April 23, 1986
AIRPORT ACTION DISRUPTS SOUTH
By Paul DeRienzo
Sonic 30 protesters blockaded the British Airways terminal at New City's
John F. Kennedy airport April 12, and erected a wood and cardboard shantytown
to protest the repression of blacks by South Africa's while minority.
The shanties, papered with statistics about forced relocation to "homelands,"
temporarily prevented passengers from boarding a South African Airways
flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.
The action was organized by Brooklynites Against Apartheid. A leaflet
distributed at the terminal said the protest was intended to he as disruptive
as possible of South African Airways.
Port Authority police responded to the blockade with about 30 officers
in riot gear who lined up in ranks to keep the gate and allow passengers
to board the flight. Then another group of protesters poured motor oil
on weigh scales at the check-in counters to Prevent baggage from being
At the main gate two demonstrators stayed by a shanty, blocking access
to the South African Airways flight. They were charged with disorderly
after spending the night in jail.
Shortly afterwards a scuffle erupted as police attempted to clear a path
through protesters Two women demonstrators were roughed up and thrown
against a wall by about 10 cops and arrested. Throughout the incident
plainclothes Police circulated in the crowd that had gathered and pointed
out demonstrators to uniformed cops.
The two women were later released along with two other protesters who
had been arrested as they held a banner condemning South Africa.
After the action, protesters moved to the airport police station. were
they were denied entrance. One cop offered his badge number and said,
"Yeah, tell’em I violated your rights."
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