[Dear Comrades, We are writing to clarify our purposes for attending the recent Atlanta Conference, …]
by Vincent F. Klingler, Rosa Seawright, Sue Levering, Mike Maybank, Jerry Silberman, Henry Lieberg, Philadelphia Coalition to Stop Rhodesian and South African Imports
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
March 11, 1975
Letter to the Steering Committee of the Southern Coalition to Stop South African Coal in Atlanta, Georgia presents some criticisms of the Atlanta Conference and suggests ways to build future cooperation and unity. The signers believe there was a lack of study and discussion of the history of the struggle in the U.S. against imperialism in southern Africa. The signers write that the planning committee did not study statements from the Coalition and confused it with other forces from the North, which led to some very grave misunderstandings. The letter asked why the initial decision that "each person registered for the conference is allowed to vote" was changed to exclude the North. The most significant problem of the conference was emergence of a split-off faction. The signers of the letter had hoped to share their experience in linking the struggle against imperialism and racism in southern Africa and the work of building the revolutionary working class movement in the U.S. They also hoped that the conference would establish an effective network of communications and that coalitions would be built up and down the east and gulf coasts, from Houston to Norfolk, and from Norfolk to Boston. The letter says the signers had not intended to shift the primary focus away from South African coal, but rather to strengthen that attack by bringing in other port cities in the South. The letter expresses opposition to supporting only ZANU. The letter also mentions the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Organization, ALSC (African Liberation Support Committee), veterans of the New Orleans blockade, longshoremen, community people in Mobile, work on the docks, goods from Rhodesia, minerals from South Africa, Tapson Mawere, ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union), fundraising, the armed struggle, ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People's Union), FROLIZI (Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe), ANC (African National Council), unity, majority rule, PAC (Pan Africanist Congress), SWAPO (South West African People's Organization), SWANU (South West Africa National Union), and Malcolm Suber.
Used by permission of former members of the Coalition to Stop Rhodesian and South African Imports and Henry Lieberg.
Collection: Vincent Klingler papers, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections