Contents: ***THE VOYAGE FROM ENGLAND • ***ON TO NAMIBIA • ***THE PHILADELPHIA NAMIBIA ACTION GROUP • ***HOW YOU CAN HELP • ***UPDATE ON SOUTHERN AFRICA • The newsletter says on January 17 the 69-foot “Golden Harvest” docked in Dakar, with a letter supporting the "Books for a Free Namibia" project from Senegal's poet-President Leopold Senghor. On October 27, 1976, the boat and its cargo of over 4,000 books (banned by the South African government, but requested by Namibians) left Portsmouth, England. The crew consisted of six men from Australia, Britain, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand; an American woman from Minneapolis, Minnesota; and a woman of Chinese and British origin. After a brief entanglement in bureaucratic red tape at Plymouth, England, the boat completed the first two legs of its journey. It first stopped in Oporto, Portugal, picked up a donated ham radio and welcomed a ninth crew member from Japan, Gyotetsu Morishita. From there it sailed to Tenerife in the Canary Islands where the crew held a rally for O.N. and took on more books. When the Golden Harvest reaches Namibia in May, South Africa may have established an interim government in an attempt to blunt mounting criticism abroad to its illegal occupation and to create the semblance of Black self-government, while isolating SWAPO and the political forces seeking true independence. The Namibia Action Group now includes 10 persons from Japan, Sweden, Britain, Tanzania and the U.S. The project has raised several thousand dollars for the Books Project, sponsored two public events which included films, a slide show, African poets and SWAPO's representative to the U.N., Theo Ben Gurirab. Also, we have been interviewed by several newspapers and radio stations; our Tanzanian collective member, Linda Nunes, appeared on a television panel discussion. Sean MacBride finished his period of office as U.N. Commissioner for Namibia in January, and retired to concentrate on disarmament; he was succeeded by Martti Ahtisaari, formerly Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania. The newsletter discusses SWAPO (South West African People's Organisation), Ian Smith, the Geneva talks on Rhodesia, Henry Kissinger, armed struggle, civil war, outside interference in Angola, the Zimbabwe United Peoples Organization, the Patriotic Front Alliance, guerrilla war, white mercenaries, unrest, Soweto, the Namibia National Convention, SWANU, the Damara Tribal Executive, NAPDO, Rehobother Volkspartei, the Turnhalle talks, tribal homelands, apartheid, and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Action Guide on Southern Africa.
Used by permission of Kenneth K. Martin, a former member of the Philadelphia Namibia Action Group who provided this PDF.
Collection: Private collection of Kenneth K. Martin