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African workers united and we got it done! Salute to the 2021 Uhuru Convention!

Oct 5, 2021



President Kalambayi Andenet with members of the International Executive Committee (IEC) in front of the St. Louis Uhuru House

 

All roads (and Zoom Links) led to the Historic 2021 International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement’s (InPDUM) Convention, commemorating 30 years of InPDUM defending the democratic rights of African people and reintroducing our people back into political life.

Since InPDUM’s creation by the African People’s Socialist Party as a means of completing the Black Revolution of the '60s, InPDUM has led countless struggles around critical issues plaguing the African community from gentrification to inadequate housing to poor healthcare to police brutality.

This glorious tradition of struggle was celebrated at the 2021 InPDUM Convention.

On Day One, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, leader and founder of the Uhuru Movement, made a profound presentation explaining the history of InPDUM and its crucial responsibility to build a mass movement of African people fighting for our liberation.

We then launched our fundraising segment with a goal of raising $10,000 throughout the convention weekend. By the end of day one alone, we raised over $7,000 toward that effort—a true testament to the power of African people when we’re all united toward a single goal.

White power won’t rain on our parade

For Day Two of our convention, InPDUM had the honor of hosting the One Africa! One Nation! Farmers Market at the Gary Brooks Community Garden. The weather, on the other hand, had other plans and rain prevented us from having our event outside as we
planned.

However, we didn’t let white power rain on our parade; we instead moved our parade into the Uhuru House and had our marketplace under the roof of the house Black Power built. We enjoyed good food, amazing cultural performances and a successful day of economic development for the St. Louis Northside African community.

Local black community vendors were able to sell to each other, buy from each other and build resources for themselves and their community. This is a process we call genuine economic development. This is how we strengthen our communities and fortify ourselves against the parasitic gentrifiers who want to kick us out.

Day Three of the convention was jam-packed with more exciting culture, riveting panel discussions, a positively brilliant host (who is also the writer of this article) and important decisions around the structure, constitution and leadership of InPDUM.

Africans Charge Genocide! Reparations now!

We held a dynamic panel discussion on the Africans Charge Genocide and Reparations campaigns. To quote comrade Xach Williams, a participant on this panel, “It is imperative that we must understand the difference.

“African Internationalism brings that difference in that the APSP acknowledges the truth that just cutting a check and being included into the current system will not work. It’s not about propping up the colonial capitalist model with low interest rates. It’s not about free tuition. Reparations must be articulated as part of the revolutionary claim for freedom and self determination for Africans, not inclusion, not tokenism.

“You can’t go begging for what is owed to you. The Party has always led the masses to understanding what this word 'reparations' means for the colonized masses.

“When you discuss repair and indebtedness, reparations become more clearly defined. 'We,' the masses are not on welfare, the government is on welfare, the wealthiest individuals are on welfare, the moderately wealthy are on welfare and yes even the poorest of the colonizing class is on welfare.

"So, you ask, 'How is this?' All the wealth that the colonizer has amassed, has acquired during and since slavery, from our labor, our resources has made perpetual fortunes for them and we have yet to get a dividend, a recognition for the toll of indebtedness due us.

"The colonizer must be made accountable. In 1982 the Chairman posed the Tribunal and in 1982 the colonizer owed us $4.1 trillion. Since 1982, we have had 12 tribunals.”

Comrade Benjamín Prado, of Unión Del Barrio, stated, “We as Mexicans and Indigenous people on these lands don’t recognize the colonial borders.

"These borders have been imposed on us. These imposed property lines by the settler colonizers out of Europe attacked, raped and assaulted in order to draft property lines on stolen land. The colonizer has accumulated massive amounts of wealth for over the past 500 years using their settler occupying armies, their forces not only on their political borders that were imposed but also in our barrios, places that we share with the African community.”

Comrade Prado goes on further to state, "The question of reparations for us is not of a payout, a check or anything of that nature. We want our land, we want to work for our own benefit, for our own material interests. We want to ensure that we have land, housing, healthcare, education in our own hands, the hands of the Mexican Indigenous People’s working class with the objective of building a different society, a socialist society, a society where the workers are in power.”

Building InPDUM worldwide

The purpose of the Building InPDUM Internationally presentation was to solidify the work that is needed to move InPDUM forward as an international organization. Wherever Africans have been forcibly dispersed, the need to unify and to organize under the leadership of the African working class is the only way forward.

The segment included video presentations from the President of InPDUM in Occupied Azania (South Africa), Zakhele Mkhonza,
and the Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone, Morlai Conteh.

It also included live presentations from the Director of Organization of the APSP in Africa, Tafarie Mugeri; Secretary General of the African Socialist International, Luwezi Kinshasa and Chairman Omali Yeshitela.

Chairman Morlai discussed building committees and offices throughout Sierra Leone as well as plans to build branches. President Zakhele discussed initiatives to build community gardens in Occupied Azania and secure land as liberated territory. He also projected economic development goals to bring institutions like Uzi Custom Clothing to the Continent as well as selling The Burning Spear newspaper.

Rebuilding InPDUM London is at the top of Secretary General Luwezi’s agenda. He also touched on police containment, gentrification, and evictions Africans face in Europe.

Chairman Omali Yeshitela looked to the success of the Vietnamese people in gaining independence and to Afghanistan who has thrown off U.S. imperialism under the leadership of the Taliban. He draws the connection of these organizations to InPDUM. It is InPDUM’s duty to build internationally and organize African people worldwide to have basic democratic rights free from colonial domination.

Getting fit for the Revolution

As panelist and Party member Michael Parker Jr. pointed out, "Becoming healthy has become a trend for Africans as of late. Instead of health being a trend or something we only take seriously sometimes, it should absolutely become a way of life.

“White power attacks us on every front including in the form of this global pandemic. So we need to get our bodies to the best place possible in order to fight this colonialvirus on every level.”

"The Chairman is the true standard of fitness all the way around," Comrade Kobina Bantushango said, "because he sets the standard for what it is to be a revolutionary. We're not just getting fit for ourselves but also for the revolution.

“We need to go beyond our own individual physical health and organize in our community to address the health disparities that exist. Our movement has done that in the form of the All People's TyRon Lewis Community Gym and our Uhuru Health Festivals. By building our own independent institutions we implement a revolutionary strategy to overturn imperialism and the health disparities it creates in our communities.

“Chairman Omali Yeshitela called for us not to strive for physical health just for the sake of physical health itself but to understand the necessity to maintain physical health if we want to function at our peak physical capacity and be part of this liberation struggle for as long as we can.”

From here, the Chairman spoke on “African Internationalist morality.” He emphasized that African Internationalism is the moral base from which we should decide how to conduct our- selves in our communities, our “personal lives” and what to put in our bodies.

If our behavior won’t bring the people around us closer to organization and the African Revolution, then we shouldn’t behave that way. If the food or substance will impair our ability to organize in the most healthy, productive, principled way then we should leave it alone.

Branch building 101

President Kalambayi led a workshop on building InPDUM branches. She explained in depth what exactly a branch is, how it’s built and the different activities branches engage in throughout our community.

The President made sure that all InPDUM members (and future members) were equipped with the knowledge, tactics and strategies needed to build thriving branches.

From soapboxing to selling The Burning Spear, to teach-ins to tabling, President Kalambayi explained the various ways outreach can be done throughout our communities and by the end of the presentation, President Kalambayi announced the creation of the new InPDUM Chicago branch!

Chicago has a historical significance to InPDUM as it was the location of our founding convention in 1991. We salute the InPDUM Chicago branch and call on all Africans in Chicago who are ready to get organized to email us at [email protected] to get in touch with our local branch.

Start a branch in your city today! Once you have determined who will take on the required branch positions, the next step is to email [email protected] to get your branch application form and begin the process of creating your local branch. The full branch building video can be found on the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement YouTube channel.

Completing the Black Revolution of the Sixties

One of our final panels was called Completing the Black Revolution of the Sixties.

Three profound presentations were delivered by African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Director of Agitation and Propaganda, Akilé Anai and Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, Penny Hess.

Beginning with the discussion on winning the war of ideas, Director Akilé Anai emphasized that our media is a weapon—The Burning Spear newspaper and Black Power 96 Radio are tools that influence discussions and promote our African national identity with all its genius and talent: “We are all walking instruments of propaganda.”

Chairman Omali Yeshitela’s brilliant presentation which closed out the panel summed up the main points, discussing how the defeat of colonialism is necessary for the destruction of capitalism. He explained that true socialism must be under the leadership of the African working class because the fundamental class struggle of the world was not born within the white working class.

“Its origin,” he stated, “is not at the point of production, it is at the point of the bayonet.” This is not a war between various bourgeois socialist ideologies, this is an anti-colonial revolution.

The presentation of African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) Chairwoman Penny Hess further explained how the Party is leading the African Nation to victory. By extending the revolution into the belly of the beast, this gave white people the opportunity to join the fight for African liberation.

Elections

One of the most important segments of our convention is the election of InPDUM’s leadership. This isn't done arbitrarily or according to who likes who, but a democratic process through which the masses of InPDUM’s membership cast their vote and decide who InPDUM’s leading body, the International Executive Committee (IEC) will be.

Before the IEC is elected, however, the International President is appointed by The Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela. Due to her continued dynamic leadership of InPDUM, President Kalambayi was elected to her seventh year as the President.

President Kalambayi then appointed comrade Matsemela Odom to his second term as Vice-President and Secretary.

President Kalambayi then proposed her IEC slate for the InPDUM membership to unite or disunite with comrade Matsemela as Vice-President, comrade Fofeet Alkebulan as International Economic Development Coordinator and Dexter Mlimwengu as International Information and Education Coordinator.

InPDUM members united with the slate and the IEC coming out of the 2021 Convention was confirmed. Members were also given the opportunity to nominate comrades to take on vacant positions on the IEC such as membership coordinator, outreach coordinator and our various regional representatives throughout the world.

Comrade Kabula Mutombo of the recently established InPDUM Chicago branch was elected to join the IEC as the U.S. Midwest Regional Representative.

The way forward

The Convention was a powerful, mobilizing event.

Dozens of Africans became members of InPDUM, a new branch was established, a new member of the IEC was determined, new mandates were added to InPDUM’s constitution, we exceeded our $10k goal and most importantly, we charted a way forward for the liberation of our people.

Our task is clear. InPDUM must be built in every African community in the world. We must build where we are located and struggle to open community offices.

Our members are equipped with the tactics and strategies needed to build dynamic branches and organize entire communities. InPDUM is leading the struggle for bread, peace and Black Power and all we’re missing is you.

Join the African Revolution today at inpdum.org/join

InPDUM Convention participants outside the Uhuru House
InPDUM NYC Vice-President FYC (right) sells The Spear with InPDUM NYC member Malik Shakur

InPDUM members from Chicago
InPDUM members in Chicago became an official branch at the convention. Right on, InPDUM Chicago! Uhuru! (Left to right: comrades Tahtia, Zenobia, and Branch President Kabula)

Chairman Omali Yeshitela speaks at the 2021 InPDUM Convention
Keynote speaker, and leader and founder of the Uhuru Movement, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, gave profound presentations throughout the weekend. He explained the important role InPDUM plays in re-introducing the masses of our people to revolutionary life and the way forward for the liberation struggle of African people.

InPDUM President Kalambayi Andenet
Comrade Kalambayi Andenet was appointed by Chairman Omali Yeshitela for her sixth term as International InPDUM President. We salute our President and look forward to another year of her dynamic leadership.

Culture at the InPDUM Convention
Amazing cultural performers brought the house down!

Culture at the 2021 InPDUM Convention
Ain't no party like a Black Power party! One Africa, One Nation Marketplace hosts Zondlile and Jordan cut a rug.


President Kalambayi and Vice-President Matsemela hosted our second Annual InPDUM Black Star Awards, where exemplary and stand-out comrades are saluted for their work over the past year.
2021 InPDUM Black Star Awards Results

  • Bold Initiative—Jesse Todd
  • Most Growth—Dexter Mlimwengu
  • Uhuru Swag—Zondlile Mpiko
  • Worthy of Emulation—Vice President Matsemela Odom
  • Growing Branch—InPDUM Philadelphia
  • Omowale Kefing Award—Director Akilé Anai
  • Branch of the Year—InPDUM St. Louis
  • Comrade of the Year—Zakhele Mkhonza

Zakhele Mkhonza, President of InPDUM South Africa (Occupied Azania)
Zakhele Mkhonza, President of InPDUM South Africa (Occupied Azania)

 

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