Southern Africa Support Committee

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Alternate Names: Southern Africa Support Coalition
Duration: 1975 - 1990
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Newsletter: Southern Africa Support Committee News Letter


In 1975 Michael Zinzun and others associated with the Black Panthers founded the Southern Africa Support Committee (SASC) which became a leading liberation support organization in the Los Angeles area, often working with other organizations in campaigns. SASC always related the struggles of marginalized communities in Los Angeles to those in the liberation struggle in Africa, for example, showing that police brutality by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was not very different from apartheid police brutality and linking high infant mortality of African-Americans in Los Angeles to their poverty and lack of access to health care, similar to conditions for high infant mortality rates of Africans in Rhodesia, the Portuguese colonies, Namibia and apartheid South Africa. In the 1970s SASC mobilized people to lobby the city council against the opening of a South African consulate in Los Angeles, successfully blocking the consulate in that city. (The consulate had been forced by anti-apartheid organizing to move out of Berkeley, and, after being unable to move to Los Angeles, had to settle for Beverly Hills.) In support of the sports boycott, in April 1977 SASC protested South African participation in the Davis Cup in Newport Beach, including participating in demonstrations at tennis matches. Between 1976 and 1978 SASC was involved in a campaign against Del Monte for fishing in Namibian waters, as they had already done off the shores of northern California and Hawaii. In the late 1970s SASC led the campaign against the South African gold coin called the Krugerrand. About January 1980 the Southern Africa Support Committee changed its name to the Southern Africa Support Coalition (SASC), expanding for the purpose of pulling together the different groups, organizations and individuals who were doing work around Southern Africa. In the 1980s SASC was involved in the cultural boycott of South Africa, working with Athletes and Artists Against Apartheid, set up by Harry Belafonte and Arthur Ashe. They picketed performers who played at Sun City, a resort complex in the Bophuthatswana bantustan. (Because Bophuthatswana was considered by the apartheid regime as the "independent" state for people the apartheid regime classified Tswana, blacks were legally able to visit Sun City and mix socially with whites, but few blacks could afford to do so.) SASC joined a Southern African Resource Project (SARP) initiative to raise funds equally for children at Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles and for Sally Mugabe's child survival program in Zimbabwe; several thousand dollars were raised, and equally shared, to link the issue in Los Angeles to Zimbabwe. Based in the city of Pasadena for many years, SASC moved to Los Angeles about 1981. In 1990 SASC was merged into Friends of the ANC and the Frontline States. (Source: Carol B. Thompson and SASC documents on this website.)

Organizational Archive


Title: Zinzun (archives); Michael
Time Span: Early 1970s-1990 (Africa-related material)
Description: Papers and archives of Los Angeles activist Michael Zinzun, a member of the Black Panthers and a founder of the Southern Africa Support Coalition (SASC). As of April 2008 the collection had not be processed.
Housed At: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
Location: 6120 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90044, United States
Phone: (323) 759-6063
Reference Email: archives@socallib.org
Related Website: http://www.socallib.org/

Related Archive
Title: Carol B. Thompson and Bud Day Papers on Southern Africa
Time Span: 1970s - 1990
Description: The archive of Carol Thompson and Warren "Bud" Day reflects their activities in support of Southern Africa liberation in the United States and Africa. Their solidarity activity which began when Day, campus minister at Michigan State University (MSU), and Thompson, a political science doctoral candidate and MSU, founded the Southern Africa Liberation Committee (SALC) in 1972. They were involved in the founded of Concerned Americans in Southern Africa (CASA) when they lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from late 1977 to mid-1980. This involvement with CASA continued when the lived in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1985-1986 and in1992-1993 plus four other time in shorter periods ranging from two to six months. During their time in Zimbabwe, Carol was based at the University of Zimbabwe and her research and writing addressed the whole Southern African region (Southern Africa Development Community). Bud worked in water and sanitation and was country director of Oxfam America (1985-1986) and of International Voluntary Services (1992-1993) while in Harare. Bud Day was Peace Education Secretary, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Chicago (1976-1977) and in Pasadena, CA (1977-1978). After moving to Los Angeles in 1981 they founded the Southern Africa Research Project (SARP) in response to the need for dissemination of materials about Southern Africa in Southern California. SARP's focus was on providing resources and thus it only staged events in coalition with other anti-apartheid organizations in Los Angeles. The archive includes material on the Southern Africa Support Committee (SASC), funded in the early 1970s by people associated with the Black Panthers, which became the most consistent and enduring liberation support group in Los Angeles (see separate organization description). SASC was one of the organizations that SARP worked with and supplied information to. The archives includes material on campaigns, many involving SASC including against Del Monte for fishing in Namibia waters, the attempt of South Africa to open a consulate in Los Angeles, and the Krugerrand. There were also campaigns in sport of the sports and cultural boycott including South African participation in the Davis Cup tennis tournament in Newport Beach and U.S. artists performing in South Africa. This collection forms part of the African Activist Archive collections. Collection donated by Carol Thompson. (Source: Carol Thompson)
Housed At: Michigan State University Library, Special Collections
Location: 100 Library, East Lansing, MI 48824, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Restrictions: Contact library in advance
Phone: 517-353-8700
Related Website: http://www.lib.msu.edu/spc/index/