Sanctions, Divestment and the Movement in the United States

by American Committee on Africa
with The Africa Fund
New York, New York, United States
October 1986
14 pages
Type: Conference Presentation
Coverage in Africa: Angola, Namibia, South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Europe
Language: English
This paper prepared for the Workshop on Namibia and Sanctions Against South Africa discusses the U.S. government’s unwillingness to impose comprehensive sanctions against South Africa. In response, the U.S. anti-apartheid movement has worked on the grassroots level to apply "peoples sanctions" against South Africa and campaigned against individual banks and multinational companies to cut their links with apartheid. Banks were the first target of these protests following the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. In the wake of the 1976 Soweto uprising, the movement grew significantly, targeting corporations as well as banks and including protests by churches, community groups and student organizations. The paper says that, in 1981, U.S. anti-apartheid groups, including the American Committee on Africa, TransAfrica and the Washington Office on Africa, called a national conference to initiate a campaign for divestment of public funds from U.S. corporations still doing business in South Africa. On October 2, 1986 the U.S. Congress, overturned President Reagan's veto of a sanctions law against South Africa. This represented a significant defeat for the Reagan administration's constructive engagement alliance with South Africa and a significant victory for U.S. anti-apartheid activists who have for years been more successful at isolating South Africa through local actions than at the national level. • History of the Sanctions Movement in the U.S. • Movement Expands Dramatically • Movement Expands to Purchasing Boycotts • Corporations Begin to Withdraw • Divestment and Sanctions • Is the U.S. Strategy Transferable? • Divestment Actions on South Africa by US Colleges and Universities • State and Local Action on Apartheid • How the Congressional Sanctions Measure Up • Model Selective Purchasing Bill • Partial List of U.S. Corporations That Have Disinvested From South Africa (As Of August, 1986)
This item was digitized for Aluka, which made it available to the African Activist Archive.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Africa Action Archive