NEW YORK (Dec. 20)
Braving a cold rain and carrying placards denouncing apartheid, more than 20 leaders and members of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith demonstrated yesterday across from the South African Consulate on Park Avenue in Manhattan.
Among the demonstrators were Kenneth Bialkin, the ADL’s national chairman; Nathan Perlmutter, national director; Abraham Foxman, associate notional director; and Gary Zaslab, chairman of the ADL’s New York regional board. The demonstrators carried signs reading “Freedom and Human Dignity–End Apartheid Now” and “Apartheid Denies Liberty.”
The vigil and demonstration began with the lighting of three candles on a large menorah, marking the second day of Chanukah. In a written statement issued at the demonstration, Bialkin and Perlmutter said:
“No government can in truth call itself free and democratic while at the same time denying millions of its citizens the basic freedoms of a democracy. Yet, this is the condition that exists today in South Africa where Black citizens are not accorded the rights which we who live in democratic societies take for granted.
“We call on the Pretoria government to immediately begin the implemntation of substantive, rather than cosmetic, changes that will see its system of racial separation dismantled. We are under no illusions about this being an organized process, but the transition toward a change in which all South Africans will have a voice in their country’s internal and external affairs should begin in earnest.”
The demonstration, which lasted about 40 minutes, was concluded without incident. A large force of police was on hand to maintain order.