A coalition of student groups has organized a demonstration for today's opening of a conference on United States academics," she said.
The groups, which include the Southern African Solidarity Committee (SASC) and the H-R Committee Against Racism (HRCAR), say that the conference has failed to represent all interests. A member of the SASC said yesterday, "We are opposed to the whole idea that you can form U.S. foreign policy towards Africa without consulting representatives of the African people." She added that the closed sessions also exclude Americans. "Now it's just big government, big business, and big academics."
The stated intent of the Committee on African Studies and the DuBois Institute, co-sponsors of the conference, is the formulation of positive and responsive African policy recommendations by individuals who can substantively influence policy. "It is essentially an academic conference," Dr. Rita M. Breen, executive officer of the African Studies Committee, said yesterday.
The protest groups see the conference as more than an academic endeavor. Ron L. Davis '77, chairman of HRCAR, says the organization "is protesting any efforts at the conference to protest U.S. business interests in the apartheid system."