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Uhuru Movement Endorses McKinney/Clemente Ticket in U.S. Presidential Race 

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) has endorsed the McKinney/Clemente ticket in the U.S. presidential race. The endorsement was based on the support that Green Party V.P. candidate Rosa Clemente expressed for InPDUM's "Revolutionary National Democratic Program," during her participation in InPDUM's 17th Annual Convention, held September 27 – 28, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

On August 1, 2008, InPDUM leader Diop Olugbala led a widely publicized protest at a Barack Obama pep rally that raised the question, "What About the Black Community?" Dissatisfied with Obama's response, the organization invited all of the presidential candidates to attend its convention to respond to that question. InPDUM spokespeople had indicated that, based on a candidate’s willingness to embrace the group’s "Revolutionary National Democratic Program," it would make an endorsement in the U.S. presidential race.

InPDUM’s International President Ivory Sobukwe-SoDaye stated, "We are here today to put forward a Revolutionary National Democratic Program that we would like to see all institutions, organizations, candidates and individuals to forward in the world. This is the program of the African community. At the foundation of this program is self-determination. We say that self-determination is the highest expression of democracy.

"Democracy is not the right to vote for a white power candidate. Democracy is not the power to vote on a bill by George Bush. Self-determination is the ability to have control over every aspect of our lives; to have access to our full resources as African people; to have independence; to be able to control every move of our lives.

"At the core of the Revolutionary National Democratic Program is Black Power; it's the need for African self-determination as a nation of African people the world over. We unite with all other programs for self-determination we see throughout the world with other oppressed peoples struggling for their freedom."

Speaking at the InPDUM Convention, Rosa Clemente expressed her support for the group's program for national liberation and self-determination for African people. With its endorsement, InPDUM promises to participate in the Clemente/McKinney "Power to the People" campaign through various means, including the distribution of campaign literature by its branches, members and supporters in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, and California.

For more information, contact the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement at 727-821-6620 or visit www.inpdum.org.

Police take murder victim's brother from middle school class to intimidate 

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — On Tuesday, September 3, just three months after witnessing his 17-year-old brother’s murder by St. Petersburg cop and battle scarred, Iraq war veteran Terrence Nemeth, 14-year-old Keon Dawson was subjected to more abuse as he was taken from his class at Meadowlawn Middle School.

Keon was detained and subjected to search of his person and locker as a result of authorities’ claim that they got a tip from an “agency” that he had a gun. Even after it was clear that Keon didn’t have a gun, he was interrogated further alone with one cop who attempted to have him say he had a gun.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks against witnesses to the June 7 police murder of Javon Dawson. Several young witnesses who courageously came forward to testify to what they saw that night have been steadily harassed, intimidated, threatened and attacked by police. The parents of some of them have contacted the Uhuru Movement to report that the police have been phoning and coming to their houses to pressure their children to make statements to validate the police cover-up.

The police department, the state attorney’s office and some representatives of the media have explained witnesses’ hesitancy to make statements to the police as due to a so-called “no snitch culture.” In fact, the deep rift between the law enforcement agencies and the African community is a result of the ruthless code of intimidation and hostility carried out by the police department, sheriff’s department and state attorney’s office against the African community.

This popular police practice of violating the law to attack African people and then lying to cover-up their actions, was exposed by some media on August 21, 2008 when they reported the suspension of two St. Petersburg Police officers for illegally towing and defacing a memorial to Javon and then lying about it in their official reports.

In fact, the two cops, Courtney Zak and George Lofton, initially reported that they had towed the memorial and scraped the posters of Javon Dawson because it was a “community hazard.” After a citizen filed a complaint with photos of the police actions, the officers admitted to an internal affairs investigation that they acted because “they did not agree with the posters’ message.”

If the police lied in their reports to cover-up their illegal destruction of the Javon Dawson memorial, why should anyone believe the reports they have constructed about the night of Javon’s execution?

In a press conference on Wednesday, September 3, Uhuru Movement representative Kobina Bantushango stated, “These tactics will not work. The Justice for Javon Dawson Committee will not take a single step back. We continue to demand an unbiased, independent, transparent investigation into the execution of Javon Dawson.

“We do not believe that the FDLE investigation ordered by Governor Charlie Crist will be unbiased or fair. We know that Governor Crist, State Attorney McCabe, Mayor Rick Baker, the FDLE, the Sheriffs Department and the St. Petersburg Police Department work hand in hand to carry out a policy of heavy-handed policing designed to terrorize the African community.”

Cover-ups of police murders of Africans in Florida unspoken policy

UhuruNews.com learned that Bernie McCabe, Rick Baker, former Sheriff Everett Rice and current Sheriff Jim Coats were on Charlie Crist’s “transition team” for his role as Governor.

There are also close connections between Bernie McCabe, the FDLE and the key forces that orchestrated the cover-up of the brutal murder of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson, beaten to death by guards at a Bay County Florida boot camp. Charles Siebert, the Medical Examiner who lied in his report stating that Anderson died because of a sickle cell anemia trait was the Pinellas County Medical Examiner under Bernie McCabe until 2003.

The head of the FDLE which conducted the official investigation of Anderson’s murder was Guy Tunnell. Tunnell was himself the founder of the boot camp where Anderson was murdered, responsible for hiring and training the guards that beat Anderson to death. Tunnell was also on the advisory board of Drug Free America, formerly known as the Straight Foundation, which has many lawsuits against it for its repeated abuses against young people who were part of the program.

The Straight Foundation was headed by Mel Sembler, who is the owner of BayWalk in St. Petersburg and a major campaign donor to George W. Bush, Charlie Crist and Rick Baker. Tunnell was fired from heading up the FDLE after the exposures in the Martin Lee Anderson case but has since been hired as an investigator for the Bay County State Attorney’s Office at $72,000 a year.

There is also the police murder of 18-year-old TyRon Lewis on October 24, 1996. TyRon was unarmed and murdered by St. Petersburg police officer James Knight who was with Sandra Minor. Knight shot Lewis with three shots of five fired during a traffic stop. The confrontation lasted 55 seconds violating police policy that a gun cannot be fired until all means have been exhausted.

Knight lied, saying he was “bumped” by the car driven by Lewis, which was disputed by witnesses and evidence that the car being driven by TyRon Lewis posed no threat. Witnesses also said that Lewis had his hands up. In 2001, Knight was suspended for three days after lying in his report claiming that he was “rammed” by a car in order to justify a police chase of the vehicle.

Then there is the brutal execution of 17-year-old Marquell McCullough in May of 2004 by Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies in a hail of 19 bullets. Marquell was unarmed and was shot through his car window. The deputies later admitted that Marquell was not even the person who they were looking for.

Such conduct is rewarded, to reinforce the policy of heavy-handed police aggression against African people. The murderers of Marquell, deputies David Antolini and Nelson DeLeon, were given exceptional service awards almost a year to the day after the murder. In fact, David Antolini was hired by Sheriff Rice even though he had been previously placed on administrative leave from his job with the Indian Rocks Beach Police Department in 1993 for lying about his role in a high speed police car chase in which a young Largo woman died. In 2007, Antolini was cleared by State Attorney Bernie McCabe in another fatal case in Clearwater where he tasered a mentally impaired 33-year-old man, and punched him repeatedly to death.

And then on April 12, 2005, Deputy Christopher Taylor shot in the back and murdered 19-year-old Jarrell Walker, who was sleeping on the couch when a flash bang grenade was thrown by the SWAT team into his living room. His 3-year-old son was sleeping in the next room. The 3-year-old boy was locked up, fingerprinted, given a mug shot and was not released to the mother until she took a drug test.

Taylor said Walker had a gun under the couch where he slept but other officers found no gun or weapon under the couch. One witness testified that those who were in the house with Jarrell at the time of the murder were ordered onto the floor and that he was threatened with having a foot put in his face if he looked up while the cops were cleaning up the murder scene immediately after the shooting.

This murder was declared justified. Deputy Taylor had been involved in two previous shootings and his supervisor stated that “Taylor sometimes becomes excitable and confrontational”, but he was allowed to stay on the force.

Javon Dawson murder case is clear cover-up

Now there is the case of Javon Dawson, murdered by St. Petersburg cop and Iraq war veteran Terrence Nemeth — two shots in the back as he was allegedly running away. State Attorney Bernie McCabe’s interdependent relationship with the murderer Terrence Nemeth is plainly seen in the fact that Nemeth has testified in cases for McCabe in over 90 cases during his short term with the local police.

So McCabe declared Javon’s murder “justified”, despite the fact that they produced no bullets, residue on Javon’s hands, fingerprints on the gun, gun registration I.D. or reliable DNA evidence. Disappointed in an initial finding that gave Dawson’s DNA profile a one in 7,000 chance of matching the mix found on a gun at the scene, McCabe turned to Bode Technologies, which returned results of a one in 30,000 possible match. According to a forensic science expert quoted in the St. Petersburg Times, "One in many trillions is considered a good match, so the numbers aren't strong."

Even the forensics testing in these cases is suspect, as it is carried out by the same incestuous family of law enforcement agencies and politicians united in their program of violent aggression against the African community. For example, the CEO of Bode Technology is Howard Safir, appointed as New York City Police Commissioner by Rudolph Giuliani in 1996, where he remained for four years, overseeing the police shooting of Amadou Diallo and torture of Abner Louima. In 2000, then-Commissioner Safir himself shot and killed an unarmed black homeless man as he and Mayor Giuliani left a press conference.

Police murders have become so pervasive that even in the white community there is outrage and deep concern about the wanton impunity of the police. The North County Gazette wrote on April 24, 2008: “The stench of Florida’s criminal justice system has reached pandemic proportions, especially in Pinellas County, the state attorney’s office of Bernie McCabe and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. There are an increasing number of suspicious deaths in Pinellas County. Alleged suspects and defendants are being shot or tasered or beaten to death by police. Time after time, the office of Pinellas County state attorney Bernie McCabe rules the case closed by a finding of justifiable homicide, finding that the police were justified in the killing of a man, often with a bullet in the back or sometimes ruling the death a suicide, even when the bullet that kills the man is from a police officer’s gun.” That same journal reported that McCabe’s daughter Jennifer works in the Sheriff’s Department, again demonstrating the kind of incestuous relationship that contaminates many of the conclusions drawn by McCabe’s office.

Bantushango said, “Today, we are more determined than ever to press the case against the City and County for reparations for the families of Javon Dawson, Jarrell Walker, Marquell McCullough and TyRon Lewis. Because we are aware of the corrupt cover-ups pervasive throughout the so-called criminal justice system, we demand a transparent investigation for all to see. Because we must put an end to unlawful, dangerous and deadly practices by those entrusted to uphold the law, we demand a community police review board with subpoena powers.”

Conference to officially launch international African revolutionary party in West Africa 

West Africa has been characterized as the most volatile and vulnerable region of Africa. Throughout the last 10 to 15 years, African people in West Africa, like in most parts of the continent, have witnessed and are still witnessing an intensified military assault waged by vicious rebel movements, armies and groups supported by the United States, Britain and their various multinational corporations for control of the vast resources in the region.

A few weeks ago, a coup in Mauritania, supported by France and the United States, overthrew a puppet civilian government that was heavily linked to the Chinese and other countries of the Arab East. This is the latest of several coups and military activities in the region that continue to pose as threats to genuine development and progress in the region.

West Africa is generally known for its immense amount of natural resources that include diamonds, gold, bauxite, aluminum, iron ore, rutile, petroleum and other related resources. But the enormity of natural wealth in this region has created an ever growing scramble among the various multinational corporations for monopoly and control of these strategic resources, often resulting in proxy wars and rebellions spurred by the greed and exploitative tendency of western capitalist corporations and their home governments.

African masses bear brunt of imperialist-imposed conflicts

In all instances, however, the masses of African people have remained the direct victims of these naked struggles among these vicious capitalist corporations and the imperialist nations.

In Sierra Leone, for example, the struggle for diamonds resulted in the deaths of over two hundred thousand of our people and the brutal amputation of several hundred.

In Liberia, the contest for control of rubber and other strategic resources claimed the lives of over a million of our people, while contest for control of aluminum resources in Guinea recently claimed the lives of over five hundred of our people and several others were left with casualties and no medical care.

The levels of genocide and degrading and appalling conditions that we suffer from the activities of these corporations and their imperialist, capitalist governments have become inexplicable.

The reality of the poor and exploited African masses, just as it is for most oppressed people in the world, is that we now appear powerless and at the mercy of the various capitalist corporations and their governments whose right to exploit is being legalized and made necessary by military assault against the most vulnerable resource rich areas of the world.

Mercenary armies carry out imperialist economic agenda

In the case of West Africa, mercenary armies under the services of the United States, Britain, France and other European nations have and are still being used to facilitate and protect the exploitative activities of these corporations. In Kono, eastern Sierra Leone — which is the richest diamond mining region in West Africa — corporations like Branch Energy, Mile Stone, Sierra Leone Diamond Company, Petrograd Mines Ltd, Koidu Holdings and Africa Gold and Diamonds Ltd are among some 90 multinational corporations that are direct beneficiaries of the military operations of British mercenary firms, Sandline International and Executive Outcomes.

In some parts of the region like in the U.S.-controlled rutile mines in Mokanji in southern Sierra Leone, the U.S.-controlled bauxite mines in Boke and Kamsar in Guinea or the U.S.-Firestone controlled rubber plantations in Liberia, special armed mercenary groups are currently being maintained by corporations as protective army units to provide security and sanctuary for their activities.

In most instances these mercenary armies are notorious for inflicting horrendous crimes and abuses on the masses of the areas where these corporations are located. In December last year, police fired on a peaceful demonstration of youths in Kono protesting against the exploitative activities of Koidu Holdings killing two people and injuring several others.

A commission of enquiry that was established to look into the conflict ruled that it could establish the “actual ownership of the land” since most of the agreements signed between the government and the corporations give a 100-year lease to the corporation.

Very recently, the collapse of a mining dredge at the Sierra Rutile mines in Mokanji resulted in the deaths of scores of people. More often than not, the various neocolonial governments, whose accession of political power is roguely facilitated by these corporations’ sponsorship and in some cases direct military aggression — as was witnessed in Sierra Leone in 1998 — are completely unconcerned over the deplorable conditions of the people and the impacts of the activities of these corporations.

African masses robbed of benefit of massive resources

Today in West Africa, like in any part of Africa, our people face miserable conditions and live in abject poverty regardless of the enormity of resources. Microstates within the West African region have the highest infant mortality rates in the world, the lowest life expectancy, unstable national economies, the most vulnerable and powerless masses and the most vicious of deplorable conditions.

While corporations make billions of dollars regularly from extraction of the resources, the people are left with no access to or availability of social services like proper health care delivery, safe drinking water, electricity, good roads, quality education, or any semblance of economic development.

Consequently, the corporations are robbing the vast majority of our people of our future. Apart from having been conscripted and abusively used as soldiers to enhance the traitorous activities of these corporations, our children are now being forced into the alluvial diamond mines, by the circumstances created by this vicious cycle of exploitation, to again unconsciously work for these corporations who continue to make huge resources regularly out of this systemic exploitation.

Quite disturbingly, this uneven status quo continues to flourish regardless of incessant protests and struggles from the masses of our people against these deadly conditions. In most cases, the struggles of our people are never completely victorious, partly due to the intrigues of opportunist forces, developed as agents of exploitation and given the full-blown capacity by these corporations and neocolonial regimes to often kidnap and transform our genuine struggles into positions of advantage for themselves and our oppressors.

Missing is international African revolutionary workers’ party

This situation often cripples the ability of the masses to affect any meaningful and productive change in the conditions that have been forced upon us by these contradictions.

While there exists genuine forces in the region committed to the complete liberation of the masses, it is obvious that the absence of an international revolutionary movement of African workers has seriously affected our capacity to organize and handle a holistic revolutionary program. This poses a serious difficulty for most movements and individuals sincerely struggling to enhance the takeover of our resources.

This somewhat organizational incapacity has manifested itself in different forms ranging from limited or absence of resources, inadequate political education, limited training, ill-equipped revolutionary ventures, general inexperience and limited exposure.

In most instances, these in turn result in loss of potential and useful forces and opportunities, demoralization, self-defeat and a sense of helplessness, political isolation and vulnerability of the revolutionary movement, weighed down pressure on the revolutionary leadership and the overall collapse of the movement — vis-à-vis the rise and fall membership syndrome within the mass based movement.

These are contradictions that confront us, and which we have to deal with if our struggle to concretely build and consolidate a solid revolutionary movement must succeed.

This is because our efforts to strategically build and consolidate has been riddled and affected significantly by the difficult challenges inherent in developing this required organizational capacity needed to boost our strength and ability to effectively overcome the limitations inhibiting our determination to make a real, significant struggle against neocolonialism and imperialism.

It is worth mentioning that the establishment of an FBI outpost in Freetown, the role of the British International Military Advisory Training Team (IMATT) in Sierra Leone and the strategy of the British Department for International Development (DfID) — like the operations of the CIA in Liberia or the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — are all targeted at dissuading loyalty of the oppressed masses to the revolutionary movement and developing the reactionary and counter-revolutionary forces simultaneously.

Establishing the ASI: the only solution

Realizing this current organizational incapacity, the Africanist Movement hereby hosts the First West Africa Regional Conference of the African Socialist International (ASI).

The First West Africa Regional Conference of the ASI, scheduled for October 20-22, 2008, aims to unite and consolidate our separate efforts into an international process and organization capable of providing us the tactics and strategies necessary to surmount these challenges and forward the uncompromising liberation and unification of Africa and African people around the world.

The conference will bring together African revolutionaries, progressives and individuals committed to the struggle for African unity and liberation to discuss and adopt the international strategy and theory of African Internationalism.

It will also examine the question of multinational corporate exploitation in Africa, the challenges of the colonial borders, African identity, the growing Chinese influence in Africa and its implications, the ongoing crisis of imperialism, the dangers of neocolonialism, reparations and the right of return for Africans dispersed around the world due to slavery, colonialism and other accompanying assaults, and other questions related to the struggle for African unity and liberation.

The conference will advance concrete recommendations to forward the uncompromising liberation and unification of Africa and African people around the world and adopt a comprehensive plan of action for building and consolidating the African Socialist International (ASI) in Africa and around the world.

It will mark the official launch of the African Socialist International in West Africa and the establishment of a formidable regional structure or bureau to carry out the administrative and organizing work and activities of the ASI in the region and formalize its operations in West Africa.

Our collective task is to identify revolutionaries, progressives, individuals and groups to participate in this historically significant, groundbreaking conference and equally take an active part in the work to build the ASI in their areas of operation.

This is our collective responsibility.

One Africa! One Nation!

PASMA: mobilizing students behind revolutionary banner of socialist internationalism 

The following manifesto was submitted to UhuruNews.com for release by the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania.

We, the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA), view education as an instrument to transform the society into a non-racial, non-sexist and classless order. Hence we are convinced and believe that education should therefore not be commercialized and/or privatized but should rather remain a right, freely accessible to all. Key amongst others our objectives includes mobilizing and rallying all the students behind the revolutionary banner of socialist internationalism and permanent social revolution.

We are committed to struggle for the total destruction of capitalism, neo-colonialism and imperialism. This will give birth to classless society, free from exploitation and oppression of man by man.

Exorbitant fees and perpetual fee increment:

We highly condemn exorbitant fees of the University and the perpetual increment. We view this as financial exclusion of students particularly from the working class background and makes education only accessible to children of the capitalists. We call for FREE EDUCATION FOR ALL irrespective of gender, race and social position; at public cost.

We further object to other forms of exclusion (academic, social, etc) as contrary to the imperative of social development. We demand a democratic education system free from evil and immoral policies aimed at poor students from the working class families.

Student support services:

We are brutally against the current lack of adequate student support services and we demand an immediate provision for quality and massive services:

➢ Library services: We call for 24-hour library services and study centre at all regional centers of the institution. We further demand enough seats (study space) for all UNISA students.

➢ Tutorial class: We stand firmly for provision of QUALITY tutorial sessions in all courses to improve the academic performance of students. This should be coupled with the employment of qualified tutors with necessary academic credentials.

➢ Free internet services: The scientific development of mankind over the last few centuries has made it almost impossible to make any academic advancement without the internet. It is along this line that we demand massive and FREE internet service for all UNISA students.

Student support services are the most important assets for any student to achieve his/her academic ambitions; we will therefore not compromise in as far as this item is concerned.

Centralization of resources and neglect of campuses:

We have noted with great regret the unnecessary marginalization of other UNISA campuses especially those outside the Gauteng province. This has clearly demonstrated itself with the centralization of power and resources to Gauteng based campuses. We brutally condemn the neglect of other regional campuses and we call for equitable distribution of resources (books, access to internet, etc.) among all UNISA campuses.

Academic problems and maladministration:

We object to conversion of courses from semester courses to year courses (e.g. College of Science and Engineering) and view this as academic miscalculation and will result into total waste of students’ time and resources.

The late arrival of assignments and scripts coupled with unending mistakes by dispatch departments are viewed as major contributors to students’ academic under performance; serious steps should therefore be taken to eradicate this problem. We call for a proper administration consisting of qualified administrators. AWAY WITH MALADMINISTRATION! AWAY!

Sport and recreation:

We are concerned with the lack of proper sport facilities for our students to advance their non-academic talents and dreams. We demand that proper sport facilities be availed in all regions for general access by students and staff. We further demand a provision for recreation like social events and activities (e.g. freshers’ ball, bashes, etc) for UNISA student community.

Discrimination and exploitation:

As a revolutionary student movement armed with pure revolutionary theory, we reaffirm our stance against any form of discrimination whether racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, religious and discrimination of disabled people:

➢ Racism and sexism: These per definition can only practiced by those who hold power (especially economic power) over the other therefore our struggle against them can never be separated from our overall struggle against capitalism and imperialism. It is with same passion that we fought Apartheid that we should fight patriarchy and male chauvinism against our mothers and sisters.

➢ Homophobia and xenophobia: We condemn any manifestation homophobia as ultra conservative and it perpetrators belong no where but in the dustbin of history. Xenophobia, as demonstrated by the recent xenophobic outbreak, can only be perpetuated by counter revolutionary fascist seeking to avoid a social revolution that might overthrow capitalism. It can only be criminal of us to claim to be revolutionary and be xenophobic at the same time.

➢ Discrimination of disabled students: We demand proper facility to accommodate needs and aspirations of disabled students in all campuses of UNISA and further demand a disability bursaries for all disabled irrespective of social position and/or family background.

Education system and curricula:

The current education system and curricula as inherited from Apartheid, like in any other capitalist regime, is designed to perpetuate the current status quo (i.e. exploitation of the majority [working class] by the minority [capitalists]). Our masses are subjected to brain damaging neo-liberal and capitalist propaganda entailed in our study material and other sources of information. Judging from history and sociology, which are taught purely from capitalist background, it is clear that the current regime has no socialist intensions now and not in future! The snail-paced transformation process initiated by the government has clearly failed; a more and sustainable solution is needed.

We agitate for education system and curricula that is free from capitalist propaganda and exclusion but directly twined in terms of content and fate to workers struggle and advancement of socialist struggle. We are further against the current reactionary model institutional governance, where greedy principals and/or vice chancellors and councils, are tasked with the management of our institutions. We call for management of institutions by democratic worker-student councils, with the deploying constituency reserving the right to recall.

Conclusion:

We have revolutionary credentials on our side, we never failed students any where in the country before we can’t fail you. Ours is the legitimate cause, we have nature and mankind on our side! Victory is certain, it is only left to time tell and history to confirm! The students struggle is directly intertwined with workers struggle!

Vote the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA). It is the only remaining genuine fighting revolutionary movement of our generation. IT IS THE ONLY CHOICE TO MAKE!

Forward with FREE EDUCATION in our lifetime! Forward!

Viva! The workers struggle for Socialism! Viva!

Izwe lethu! I-Afrika!

Vere vere! PASMA! Vere vere!

VOTE PASMA! IT IS THE ONLY CHOICE TO MAKE!