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PALC Press Statement


February 24, 1972

The Pan-African Liberation Committee has called this press conference to make public its demand that Harvard University divest totally of its Gulf Oil stock. In a very direct fashion Gulf Oil facilitates the daily slaughter of Africans seeking freedom in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. Harvard by virtue of its substantial $15 million Gulf stock holding is deeply implicated in this crime. We are joined here in this effort by the Harvard and Radcliffe Black students, the Harvard Black Faculty and Administrators Organization, the Boston Black United Front. Rev. Mwalimu Imari Kazana representing the Boston Metropolitan Alliance of Black Ministers and Mr. Percy Wilson of the Roxbury Multi-Service Center.

The Pan-African Liberation Committee has recently published a report that describes in detail the relationship between Harvard University and the oppression of Black People in Southern Africa. Specifically the report explains that Gulf Oil Company as the largest American investor in the Portuguese colonies, is aiding the Portuguese war machine by supplying oil to that government from wells in the colonized African territory of Angola. In addition, for the right to operate these oil wells. Gulf pays enormous rents and royalties to the Portuguese. This arrangement enables Portugal to continue to resist the efforts of the black liberation armies in the colonies under white minority domination.

As the largest university shareholder of Gulf Oil Company stock, Harvard University is earning large profits as a direct result of Gulf's involvement in the Portuguese colonies. Harvard University by continuing to accept these profits reaped through the bombing, napalming and machine gunning of Black people in Africa is directly contributing to the crimes committed against our people there. It is for this reason that we propose that Harvard University sell its 671,000 shares of Gulf Oil Stock. In addition, this sale should be accompanied by a public statement explaining the moral considerations which required such a move and calling for other stockholders to take similar steps to get Gulf and other American Corporations out of Southern Africa.

Realizing that no institution can exist in today's tight economic crisis without an investment policy directed toward future stability, we propose that Harvard consider using the proceeds from the sale to invest in helping correct some of the damage done within the Cambridge community by Harvard's past disregard for poor and Black people here. In short, we propose that Harvard invest in life rather than death and that they actively promote the creation of a new society at home rather than the destruction of an old and rich one in Africa. We are here today to say to Harvard University and the world that Black people in America will no longer sit idly by and allow Black people in Africa to be killed and robbed for the financial benefit of white people in America.

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