MEMORANDUM ON AN AMERICAN BOYCOTT OF SOUTH AFRICAN GOODS
by George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
New York, New York, United States
January 6, 1960
American Committee on Africa
Contents: I. Reasons for considering a boycott in the United States • II. The problem of goods to be boycotted • III. Strategy of a boycott • IV. Implementation of boycott plan • South African leaders and others who oppose apartheid, both black and white, have urged boycotting of South African goods. Chief Albert J. Luthuli, President of the African National Congress (ANC), wrote to key persons in Britain and the U.S. urging a boycott, and the ANC and organizations with which it cooperates in South Africa have themselves initiated boycott action there. The All African Peoples' Conference at its first meeting in Accra called for a boycott of South African goods. The boycott has attracted increasing support in other parts of the world, particularly in Great Britain. A growing number of people in the U.S. indicate their desire to cooperate with boycott efforts. Trade unions have a relationship to South African goods in several ways; Longshoremen unload ships that deliver goods to American ports; unions such as the Furriers, the Textile Workers, etc., help to process certain goods that come in; a refusal on the part of unions to unload or to work certain of the South African goods would have great effect. A boycott campaign could be initiated on two levels simultaneously: organized labor and public action. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) passed a strong resolution backing the boycott at its meeting in Brussels. The report mentions extension of the pass system to women, arrest of many hundreds of women, violence, Bantustans, divide-and-rule, treason charges against some trade union and other leaders, separating tribal and cultural groups, the African regional Conference of ICFTU, gold, uranium, diamonds, Persian lamb and karakul furs, frozen lobsters, business, consumers' boycott, the AFL-CIO, and African Freedom Day.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Peter Weiss (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections