Communist Party, Trade Union Congress lambaste US over WCAR

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- The South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), have criticised the US over its threat to boycott the forthcoming World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, because of disagreement on the agenda.
The UN Conference is planned for 28 August-7 September and the SACP, COSATU and the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO), handed their protest to the US Ambassador in Pretoria Thursday.
"The South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO) are angry and disgusted at the United States threats to boycott the World Conference on Racism Xenophobia and Related Intolerance unless certain issues are removed from the agenda," the memorandum read in part.
The Organisations said they were firmly behind the demand that debates must take place on reparations for the victims of slavery and racism and on Palestine and the Middle East.
They said the US government's objection to the Conference discussing "Zionist racism against Palestine and reparations for victims of slavery and colonialism" was not acceptable.
"Zionist racism and reparations for victims of slavery and colonialism must be on the agenda of the World Conference," the Organisations insist.
"When the issue of reparations for the victims of Nazism was being debated, the US was enthusiastically in support.
Yet now that reparations for the victims of slavery are being discussed, they want it removed from the agenda.
There is a clear case of double-standards being applied," they charged.
The SACP, COSATU and SANCO said the US Government should "stop trying to blackmail the world" and participate fully in the debates at the Conference.
"We demand that your government withdraw its opposition to the inclusion of the issues of Zionism and reparations for victims of slavery and colonialism in the agenda of the World Conference Against Racism," they added.
COSATU said it planned a protest march outside the US Embassy in Pretoria Thursday.

16 august 2001 17:47:00




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