Report on conference held in Philadelphia on May 11 and 12, 1974. I. Summary of developments in cities represented • From Boston, AFSC was the only organization represented; the African Sun was picketed in early March by 150 people, but the boat was unloaded. In New York, the coalition has the broadest range of groups affiliated, but no boycott or picket lines have yet occurred. In Philadelphia, work on the waterfront has been notably successful, with some good contacts with rank and file longshoremen and successful boycotting of three ships. In Baltimore, the coalition has gotten broad support for picket lines, and several ships have been turned away. The group has had some differences over strategy and ideology. In Norfolk, the Tidewater Africans, a black GI group, and the Black Student Union at Norfolk State College have been told by ILA officials that no Rhodesian cargo is unloaded, but this has not been verified. II. WORK ON THE WATERFRONT - KEY TO STOPPING RHODESIAN IMPORTS • A. Identifying ships carrying Rhodesian cargo (including Farrell Lines, Moore-McCormack, Hellenic Lines, South African Marine). The U.S. has ceased voluntary compliance with UN requests for ship identification. Itineraries of ships and the Journal of Commerce are useful resources; mislabeling and transshipment via other countries are problematic. • B. Education on the Docks • C. Present position of ILA (International Longshoremen’s Association) leadership. How do we pressure them • D. How to strengthen communications between longshoremen and their supporters? • E. Money and the refusal to work • F. Health issue - Asbestos is particularly dangerous; this issue should be exploited, particularly in Philadelphia and Charleston, main ports of entry for that particular item. • III. National Legislation - REPEAL OF THE BYRD AMENDMENT - Chris Root, of the Washington Office on Africa, reported on the state of the Byrd Amendment in the House and discussed the lobbying role of both companies and unions. • IV. BUILDING A JOINT STRATEGY AND COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK AMONG LONGSHOREMEN AND THE VARIOUS COALITION AND SUPPORT GROUPS • It was pointed out that a strong anti-imperialist line might hamper winning support from a variety of groups and on the picket lines. The meeting stressed the need to expand to other ports, particularly Newark, New Orleans, and Texas ports. The report mentions AFSC (American Friends Service Committee), ALSC (African Liberation Support Committee), RU (Revolutionary Union), OL (October League), Attica Brigade, Congressman Parren Mitchell, Boston, the African Sun, Henry Lieberg, ACOA (American Committee on Africa), Anthony Scotto, ILA local 1814, Tapson Mawere, ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union), England, developing consciousness, Mike Maybank, media coverage, the Washington Office on Africa (WOA), \Rep. Thomas Morgan, liberal democrats, church groups, the American Bar Association (ABA), UN sanctions, steelworkers, truckers, a phone tree, and a monthly newsletter.
Used by permission of former members of the Coalition to Stop Rhodesian and South African Imports.
Collection: Vincent Klingler papers, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections