The Committee of Blacks Against Oppression organized a demonstration on the docks of Burnside, Louisiana on the day a ship, the Santos Vega, arrived with 25,000 tons of Rhodesian chrome ore. This shipment of chrome ore was the first imported to the United States in violation of mandatory United Nations sanctions against Rhodesia as a result of the Byrd Amendment which allowed the importation of strategic minerals from Rhodesia, including chrome ore, despite the U.N. sanctions. Black dockworkers, members of the International Longshoremen's Association, refused to unload the chrome ore but the ship was unloaded by members the Operating Engineers of Baton Rouge. The Committee of Blacks Against Oppression was formed by faculty members and students at Southern University in Baton Rouge when they learned the Rhodesian chrome was on its way. This demonstration was most likely on March 20, 1972.
Used by permission of James W. Terry, III.