Community Alert on South Africa
by Bay Area Free South Africa Movement
Oakland, California, United States
Undated, late 1984?
Leaflet advertising a picket-line against the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) in Oakland each weekday at noon. Slogans on the leaflet include "End Apartheid. Cut US Political & Economic Ties with Racist South Africa," "PMA Break Ties to Nedlloyd Shipping Line," and "Support ILWU Local 10." The leaflet says in November 1984, San Francisco Longshoremen refused to unload South African cargo from the Dutch ship Nedlloyd Kimberly. Simultaneously, members of Congress, civil rights leaders, trade unionists and others were being arrested at the entrance of the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. These public arrests have sparked a powerful movement against the system of apartheid that brutalizes the majority of the South African people. The leaflet also describes a recent attempt to divide the majority population in South Africa via a new constitution that extends voting rights to Indian and the so-called Colored people; this was shown to be a sham by recent elections when over 70% of the people who had been newly "granted" the right to vote refused to participate. The leaflet critiques the Reagan administration’s policy of "constructive engagement" with the South African government as well as its impact on the region. The cargo the Longshoremen were boycotting in November included steel from South Africa; tens of thousands of U.S. steelworkers have lost their jobs in the U.S. The leaflet says apartheid allows multinationals to pay starvation wages to Black steelworkers, who are playing a leading role in the struggle against apartheid, despite severe repression. The South African government has murdered leaders such as Steven Biko, leader of the South African Students Organization (SASO), and Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), has been imprisoned for over 20 years. The leaflet mentions racism and the Voting Rights Act.
Used by permission of David Bacon, a former member of the Bay Area Free South Africa Movement.
Collection: Miloanne Hecathorn papers