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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!

Florida governor, local NAACP unite with Uhuru against state attorney's "investigation" of police murder 

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — In an August 15 press conference — two days after Florida Governor Charlie Crist called for a review of an investigation conducted by State Attorney Bernie McCabe into the St. Petersburg police murder of 17-year-old Javon Dawson — Uhuru Movement Press Secretary Nyabinga Dzimbahwe made the following statement:

“We want to talk today about Governor Crist’s call for a review of the bogus investigation done by the office of State Attorney Bernie McCabe and what that means for the Justice for Javon Dawson Campaign.

“We say that Governor Crist’s call for a review is a victory in the struggle for justice for Javon Dawson, not because of any confidence in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who he’s called on to do the review but because the governor’s call for a review of McCabe’s findings is itself an admission that McCabe’s ‘justifiable homicide’ decision is questionable. It is an admission that McCabe’s findings cannot be trusted standing on their own.

“But while Governor Crist’s call for a review might signal an admission of the injustice in the murder of Javon Dawson, it does not mean the same for the FDLE who he has called on to perform the review. So we demand that the review be a transparent process so that the public can view the process and make its own assessments of its validity.

“We also recognize that politics are playing a major role in this process. It was politics that played a role in the murder of Javon Dawson. Mayor Baker’s plan to extend downtown to 34th Street makes necessary the removal of the African community which uses the policy of police containment which brought the war-scarred sharp shooting Iraq war veteran Terrence Nemeth into this community to murder young Javon Dawson.

“The politics of Republican Bernie McCabe’s office that shares the same concerns as the Republican Mayor Rick Baker who has political aspirations plays a role. We even recognize the possibility that the political aspirations of the Republican Governor Charlie Crist to be Vice President on the Republican ticket influence his decisions.

“So our actions are influenced by our understanding of what influences his actions. As Governor Crist and John McCain are traveling around the country to win support for their campaign, we’ll also be sending Diop Olugbala around the country winning support for the Justice for Javon Dawson Campaign. You all may be familiar with Diop as the man who in the Uhuru Movement’s demonstration intervened in presidential candidate Barack Obama’s rally demanding he answer the question, “What about the black community.”

“We believe that as Governor Crist is traveling around the country to win support for his candidacy, people need to be aware that he is tied to this struggle here.”

Dzimbahwe then introduced Kobina Bantushango, the Uhuru Movement’s Southeastern U.S. representative who made known that the Uhuru Movement is calling for the establishment of an independent, community-based, police review board with subpoena powers. He stated that this is something that the city should unite with if the city and the police have nothing to hide.

Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC), followed Bantushango and announced the initiation of a campaign to make the city pay reparations to the family of Javon Dawson as well as those of Jarrell Walker, Marquell McCullough, and TyRon Lewis — all African teenagers murdered by either the St. Petersburg Police or the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department who were invited into the city by current police chief Charles Harmon after the previous police chief, Goliath Davis, had asked them to stay out of St. Petersburg jurisdiction because of their terroristic tactics against the African community.

When asked how the Uhuru Movement felt about the NAACP’s call for the federal government to investigate the case, Nyabinga Dzimbahwe replied, “We’re glad to see everyone — the governor and the NAACP — unite with what we’ve been saying about McCabe’s investigation not being able to be trusted.”

Pressured Florida governor calls for review of “justified” verdict in police murder of Javon Dawson 

TALLAHASSEE, FL — On Wednesday, August 13, the halls of the Florida governor’s office were filled with chants demanding justice for Javon Dawson, a 17-year-old African murdered by St. Petersburg policeman and battle-scarred, Iraq war veteran Terrance Nemeth on June 9.

The march to and demonstration at the governor’s office follows in a long process of political struggle led by the Justice for Javon Dawson Committee (JJDC) — a committee of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) — to win justice in the face of an “investigation” by State’s Attorney Bernie McCabe who has a history of giving a green light to police to murder African people.

In fact, McCabe has stamped every police murder of an African as “justified” since he’s been in office. The JJDC has been applying constant pressure on the State to have McCabe removed from the investigation on the grounds that McCabe enjoys an incestuous relationship with the police department whose officers are currently testifying for him in more than 100 cases.

Javon Dawson’s killer, Terrance Nemeth himself has testified for McCabe in more than 90 cases. Based on these facts, the JJDC argues that it is a conflict of interest for McCabe to then be responsible for investigating his collaborators, the St. Petersburg Police Department.

McCabe’s office attempts to preempt meeting with governor

The Justice for Javon Dawson Committee had held a press conference the preceding week announcing its intentions to go to Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s office to demand Bernie McCabe’s removal from the investigation based on conflict of interests. Subsequently, 3,000 signatures on a petition supporting the demand had been faxed to the governor’s office.

In a suspiciously preemptive move, McCabe announced a verdict justifying Terrance Nemeth’s murder of Javon Dawson just one day before the Justice for Javon Dawson Committee’s scheduled meeting with the governor. This verdict announcement was accompanied by an eight-page letter from McCabe’s office riddled with contradictions.

The evidence highlighted in the document contradicted the story of the police who claim Javon Dawson pointed a gun at killer cop Terrance Nemeth. The document claims that somehow gunpowder residue was supposedly found in Javon’s pocket while Nemeth’s testimony says Javon dropped the gun after he killed him making it impossible for him to have placed it in his pocket. It also glosses over the fact that no gunpowder residue was found on Javon’s hands. It ignored the fact that the only testimony from the crowd of more than 200 people present that said Javon even had a gun was that of killer cop Terrance Nemeth. These and other numerous contradictions in the document pointed to a cover-up.

Florida governor calls for review

Despite the state attorney’s attempts to preempt the Justice for Javon Dawson Committee’s demonstration and meeting at the Florida governor’s office with the verdict announcement, Uhuru organizers were determined to continue. Demonstrators marched to the governor’s office and delivered 1,700 more signatures demanding an independent investigation.

After JJDC members met with the Florida governor’s chief of staff, they emerged from the office with a copy of a letter faxed to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey calling for a review of the state attorney’s investigation.

State Attorney Bernie McCabe was upset stating, “It’s never happened before and I don’t know why it’s being done now.”

While the Justice for Javon Dawson Committee recognized the review into the state attorney’s investigation a victory, its representatives made clear that the struggle for justice for Javon Dawson does not end with this review and that despite its initiation, the Uhuru Movement will continue to organize and struggle in the streets for justice.

For more information on this case or to contact the Justice for Javon Dawson Committee go to www.inpdum.org or call 727-821-6620