Operation Namibia Bulletin

(# 11)
by Operation Namibia, Philadelphia Namibia Action Group
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
December 1979
Publisher: Philadelphia Namibia Action Group, Operation Namibia
4 pages
Contents:   THE GOLDEN HARVEST • Philadelphia Namibia Action Group • UPDATE ON NAMIBIA • The newsletter explains why the "Books for a Free Namibia" project is ending after four years without the intended delivery of book to Walvis Bay. The Philadelphia Namibia Action Group decided to end the project in Gabon, where the GOLDEN HARVEST and its cargo are being tended by crew member Hans Paret. In March, another boat, the FRI, arrived at Walvis Bay and, after a three-week vigil off shore, sailed on towards Europe without delivering its cargo. Also, on August 6, Golden Harvest crew member, 22-year-old Karen Elise Gaeddert, died in The Gambia of cerebral malaria. SWAPO in Luanda and the Namibia Institute in Lusaka have asked that the books be divided between them, and the U.N. has offered to pay for shipment. The group hopes the owners of the GOLDEN HARVEST on behalf of Operation Namibia can sell the ship, preferably to people interested in using it for world peace efforts, to help pay off the project's $20,000 debts. The newsletter says the Philadelphia Namibia Action Group (PNAG) pooled about $4000 in personal savings to send Ken Martin and former PNAG member Priscilla Lippincott to Gabon. PNAG, the North American organizers of the Books Project, had been five-person collective with Joanie Prior, Ken Martin, Lauriel-Jolfe, Gil Gilmore and Linda Nunes. Gilmore and Prior have left the group, and Clark Loveridge and Lata Kamat from India have joined. In early April, PNAG joined with the University of Pennsylvania Divestment Committee to urge the university trustees to divest its holdings in Newmont Mining Corporation which, as Namibia's largest employer, contributes to continued racism and the exploitation of the black populace. They held a 30-hour vigil on campus, displaying scenes of a miners' barracks enclosed in barbed wire where workers slept on concrete and ate "oshifima" (corn meal mush); a cemetery of tiny graves symbolizing 50% of Namibia's black children who die before the age of five; and a dilapidated family shelter, typical of those constructed in the "homelands." PNAG joined students in a march to a city-wide protest against bank loans to South Africa. PNAG is researching the international trade in karakul sheepskins from Namibia which appear in furriers as SWAKARA or Persian lamb coats. The newsletter discusses Robben Island, political prisoners, Walvis Bay, Naomi Petersen, St. Helena, Skeleton Coast, the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), the UN Commissioner for Namibia, the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, Dr. Paul Wee, violence, South African army brutality, South African troops, the Ovambo people, the nationalist parties AKTUR and HNP, Sam Nujoma,  William Johnston, Episcopal Churchmen for Southern Africa (ECSA), Gerrit Viljoen, the Broederbond, assassination, right-wing vigilantes, the National Assembly, U.N. Secretary-General Waldheim, Dirk Mudge, and the DTA (Democratic Turnhalle Alliance).
Used by permission of Kenneth K. Martin, a former member of the Philadelphia Namibia Action Group who provided this PDF.
Collection: Private collection of Kenneth K. Martin