On this day in 1985, Mayor Coleman A. Young is arrested and handcuffed outside the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. in an ongoing protest against the African nation’s anti-democratic apartheid policy of racial separation.
NANCY BENAC, Associated Press
Jan. 7, 1985 6:56 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Detroit Mayor Coleman Young and two other demonstrators were arrested Monday outside the South African Embassy in an ongoing protest against that nation’s apartheid policy of racial separation.
Arrested with Young on charges of congregating within 500 feet of an embassy were Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, and Marcello Fernandez, director of bilingual education for the District of Columbia.
The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of a $100 fine and 60 days in jail, but the U.S. attorney’s office has been declining to prosecute embassy protestors.
Young, who was frisked and handcuffed along with Ms. Edelman and Fernandez when they approached the embassy, said he was proud to be part of the protest against ”outrageous discrimination visited upon black people in the land of their nativity.”
”It’s about time the attention of the whole world, and certainly this nation, be focused on this,” he said.
Read more at apnewsarchive.com
Ken Coleman, the author of On this Day: African-American Life in Detroit, is a native Detroiter and former news reporter. He served on the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kim Trent, and their son, Jackson Coleman.