NELSON MANDELA at LABOR WELCOMES MANDELA TO CHICAGO

by Nelson Mandela
Forest Park, Illinois, United States
July 1993
Publisher: Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid
5 pages
Type: Speech
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Text of the speech of Nelson Mandela at Plumbers Hall in Chicago on July 7, 1993 sponsored by the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid. The speech says I bring you the greetings of the African National Congress and of the entire democratic movement in our country; you have been the source of strength to our liberation movement over decades and you have made a vital contribution to that struggle. The speech says the case of the treason trial of 1956 has already been mentioned which continued from December 1956 until March in 1961 when we were discharged; we also had what has come to be known as the "Rivonia Trial" at the end of which we were sentenced to life in prison. The speech says in both cases, the most funds which enabled us to afford the services of the most outstanding lawyers in the country were donated by the labor movement in this country; without that contribution we would not have afforded the services of such distinguished lawyers. The speech says today, we have many powerful friends who are assisting us as we walk the final, the last mile in our battle to bring democracy to our country. The speech says when we visit the capitals of the world, the leaders of the African National Congress are treated in many of these countries as heads of state because it has become clear that the democratic forces led by the African National Congress are likely to emerge in any future election as the strongest political party. The speech says I am speaking to an audience of a state and of a city who can boast of having organized and produced one of the most powerful anti-apartheid movements in this country, if not in the world. The speech says I don't have to urge you that the democratic movement in our country has never needed funds now more than it does; we are dealing with the reactionary forces in our country who are supported by reactionaries in various parts of the world including this country. The speech says our trust is in you; all that we need that you do is to give us the weapons, the money -- the weapons to turn our strength, our hope which derives from you -- into victory. The speech discusses the African National Congress (ANC), COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions), workers, Muhammad Ali, the labor movement, SACTU (South African Congress of Trade Unions), Jay Naidoo, Mr. DeKerk (F.W. de Klerk), unemployment, crime, a non-racial society, the economically active population, schools, black children, negotiations, and the democratic forces. [Note: This speech was most likely recorded by the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid or one of the unions involved in the event. Most likely it was trancribed and published by one of those organization,]
Used by permission of a former member of the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid.
Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers