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Burning Spear News

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Army officers seize power just hours after Guinea president’s death announced 

GUINEA — The miserable reign of Lansana Conte has ended with a growth in poverty, misery and brutality against the African masses in Guinea. His effort to keep power until death has given way to another faction of the Guinean army who seized power at the expense of Conte’s favored general Camara Diarra and Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare in a coup on Tuesday, December 23.

Captain Moussa Camara, of the newly proclaimed National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), seized power in Guinea only a few hours after the announce of Lansana Conte’s death. The following day, he and his colleagues paraded through the streets of Conakry in a show of force. He wasted no time demanding that Prime Minister Souare and Army General Camara Diarra and other government officials turn themselves in within 24 hours or be hunted down.

Captain Moussa Camara denounced the legacy of Lansana Conte on his broadcast to the people of Guinea, but said nothing about imperialist plunder of Guinea’s natural resources — bauxite, gold, diamonds, and incredibly fertile land. Nor did Camara mention the blood sucking robbery of our labor used to produce and extract our wealth for imperialism.

We do not know which imperialist country is behind the new leaders or what the political ramifications or implications are throughout this volatile region of West Africa. However, we do know that this regime change by this military faction is no different from the one that brought Lansana Conte himself to power in 1984 after the death of Sekou Toure.

This coup has been made possible by the betrayal committed by African petty bourgeois forces who lead the main trade unions in Guinea against the African workers. The trade unionist leaders formed a united front against the Conte regime in the midst of an intense general strike of African workers in January and February 2007. They were also united under the banner of opportunism on the other end, as they were calling for the formation of a “national unity government” and the appointment of a civilian prime minister as a compromise with Conte against the interests of the masses. A prime minister was appointed in the person of Lansana Kouyate who was sacked anyway by Conte just a month after his appointment.

The trade union leaders did not unite with the Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) put forward by the Africanist Movement to hasten in a new struggle for the building the African Socialist International (ASI) in the West Africa region. The building of the ASI in the region would have united all African workers and peasants in one struggle and begin the social transformation of Guinea and of the region that could have deepened the crisis to end neocolonialism there.

The trade union leaders instead gave a life line to the dying Conte government that quite possibly would have been liquidated by the heavy blows of massive mobilization. It is clear that Moussa Camara is in power now because of the treacherous acts of the union leaders that demobilized and confused masses of workers with their compromise with the defunct regime of Lansana Conte.

The only future is in building the African Socialist International

This crisis of imperialism calls for a creation and consolidation of the revolutionary party of the African workers in alliance with poor peasants — the African Socialist International — which will be able to drive the masses’ struggle against the petty bourgeoisie without allowing another section of the bourgeoisie to steal the victory from our struggle.

It must be understood that all of the compradors and bureaucrats of the African petty bourgeoisie are tied to the regime of status quo, be it by elections or by coups. Their primary duty is the protection of imperialism.

The emancipation and reunification of African workers and peasants all over the world into a single thrust for liberation and unification with our land and our own resources can only happen with the African Socialist International, the organization of all African revolutionaries for a united socialist State of Africa. The Africanist Movement is spearheading the construction of the ASI in Guinea and throughout West Africa.

We unite with this RNDP put forward on the ground in Guinea by the Africanist Movement in 2007. Any real change must begin with its immediate implementation. The RNDP calls for:

  1. All power to the workers and peasants; establishment of a democratic national revolutionary government of workers and peasants.
  2. Freedom of press, speech, assembly and political association.
  3. Nationalization of the strategic components of the economy, especially the extractive, mining sector. This will allow the people to begin using the natural resources of Guinea for economic development for the people—for food, clothing, housing, education and development of the economic infrastructure.
  4. Dismantle and restructure the army under the leadership of a democratic national revolutionary committee of patriotic officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers.
  5. Living wages for all workers.
  6. Establish worker-peasant committees to begin a process of repatriation of all the wealth and resources stolen by members and supporters of the current neocolonial regime and deposited in imperialist banks.
  7. Immediate investment in water collection, purification and delivery.
  8. Freedom for all political prisoners and those militants arrested during the insurrection.
  9. Removal of the borders separating Guinea-Conakry from its neighbors and thereby expanding the economy of the region and allowing for greater economic planning to the benefit of all the people in the region.
  10. Removal of all military checkpoints requiring identification papers that specify ethnicity.
  11. Immediate withdrawal of all imperialist troops from the region and their intelligence agencies, including those of the UK, U.S., UN, and EU.
  12. Immediate withdrawal of all troops brought in from Guinea-Bissau and other mercenaries being used to defend the neocolonial regime.
  13. Reparations for all the wealth taken from Guinea and the region by imperialist corporations in collusion with the neocolonial regimes.
  14. Price support for peasant and domestic agricultural production.
  15. Government support for modernization of domestic agricultural production, including modernization of equipment, supply of fertilizer and seeds, and protection of domestic and regional producers and markets from imperialist corporations that undermine our local economies.
  16. Clinics and healthcare for the rural and agricultural communities.
  17. Assistance for the seafood producers, including modernization of the fishing fleet and protection of the fishing coast from imperialist intervention and over fishing.
  18. Solidarity with African people in Africa and throughout the world who are struggling against imperialism in any form, including neocolonialism.
  19. Recognition of the right of return for all African people displaced and dispersed from Guinea and Africa by slavery, colonialism and other attacks on Guinea and Africa as a whole by imperialism.

While there are other demands being forwarded by the Africanist Movement to advance the building of the ASI process, these demands are demonstrative of the character of the movement and its intentions.

Pacifist Desmond Tutu calls for use of force against Mugabe’s regime 

Desmond Tutu — the Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa who all of his life opposed violence to be used against the brutal apartheid regime there — is now calling for the use of military force to topple Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. According to the December 24 issue of the Evening Standard, Tutu “said his own country was losing the moral high ground, and force should be an option to get rid of Zimbabwe’s president.”

What is striking is that this is a man who never advocated the use of violence against white settlers who even now still occupy 87 percent of the land in South Africa. Tutu is a pacifist when he is facing direct white power, but he is for violence when he is forwarding imperialism’s agenda against the African president Robert Mugabe. In fact, Tutu is silent on sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the U.S. and Britain that is the cause of poverty and suffering in Zimbabwe today.

This is typical of the African petty bourgeoisie. Whenever they are forwarding the imperialists agendas against the African workers, factions of the African bourgeoisie or against other colonized peoples, they are as violent as white power itself.

A few years ago, white rulers gave Tutu a Nobel Peace Prize. They know they can rely on him whenever they want to give their attack on Africa a black face.

The African Socialist International agrees that Mugabe’s regime is a failure, but not for the reasons advocated by Tutu and his imperialists masters. The latter two want a regime that would be personified by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leaders, who are nothing but bootlickers of the white imperialists. Mugabe today may prefer Chinese capitalists in Zimbabwe, whilst Tutu sides with the North American and British capitalists. What the African workers and peasants should not forget is that Mugabe and Tutu do not disagree with capitalism as a system of exploitation of African workers and peasants.

Although Mugabe is correct in taking the land back in Zimbabwe, His regime is still a failure because he has not worked to unite African people worldwide into a single African nation. He has failed to fight for the removal of borders which are shackles around the lives of African people.

He has failed to create an African economy, which requires the Africa be free from imperialism and the colonial borders. Lastly, Mugabe has failed to fight neocolonialism in order to complete the black revolution in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa. He is a member of the African Union, which is one of the centers of all African leaders who stand for the status quo.

The African Socialist International is calling for One Africa! One Nation! African workers and peasants of South Africa and Zimbabwe must unite against imperialism and the sell out African petty bourgeoisie! The land to the peasants, the power in the hands of workers in Zimbabwe! US and British hands off Zimbabwe!

East Africa socialist conference records mass registration 

The upcoming eastern Africa regional conference of the African Socialist International (ASI) is recording an astonishing mass registration from revolutionary groups and individuals expressing desires and interest to attend one of the single most historic events to occur in East Africa in recent times.

The conference is scheduled to take place in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi from March 15-18, 2009 and expected to be the largest gathering of African revolutionaries in East Africa since the 1960s.

ASI’s Director of Organization, Chernoh Alpha M. Bah says the conference will be "the most significant revolutionary event to happen in Kenya since the defeat of the Mau Mau movement by the British colonial administration in the 1950s."

The conference, the second in a series of regional gatherings scheduled to be held in Africa during the course of this year, aims at bringing together African revolutionaries, progressives, individuals and groups involved in struggle for a free, united Africa to discuss and adopt the strategy and tactics of African internationalism.

“It is part of an ongoing international effort to unite and consolidate the separate efforts of African revolutionary movements and organizations engaged in struggle for African unity and socialism into an international process and organization capable of providing the tactics and strategies necessary to surmount the challenges confronting African unity and liberation,” a statement issued by the African Socialist International states.

The African Socialist International says the gathering 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 the building and consolidation of the African Socialist International (ASI) in Africa and other places,” the organization states. The East Africa conference is expected to bring together representatives from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Congo, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroon, Liberia, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, South Africa, England, United States of America, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Venezuela, Honduras, and other parts of the world.

The conference will mark the launch of the African Socialist International (ASI) in East Africa and establish 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 Eastern Africa.

Tribunal finds Philadelphia Mayor, Police Commissioner and District Attorney guilty 

The following is the verdict released by the 26th Session of the World Tribunal on Reparations to African People held on December 13, 2008.

On this day Dec 13th, 2008, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter [defendant], Police Commissioner [defendant], District Attorney Lynne Abraham [defendant] have been found guilty at the Philadelphia convening of the 26th session of the World Tribunal for Reparations to African People. The defendants are guilty of the crime of genocide, willfully causing and continuing conditions to bring about the destruction of African people. Defendants are guilty of related charges conspiracy to commit genocide and failure to assist genocide victims.

Defendant Michael Nutter sentenced to the following:

It is ordered that defendant:

1. Recognize the African Community Controlled Investigation and Review Board with the power to hire and fire Philadelphia Police Department and City of Philadelphia staff and administration as well as subpoena power.

2. Pay reparations to the poor and oppressed African community. Twenty-five percent of the $4 billion Philadelphia budget, which is currently being spent on the public policy of police containment and criminalization of the African community, must be turned over to the African community for the purpose of economic development. Such development would include but would not be limited to:

a. Developing the Philadelphia public schools to serve the interests of African students

b. Allocate resources to provide free and genuine healthcare for the African community

c. Payback to Africans forced from their homes by parasitic city taxes and anti-African bank loans

d. Payback to all victims and families of victims of police terror, intimidation and violence. Of special importance to the court are the recent assassinations, government sponsored homicide of these beloved Africans:

i. Shareef Lee Jones, murdered by PPD on August 24, 2008

ii. Daniel Giddings, murdered by PPD on September 23, 2008

iii. Michael “Butchie” Johnston, murdered by PPD in October, 2008

iv. Lamont Norman, murdered by PPD in November, 2008

Defendant Charles Ramsey sentenced to the following:

It is ordered that the defendant:

1. Immediately make public the name, rank, badge number and district of any police officer who is accused of violating the rights and physical safety of any African in the City of Philadelphia. Such violations include shootings, beatings, unjust arrests and verbal harassment by police officer of African people. The identity must be revealed within 24 hours of the time at which the charge was filed with the Community Controlled Investigation Board.

2. Immediately end the anti-democratic, anti-African Stop and Frisk Program

Defendant Lynne Abraham sentenced to the following:

It is ordered that the defendant:

1. Release all Africans currently held and locked down in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania prisons.

2. Immediately arrest and incarceration all police who have violated the rights and physical safety of any African.

3. Immediately call for the death penalty for all police officers who have murdered African people.