At a press conference, Congressional candidates James Farmer and Allard Lowenstein announced their support for a position paper about U.S. policy toward southern Africa issued by the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) for use during the 1968 political campaign. It has been endorsed by more than 120 people from the religious, academic, legal and political world. The candidates called for the U.S. to use its "power positively, on the side of freedom in southern Africa, instead of negatively, in defense of the status quo …” The position paper advocates a new policy of disengagement from southern Africa, whereby the U.S. would end all official aid and discourage private investment, trade and support, end the South Africa sugar quota, transfer U.S. space tracking stations from South Africa, and end cooperation with the South African nuclear development program. Farmer and Lowenstein suggested that the U.S. support southern African freedom movements through refugee and educational funds. Also, the U.S. should support United Nations action directed against colonial and racist regimes in southern Africa, for example, by implementing a blockade of all Mozambican ports to prevent oil from entering Rhodesia. Finally, the U.S. should provide economic aid to independent African countries most dependent on the white minority regimes of southern Africa, i.e. Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia. The press release says the signatories include: Borough Presidents Herman Badillo and Percy Sutton; John J. Grogan, Marine and Shipbuilding Workers Union; Victor G. Reuther, International Affairs Department, United Automobile Workers; A. Philip Randolph, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Professor Louis B. Sohn of Harvard Law School; Dean William B. Harvey of Indiana University Law School; the Rev. John A. MacKay, Princeton Theological School; Dr. Alan Geyer, International Relations, United Church of Christ; Rabbi Isidor B. Hoffman, Jewish Peace Fellowship; Will Maslow, American Jewish Congress; Bishops Charles F. Golden, and R. Marvin Stuart, United Methodist Church; Arthur D. Wright, Catholic Interracial Council of New York; the Rev. J. Metz Rollins, Jr., National Committee of Negro Churchmen; the Rev. Donald S. Harrington of The Community Church, New York; Judge Samuel R. Pierce, Jr.; Frederick O'Neal, Actors' Equity; Edward A. Schwartz, National Student Association; Leon Shull, Americans for Democratic Action; former Ambassador Mason Sears; Senator Frank E. Moss; and Peter Weiss, ACOA. The press release also mentions the U.S. alliance with Portugal, NATO, self-determination, South West Africa, and party platform committees.
Used by permission Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers