Shortly after his release from prison in 1990 Nelson Mandela visited Oakland. Mandela came to thank the Bay Area because Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco were among the strongest defenders of ordinances calling for divestment of stocks in American companies doing business in South Africa. The leading voice in that struggle was our congressman Ron Dellums. In 1986 the U.S. House of Representatives passed Dellums’ anti-apartheid legislation, calling for a trade restriction against South Africa and divestment. A primary precondition for lifting the sanctions was the release of all political prisoners. President Reagan vetoed the bill; however, his veto was overridden. I was at the Oakland Coliseum 29 years ago today, June 30, 1990. Mandela also thanked area longshoremen (ILWU) who refused to unload South African goods.
Remembering the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the East Bay