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republished from the Concord Times (Freetown), July 16 2007, distributed by allAfrica.com
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- A Working Resolution Document issued yesterday by Africanist leaders in Freetown has confirmed that the Passengers Welfare Organization of Sierra Leone have joined a national coalition led by the Africanist Movement ahead of next month's elections.
This announcement follows a three-day intensive strategic planning meeting held at Allen Town in the outskirts of Freetown last weekend.
"We hereby resolve to join the Africanist Movement to carryout a general campaign against neo-colonialism and imperialism, and to undertake, under the leadership of the Africanist Movement, collaborative peogrammes and activities in defense of the interests of the African working class and peasantry," the Resolution affirmed.
Passengers Welfare Organization is one of the most dynamic community based advocacy organizations in Sierra Leone campaigning for the welfare and protection of individual passengers and pedestrians.
Africanist leaders say this brings the total of organizations in the coalition to thirty that include student union groups, community based organizations, youth movements, human rights organizations and civil society members.
The coalition plans to organize a mass campaign on electoral issues ahead of the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for early August this year.
"This is about raising political consciousness among the masses so they can have the ability to stand for their democratic rights especially at crucial times like these and to be able to know the faults inherent in the current political process," Africanist leader Chernoh Alpha M. Bah said.
The Africanists say several politicians are abusing the masses by this process.
"People have to desist from the deceitful habit of throwing alcohol and booze at the masses during election periods as a way of extracting votes," Bah said, adding that key to political power is social service delivery.
"We call for community control of political power, better education for the children, youth employment and increased opportunities for women and vulnerable groups, nationalization of the economy and indigenous control of the mining sector, better conditions for workers, decent living wage, medical relief services for the poor and development support to the agriculture and farming sector," the Africanist leader announces and adds, "these are the programmes that enhances change in people's material conditions and not the get-drunk and vote attitude."
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — On June 21-24 there was an historic conference in St. Petersburg, Florida to build the African Internationalist Student Organization (AISO), the student wing of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP). African students traveling from as far away as London, England participated in the dynamic four-day conference, which included workshops on the significance of AISO, the history of the APSP, and the standards of Party life.
The Director of Uhuru News, Nyabinga Dzimbahwe, gave a thorough presentation on the principle of democratic centralism that informed attendees about how AISO will function internally, while AISO Campus Coordinator Amir Shabazz, a student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), gave an energetic presentation on how to win elections and influence in other campus organizations.
Amir used his victory in elections at FAMU as well as a successful protest against plans to end FAMU graduate school programs that he led as a Party member to illustrate practical steps that can be taken in this process.
Conference attendees were also able to grapple with the AISO constitution in a workshop and discussion led by Chairman Omali Yeshitela. All attendees united with joining AISO and committed to building for the founding conference of AISO.
Attendees toured local Uhuru Movement institutions including the newly renovated APSP International Headquarters (the Uhuru House), the All People’s Tyron Lewis Community Gym and Wellness Center and the Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles store. Toward the end of the conference, students shared their experiences as guests on two radio shows on www.uhururadio.com, the Party’s Internet radio station.
One conference attendee, Shantel Ferro, general arts and photography major at St. Petersburg College, commented that the June conference to build AISO was the most important conference she had ever attended. “All the other conferences I’ve attended were just full of talk and no one wanted to do anything! I’ve learned a lot about the history of our movement as a people and am excited to build AISO!”
Out of this historic working conference, an AISO Conference Committee was built that will work under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party to organize students to attend the founding AISO conference on November 9-10, 2007 at Alabama A&M University (AAMU). The founding conference will be calling African students from all over the world to participate in and become members of AISO.
AISO, as mentioned, is the student wing of the APSP and has the responsibility of bringing African students back into a revolutionary process that will forward Black Power in the 21st century. The African People’s Socialist Party has explained that the military defeat of the African Revolution in the 1960’s pushed the masses of African people, including African students, out of political life.
In the 1960’s, the masses of African people were on a move for Black Power. Often times, African students were at the forefront of that struggle, as was seen in the Black Panther Party, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and other organizations that were student based or had a number of student members. Our struggle for Black Power, led by the African working class, influenced revolutionary movements all over the world.
AISO members, who will range from middle school to graduate school students, will work to overturn contradictions that are significant to African students and the masses of African people in general as part of a strategy to forward a worldwide African revolution. As student members of the African People’s Socialist Party, AISO members will be given the opportunity to utilize their skills developed in school to develop the African world.
The founding conference of the African Internationalist Student Organization (AISO) will take place on November 9 and 10, 2007 in Huntsville, Alabama. It will be unlike other student conferences that discourage discussion about the need for and possibility of revolution. Such conferences encourage African students to use their genius to continue to build up the imperialist system that abuses, steals from and oppresses African people daily.
Instead, AISO’s conference will offer African students an opportunity to move beyond study, into the revolutionary action necessary to forward true and lasting self-determination for African people. Some of the work AISO will take on will include organizing African students into a struggle for reparations and developing campaigns to expose imperialist corporations that have relationships with schools and universities that, while at the same time, are involved in the process of stealing the resources of Africa.
African students that may have missed the June working conference to build AISO will certainly not want to miss AISO’s founding conference on November 9-10, 2007 at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama. For more information about the June working conference, the upcoming founding conference or how you can contribute to AISO’s building process, contact AISO at [email protected] or 256-348-6478. The AISO website will be developed soon.
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