. Brooks testified that the Reagan Administration continues to turn a blind eye to South Africa’s atrocities; that is why trade unionists throughout the state have founded the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid (ILNAA). Brooks announced the ILNAA rally and demonstration on March 18 at Calder Plaza in Chicago, from which there will be a march to the South African Consulate to deliver petitions addressed to Prime Minister P.W. Botha seeking Mayekiso's release. Copies will also be forwarded to the U.S. State Department. ILNAA also is reactivating efforts to promote a boycott against Shell Oil Company products. The testimony mentions COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions), the State of Emergency Act, rent and consumer boycotts, demanding withdrawal of the paramilitary forces from the black townships, treason, sedition, imprisonment, the death penalty, economic boycotts, strikes, police officers, police brutality, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the AFL-CIO, the late George Meany, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the late Mayor Harold Washington.

Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers