Three persons, including Rep. Katie Hall (D-Ind.) and D.C. City Council member Nadine Winter (D-Ward 6), were arrested in front of the South African Embassy yesterday during continuing antiapartheid demonstrations here and elsewhere.
Hall, Winter and David Valderrama, vice president of the Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, were charged with demonstrating within 500 feet of the embassy, a misdemeanor.
Weekday protests at the embassy, organized by the "Free South Africa" movement, have been occurring since Nov. 21. Yesterday's demonstration drew more than 150 antiapartheid protestors, including former New York congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and members of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington.
Chisholm, who said she once was allowed to travel in South Africa as an "honorary white," described how she saw blacks there rushing to get back to their homes outside the city before sunset because they are not permitted to live in the cities.
In New York, 37 demonstrators were arrested for disorderly conduct in front of the South African consulate. In contrast to previous New York protests, held since Dec. 3, yesterday's arrests were deliberately planned to involve "the masses," according to an organizer, and did not include persons with prestigious titles or well-known names.
Protest organizers have said they expect to increase dramatically the number of arrests, beginning in January when Congress reconvenes. But South African Ambassador Bernardus Fourie said yesterday that U.S. demonstrations will have "no effect whatsoever" on his government's policies.
"I can tell you quite frankly that many days I am not even aware that they have been there," Fourie told The Associated Press. He defended his white minority-controlled government's approach to dealing with 22 million blacks and said that allowing all races to vote in his country's national elections could lead to economic problems and socialism.