Burning Spear News
Black is Back march on White House: The black community has our own political agenda for self-determination!
The African People’s Socialist Party has never had any illusions about the ability of the electoral process to provide freedom, justice or progress for our people, especially the African working class population of the U.S. and the world.
This is why we were prepared when Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States in an upset victory over Hilary Clinton, the flag-bearer of the Democratic party of Barack Hussein Obama.
While there was much crying and gnashing of the teeth on November 9, the day after the election, and many were wringing their hands in fear and trepidation, the African People’s Socialist Party was continuing the fight for Black Power that we started more than two generations ago.
We have never forgotten the betrayal of African people by both the Democratic and Republican parties since the genocidal founding of the U.S. government and society on stolen land that was made rich by brutalized, enslaved African labor.
The electoral process was created to protect the capitalist system of exploitation that came from this reality. Elections are simply a non-violent means of struggle by different, contending sectors of the white ruling class for control of the State to their profit making benefit. Nothing more. Nothing less.
We also understood, before any of the campaigning began, that this election that brought Donald Trump to the White House as president, would be different than any other and that the mood of all the people in the U.S. was unsettled.
Living in deepening poverty and faced with an apparent escalation of police murder of our children and family members under the Obama administration, African people have initiated a resurgence of our struggle that had been crushed by assassinations, jailings and other forms of oppression two generations ago.
White people, watching the growing resistance to U.S. imperialist power around the world––from Venezuela to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq––were seeing the powerlessness they experienced over their own personal lives reflected in the obvious decline of U.S. white power.
Indeed, the resistance of peoples everywhere to the parasitic imperialist world order that has been in existence for nearly 600 years has contributed to an uneasy equilibrium, a situation where the capitalist world created from slavery and colonialism of the past is under assault by the forces of the future.
The uneasiness being experienced by most of the white people of the world is a mass, emotional response by a people whose wellbeing has been constructed at the expense of Africans, Mexicans and Indigenous peoples within the U.S. and the oppressed of the world.
The capitalist world requires colonialism and other forms of world slavery for its success. This is the system that has united most European or white people with their own ruling class, often referred to as the one percent, in opposition to the rest of us.
Most of the whites who fled to the camp of Donald Trump, the most despised candidate to ever ascend to the U.S. presidency, did so in response to the inability of the parasitic system to deliver to them the promise of the “American way of life,” historically provided by slavery, military occupation and colonialism.
They have blamed the ruling elite for this threat to their happiness and the future for their children. Thus, they have run to Donald Trump, the presumed, more competent billionaire capitalist for their salvation.
Tsk. Tsk. What are we to do?
This is the question that is driving the anxiety of many. This is the question that the African People’s Socialist Party is busy providing the answer to.
We must struggle for Black Power!
The answer is simple: we––the whole world and especially African people––must escalate our struggle for black power while the entire white colonial world is experiencing a tumultuous paroxysm of political exuberance and uncertainty.
Eight years ago in September 2009, our Party initiated a meeting that resulted in a great outpouring of unity that crossed ideological and political barriers that had been considered impregnable in years past.
This was the meeting that led to the creation of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations that went to work immediately to organize the first national march on the White House during the Obama regime and the only African-led march on the White House.
We are the Party of the African working class that is leading the struggle for national liberation and socialism. We recognize that capitalism was born at the expense of the development of the African nation that was forcibly dispersed throughout the world as the first capitalist commodity and the incipient working class from whence all others would spring.
As the leadership of the African working class, the Party also has the responsibility of leading the entire African nation to freedom from colonialism, including middle class sectors that would not necessarily fit the definition of workers.
The liberation of the African working class can only occur within the context of the liberation of the entire Africa nation
The defeat of the Black Revolution of the Sixties was a defeat of the struggle for national liberation that was increasingly being affected by revolutionary working class consciousness.
The Uhuru Movement was a principle force during the sixties that contributed to the development of the Party of the African working class that, ultimately, took the form of the African People’s Socialist Party.
We have always understood that the liberation of the African working class can only occur within the context of the liberation of the entire Africa nation, that African people in general must be won to the struggle for national liberation, political independence.
Hence the logic for our Party to play a role in creating the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, an organization that would incorporate organizations, institutions and personalities that constitute a revolutionary national democratic movement.
November 2016 was a turbulent month for African people, particularly within the U.S., and for most of the world’s peoples who depended on the U.S. presidential election to provide the means for assuring progress and security.
Thanks to the work of the African People’s Socialist Party, African people can be spared the despair that so many people experienced with the election of Donald Trump.
The Black is Back Coalition has been working for years to build a National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination, an effort that finally bore fruit just prior to the national election this year.
The African People’s Socialist Party worked with the Coalition to hold a series of preliminary statewide conventions during September and October to adopt the Coalition’s 19-Point Political Agenda for self-determination.
A Convention of resistance!
Following 10 state conventions, the National Black People’s Convention for Self-determination rolled into Washington, D.C. the imperialist capital on November 5th-6th, 2016. The African People’s Socialist Party joined the Coalition and nearly 300 participants at the national convention two days before the U.S. presidential election that determined the face and leadership of U.S. imperialism for the next four years.
Ours was a convention of resistance and began with a rally on Saturday, the 5th at Malcolm X Park and after a series of speeches that included some Steering Committee members of the Coalition along with mothers and relatives of people murdered by the U.S. domestic military force called police, took off on a militant two-mile march to the White House where another militant rally was held across the street at Lafayette Park.
The first day of the Convention established the working class character of the Convention with the participation of mothers and widows of murdered victims of police and white terror. There were also one or two mothers of Africans killed by the horizontal violence of other Africans in our impoverished and oppressed community.
These were not women who had been convinced by lawyers and opportunist African leaders to avoid speaking out forcibly against the police and white terror.
African mothers were heard
They included Toni Taylor whose son Cary Ball was murdered by the St. Louis domestic military force. Kundé Mwamvita was also present. Her 16-year-old daughter was just murdered by Pinellas County Florida Sheriff’s deputies along with her two 15-year-old friends on March 31, 2016.
Krystal Brown, Cynthia Desola Dawkins, Hawa Bah and Burnette McFadden also spoke about their murdered relatives. Sharlene Stewart and Marion Gray-Hopkins and Shameka Williams and Janet Baker stood tall for their murdered loved ones and all the other Africans that have been murdered by the State and white people within the last several months and years.
Other mothers included Delphine Mathews and Sharonne Salaam.
Other speakers for the Convention included Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council, who addressed the Convention on November 6th at Howard University. Sister Nellie gave a devastating account of the impact of African population-removal often referred to as “gentrification” in our beloved Harlem.
International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement President, Kalambayi Andenet and Coalition Steering Committee leaders, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Vice Chairwoman Lisa Davis, Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report, and a Coalition co-founder and Zaki Baruti of the Universal African People’s Organization also spoke.
Khalid Raheem of the New Afrikan Independence Party also addressed the Convention, as did Kamm Howard, Chair of the Coalition’s Reparations Working Group and a representative of the National Coalition for Reparations for Blacks in America.
Diop Olugbala, who chairs the Coalition’s Black Community Control of Police Working Group joined Ralph Poynter the leader of the Coalitions Political Prisoners Working Group and Betty Davis from the Abolitionist Movement and fierce proponent of Black Community Control of Schools.
The Coalition Steering Committee and Convention speakers and participants were representatives of genuine organizations and institutions dedicated to the fight for black self-determination.
And although there are some ideological and political differences among them they are all able to work together in the same Coalition because they are not extensions of the imperialist Democratic Party like the groups headed by Al Sharpton and other opportunists who always betray the long term interests of our colonized people.
It is their dedication to African self-determination that made it possible and necessary for our Party to unite with them all and to struggle to bring others into the Coalition that can also embrace the struggle for self-determination.
Fists up! Fight Back!
November 5th was unusually warm for Washington and the weather suited the temperament of the Convention participants that had gathered in Malcolm X Park for the beginning rally that was hosted by Vice Chairwoman Lisa Davis and Internet personality Gazi Kodzo.
Several of the mothers brought photos of relatives and loved ones murdered by police and white nationalist colonialists. The crowd and march from Malcolm X Park was peppered with placards that screamed out: “Obama is a sellout.”
There were also placards with each of the 19 points of the National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination. Some carried placards representing the 10 different states where preliminary conventions had been held prior to this national Convention:
Texas, Florida, Alabama, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois!
The excitement on the faces of the African onlookers who watched and joined the hundreds of marchers snaking our way from Malcolm X Park to the White House was obvious. We were fighting back! We were unafraid!
“Fists Up! Fight Back!” was one of the chants. Others, like “Black Power” and Black is Back!” reverberated throughout the early afternoon day.
After a little more than an hour and a running dispute with the D.C. police SWAT team and k-9 unit that accompanied the march, Convention participants arrived at Lafayette Park to be greeted by the sight of snipers menacing the gathering from perches atop the White House across the street.
It was too late. It’s on! Black is Back!
Solving the problem of the revolution
The second day of the Convention was held at Blackburn Center in Howard University before a crowded hall of enthusiastic and determined Africans.
African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela, in his role as Chairman of the Black is Back Coalition, kicked the day off with a recitation of the Declaration and National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination.
“With our National Black Political Agenda for self-determination,” the declaration read, “we claim responsibility for our own future, independent of the Democratic and Republican parties or any other organization or institution external to our community.”
The entire 19 points of the National Black Agenda was then read and discussed with participation from the audience that was finally experiencing a new capacity to take control of our own lives.
Glen Ford reported to the Convention on the significance of our National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination, followed by Zaki Baruti who situated the electoral struggle for self-determination in a campaign to win black proportionate representation throughout the U.S.
A discussion moderated by Chairman Omali with Glen Ford, Nellie Bailey, Margaret Kimberley and Khalid Raheem as panelists, provided a wide-ranging exploration of the Clinton-Trump presidential race that allowed deeper, better informed discussion by the Convention.
A PowerPoint presentation on Black Community Control of the police by Diop Olugbala was one of the most anticipated presentations of the Convention. And, like the others, was designed to lay out the practical campaigns for immediate, mass implementation of the National Black Political Agenda.
Kam Howard provided a most thoughtful presentation of what the Coalition’s Reparations Working Group required of the Convention in pursuit of the reparations demand in our agenda.
A new era in the historic battle for Black Community Control of Schools was opened by Betty Davis of the New Abolitionist Movement when presenting Point 13 of the Black Political Agenda for Self-determination that demands the “Right to free education through post-graduate level.”
Ralph Poynter is Chairman of the Political Prisoner Working Group, arguably one of the most important issues in the National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination.
This is especially true in this period of a developing incipient struggle where young people must have the example of fierce support and defense of political prisoners from past and present if they are going to have the confidence to become genuinely committed to revolutionary transformation.
The task of the African People’s Socialist Party is to solve the problem of the revolution. One of the biggest problems we have faced for more than two generations has been overcoming the consequences of the defeat of the Black Revolution of the Sixties.
Key to that, has been the successful imperialist assault on the movement for black self-determination and the installation of opportunist blowhards as the leadership of our movement.
The November 5th-6th National Black People’s Convention of Resistance was a giant step toward reconquering the leadership of our struggle.
We are winning!
Black is Back!
Build the Party of the International African Working Class!
Build the African People’s Socialist Party!