Swarthmore Anti-Apartheid Committee

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Duration: About February 1978 - Unknown, late 1980s
Location: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, United States


The Swarthmore Anti-Apartheid Committee (SAAC) was a student anti-apartheid organization at Swarthmore College that campaigned to get the college to divest from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. One of the first things SAAC did was circulate a petition against apartheid and Swarthmore’s investment in companies doing business in South Africa. Between its founding and 1981 SAAC brought to campus speakers, movies and anti-apartheid organizations to raise awareness on the campus. On September 9, 1985, SAAC in partnership with the recently formed Swarthmore College Divestiture Coalition, slept on the porch of the College’s administration building starting a vigil that lasted until with students rotating in shifts until a meeting of the Board on September 28.  The college did divest some companies but protests continued through the 1980s. (Source: “More Protests Against Apartheid”, Southern Africa Support Committee News Letter, June 1978, Southern Africa Support Committee, available on this website; and Swarthmore College students win divestment from apartheid South Africa, 1978-1989, Global Nonviolent Action Database at accessed March 23, 2017.