EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING MINUTES March 22, 1973

by American Committee on Africa
New York, New York, United States
April 24, 1973
5 pages
Contents: Attendance • II. Amilcar Cabral: ACOA’s staff issued a statement expressing ACOA’s sense of tragedy and loss at Amilcar Cabral's assassination on January 20; George Houser read a letter from Gil Fernandes, the PAIGC representative frequently in the U.S., which related the events leading to Cabral's assassination. • III. Staff Reports (a) New York Urban League and Union Carbide: Houser reported that the Community News Service alerted ACOA that the Urban League planned to give Union Carbide one of its Frederick Douglas Awards at a dinner on May 3; ACOA has protested this and brought it to the attention of OAU, Black Caucus members, and others. William [Bill] Booth urged ACOA Board members to protest this award, since Union Carbide is the major U.S. corporation responsible for breaking sanctions against Rhodesia through chrome imports. (b) Twentieth Anniversary (c) Sharpeville (d) South African Open Games (e) Eileen Hanson's report on Chicago Literature (f) Legal Cases: Houser reported that legal counsel believes he probably could not win a case against Pan American Airways for refusing to carry him from Kinshasa to Johannesburg in 1971. The case against South African advertising in the New York Times before the New York City Commission on Human Rights should begin soon. ACOA, represented by Peter Connell of the Lawyers Commission for Civil Rights, joined with the Black Caucus to protest to C.A.B. the proposed granting to South African Airways of another air route to the U.S. (g) Conference in Holland on Liberation Support: Dick Leonard attended this event for ACOA; it emphasized political as well as material support by the liberation support groups.  (h) Research and Literature • IV. Finance Report • V. Nominating Committee Report and Elections • ACOA officers • Executive Board • ACOA Steering Committee • ACOA National Committee • VI. Campaign to Repeal Byrd Amendment: The staff recommends that ACOA give a major amount of staff time to a coalition effort on repealing the Byrd Amendment. The coalition will hopefully include labor unions, churches and community organizations. Edgar Lockwood testified on February 22 before the House Sub-Committee on International Organizations about forced labor and the economic effects of Union Carbide operations in Rhodesia. The repeal amendment needs to be brought up in the Senate first, hopefully by Hubert Humphrey, Chairman of the Senate Sub-Committee on Africa; the campaign will focus on local organizing in 15-20 key states and some Congressional districts within those states. A community organizer will be needed for several months to work extensively in 7 or 8 of the districts. • VII. George Houser’s Contract with Random House • IX. Corporate Campaign: Tim Smith summarized the shareholder resolutions concerning on southern Africa that are being filed this spring with 19 corporations. Several stockholder meetings will be in New York (Exxon and American Metal Climax) and attendance is encouraged; Smith noted that the Gulf Boycott Coalition will hold protests at Gulf's annual meeting in Pittsburgh.  • X. Recognition of Guiné: Houser reported that the PAIGC appears to be pressing ahead with plans to declare independence from Portugal this year; he has been in contact with Bob Maurer and several others concerning a campaign to publicize the significance of the declaration and mobilize pressure here calling for recognition by the U.S. • IX. Coffee Campaign: David Robinson raised questions about the status of a campaign against imports of coffee from Angola; Houser favored hold off the start of a coffee boycott until the Gulf boycott was going. Jennifer Davis noted that the International Coffee Agreement is in flux, complicating the prospects for pressure against Portugal on that front. • A poster commemorating Sharpeville and calling for support for the student and labor action in South Africa has been printed and mailed to activists. Bill Johnston and Elizabeth Landis agreed to organize a Black Sash vigil at South African Airways on March 21. Houser introduced Ray Gould, a new ACOA staff member. He is up-dating “We Say No To Apartheid” (the statement first issued by ACOA in 1965 signed by prominent people pledging to boycott South Africa culturally as long as apartheid exists) and is expanding the statement to include African cultural leaders. The minutes mention the Presbyterian Church, the Washington Office on Africa (WOA), the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Africa Fund Trustees, Elsie Carrington, travel to Africa, time off for writing, Elsie Carrington, Winifred Courtney, George Daniels, Dorothy Hibbert, Janet Hooper, Jay Jacobson, Gail Morlan, Andrew Norman, Adelaide Schulkind, Kay Anderson, Marvin Rich, Christine Root, Robert Browne, Les Campbell, Allan Gregory Harris, Jay Jacobson, Richard Stevens, Tilden LeMelle, Peter Weiss, Jim Bouton, Richard Falk, Ledlie Laughlin, Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Frederick 0’Neal, Eddison Zvobgo, and Wyatt Tee Walker.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Peter Weiss (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections