by Committee for Non-Violent Action
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
December 22, 1959
Contents: SAHARA PROTEST TEAM IN FRENCH TERRITORY • AFRICAN SUPPORT WIDESPREAD • SPONSORSHIP • SUPPORTING ACTION IN UNITED STATES • CNVA REORGANIZES • FINANCES • SUMMARY INFORMATION ON THE SAHARA NUCLEAR BOMB PROJECT • The newsletter says by cable A.J. Muste reported from Accra, Ghana, the Protest Team was 16 miles inside French territory in the Upper Volta region, just above Ghana; the team was stopped by French authorities on orders from Paris; officials seized the keys to the truck, two land rovers, and one jeep, and have barred the way. We do not yet know how long the Team will remain there, or what next they will do. The newsletter says the international Protest Team--19 strong--left Accra on Sunday, December 6 for the Ghana-Upper Volta border; a thousand people were on hand for the Farewell Rally in Accra; the principal farewell address was given by the Finance Minister of Ghana, K.A. Gbedemah. The newsletter says eleven Ghanaians, one Nigerian, and one Basuto (Ntsu Mokhehle, President of the Basutoland National Congress) are members of the Protest Team. The newsletter says from England Michael Scott, beloved by millions in Africa, Michael Randle, and Francie Hoyland; from France, Esther Peter; and from the United States, Bayard Rustin and William Sutherland. The newsletter says as the Team traveled to the Ghana border, it recruited Pierre Martin, well-known French pacifist on the staff of the UNESCO International Workcamp Program. Reverend Michael Scott was selected as leader of the Team; A.J. Muste is remaining in Ghana as coordinator. The newsletter says the Sahara Project is receiving widespread support in Africa; $25,000 has been raised in Africa to equip and supply the Team for its dangerous journey 2,000 miles into the Algerian desert to Reggan, where the French bomb test is scheduled to take place soon; Kwame Nkrumah, Prime Minister of Ghana contributed $1,000. The newsletter says the Sahara Protest Team is sponsored by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (Great Britain, which originated the idea) and CNVA; the Ghana Council for Nuclear Disarmament and the Bureau of African Affairs have joined in sponsorship; individual international sponsors include K.A. Gbedemah, Martin Luther King, A.J. Muste, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Niemoeller, Lord Boyd Orr, Linus Pauling, Lord Bertrand Russell, Phillip Toynbee. The newsletter says thirty CNVA supporters organized a poster march at the United Nations on December 9 and then marched to the French Mission to the UN on 79th Street in New York City; beginning Tuesday, December 15 a group will picket the French Tourist Office in New York City daily for two hours until further news is received from the Protest Team. The newsletter discusses the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Friends Peace Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, War Resisters League, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Collection: Winifred Courtney papers