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Burning Spear News

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Imperialist media attacks Venezuelan Prez 

VENEZUELA — In the face of continuing reports about imperialist threats against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan government is revamping its intelligence services amidst a flurry of attacks from imperialist media in response.

Concern over imperialist attack is not unreasonable considering that a CIA-backed coup d’etat temporatily removed Chavez from power only 6 years ago before a massive uprising brought him back to office. U.S. funding of opposition groups in Venezuela is also cause for concern.

It was on May 28 when Chavez announced the intelligence services changes. The country’s Interior and Justice Ministries will oversee a new General Intelligence Office and Counterintelligence Office in place of the current Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP). Similar military intelligence and counterintelligence components will replace the Military Intelligence Division (DIM) and will be under the Defense Ministry.

Both replaced offices DISIP and DIM were created in 1969 in the service of imperialism and have been closely aligned with the CIA. The law calls on Venezuelans to inform the government if they learn of plots to overthrow the government, and gives up to a four-year prison term for accomplices of such plots.

Therein lies the point of attack from imperialist media. They claim that this law is repressive and would turn Venezuela into a nation of spies. The Venezuelan government says that it is instead a defense of Venezuela from U.S. subversion. Justice Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin stated that while U.S. law spies on Americans and denies them legal protection, Venezuela’s law enlists responsible citizen participation in preserving their government. They have a stake in “state security and resolving crimes. If [they] witness [wrongdoing and] hide it, then [they] are an accomplice to that crime.” It’s to make them responsible citizens united for their common self-interest.

While imperialist media have harped on this recent law from the Venezuelan government, it continues to ignore the U.S. violations of its own constitution in the unjust imprisonment of colonized people without trial. There is no uproar in the media around the continued imprisonment of the remaining members of the MOVE 9 from Philadelphia who were all charged with the killing of one police with one bullet that came from the opposite direction of the MOVE members but instead the direction of where other police were standing. They even ignore the double and soon to be triple jeopardy situation of the Liberty City Seven, who after two hung juries unable to convict them of government-fabricated terrorism charges, are to be subjected to more trials until the government can find a jury to convict.

InPDUM fights against anti-African "gang" initiative in York, Pennsylvania 

YORK CITY, Pennsylvania — The York City Branch of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) is preparing to undertake a significant effort to stave off yet another plan of police aggression and containment. Pennsylvania's "222 Corridor Anti-Gang Initiative" is the official name given to the local, state and federal governments' proposed policy of harassment and subjugation.

In June 2006, with a $2.5 million Department of Justice grant already in its coffers, the Office of the United States Attorney determined it would draft a comprehensive plan of containment replete with targeted designer laws and militarized technology and tactics. York City InPDUM is waging a significant propaganda campaign exposing the true nature of this paramilitary escalation targeting six counties and seven cities in South Central Pennsylvania.

Under the pretext of eliminating "gangs", the State seeks to federalize all local police forces within the targeted areas. Electronic surveillance grids are being erected complete with cameras and microphones to intrude on our communities and to allow for electronic file sharing amongst police agencies nationwide. Rehashing failed and protracted strategies in the name of fighting gangs with new and fiercer punishment is the government game plan.

York City InPDUM is on the ground offering the black and oppressed community the true and effective programs of community control of police and economic development for working class Africans. Not mass incarceration, but self-determination.

We recognize that this initiative is intended to strengthen the most violent gang in Pennsylvania — the police. If this were a genuine attempt to crack down on gang activity, they’d begin within the ranks of the police departments who brutalize and kill Africans regularly.

Martial law is on the march in South Central Pennsylvania. York City InPDUM, led by President Ajamu Bandele, is calling on all comrades and branches of InPDUM and other progressive organizations operating within any of the Department of Justice’s "Super-Six" targeted areas throughout the country —Oakland and Los Angeles, California, Cleveland, Ohio, Tampa, Florida, and Dallas, Texas — to join in the resistance against the nationwide Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative.

York City InPDUM has identified the key players. It has interjected in public meetings that were designed to win African people’s support for our own oppression and containment and disseminated InPDUM’s ideology throughout the African community, effectively winning support for community control of police and economic development for the African community.

We've established several outreach posts, defeated local anti-gang ordinances and are waging a major propaganda campaign to help our people understand that this initiative is one that intends to deepen police aggression against our oppressed communities. The State intends to lock up the African community, but we are determined to get free!

Join the struggle against the 222 Corridor Anti-Gang Initiative! Self-determination for the African community!

Thomas Sankara, 20 years after his assassination 

This year, October 15, 2007 will mark the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Thomas Sankara, the short-lived president of the African country that became known as Burkina Faso, the “land of upright people.”

His assassination was a concerted effort of the surrounding “neocolonial States”, particularly Ivory Coast, Mali and the authoritative command of their imperialist masters who saw him as a threat to their easy access and control of the resources of Burkina Faso and Africa in general.

The assassination of African revolutionaries with impunity will continue to happen as long as we keep fighting in isolation; separated from each other by the imposed senseless borders that continue to suffocate Africa.

It’s been 20 years since that eventful day in 1987 when the traitorous Blaise Compaoré and his gang of thugs aborted the revolutionary new State of Burkina Faso and reinstated the neocolonial State of indignity.

The Compaoré regime first succeeded in overturning the revolution and continues to survive for 20 years without any meaningful resistance to defend the revolutionary achievements made under Sankara’s leadership. The mere fact that Compaoré survived this long reveals the weakness of our revolutionary movement for total liberation.

Within four short years, the Burkinabé people struggled to shake off the neocolonial fetters and created the program for local initiatives for cultural, political and economic advancement. These programs for local initiatives propelled women into the forefront of the struggle as a mighty force for the revolution.

There was truly a revolutionary process in motion as the masses began to discover their revolutionary potential in production to solve our problem through our own personal sacrifices.

Our revolutionary movement must be self-critical to understand what happened in Burkina Faso 20 years ago and the continuing existence of the Compaoré regime, which claimed victory over our movement.

How and why did Compaoré survive for 20 years? What lessons have we learned from the Burkinabé revolution?

Compaoré’s survival rested on two major factors: the incomplete development of the revolutionary forces within Burkina and their isolation from other revolutionary forces within the continent.

Secondly, the concerted efforts of its reactionary neighbors — the governments of Mali and Ivory Coast — and the imperialist onslaught from France weighed heavily on the Burkinabé revolutionaries’ ability to fight back.

A coup is not a revolution

Thirdly, the most important lesson learn from the Burkinabé experience is that a coup doesn’t constitute a revolution. The Burkinabé coup was an unusual coup in that Sankara and his few comrades attempted to transformed the coup into its opposite — revolution.

Fundamentally, there is nothing inherently revolutionary about coup d’etats. Almost always, a coup is hatched by a group of soldiers that make up the army, the most vital organ of the State that suppresses the aspirations of the mass population.

Within the neocolonial armies are found the most treacherous gang of bandits who, while serving the elite in power, always aspire for the taste of power to enjoy the decadent privileges the neocolonial elite wallow in. It didn’t take Sankara long to understand the forces he was dealing with.

Upon attaining revolutionary political consciousness, a rare attribute to an African soldier, Sankara made a keen observation that led to his prophetic statement: “a soldier without political education is a virtual criminal”. This criminal behavior is not solely limited to African soldiers. In fact, it is best exemplified by the imperialist armies that train them in France, the USA and England.

Notwithstanding the internal contradictions in Burkina, the “undeclared war” against Sankara by Ivory Coast president Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Togo president Étienne Eyadéma, the instigated five-day war in December 1985 between Mali and Burkina and the vacillating pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric from president Jerry Rawlings in Ghana, the Burkinabé revolution mustered enough courage to jolt imperialism, particularly French imperialism from its comfort posture in Africa.

But a mild jolt at imperialism only makes it more monstrous; what imperialism requires from us Africans is a massively explosive jolt that it can never recover from. Only a “One Africa, One Nation! Touch One Touch All!” is capable of delivering this fatal blow to imperialism.

Again Sankara came to terms with the fact that petty bourgeois radicalism such as Thabo Mbeki’s timid challenge against the “AIDS industry” won’t pose any threat to imperialism, let alone make it tremble.

Mbeki backed down from his challenge when the corporate predators such as the pharmaceutical drug dealing industry expressed their disappointment at Mbeki’s “misguided actions” to help Africans afflicted by AIDS and privately gave him a stern warning not to act on his threats.

Sankara’s commemoration must be about revolution’s completion

In one interview, Sankara was asked what were the greatest problems and difficulties facing the revolution. He answered in this order: “the bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie and the biggest being imperialism.” He went on to say, “as a revolutionary I understood what imperialism is in theoretical terms. But once in power I discovered other aspects of imperialism that I had not known. I think there are still other aspects to discover.

“There is quite a difference between theory and practice. I have seen in practice that imperialism is a monster — with claws, horns and fangs that bite — that has venom and is merciless. No. It’s determined. Imperialism has no conscience. It has no heart.

“Fortunately, the more that we have discovered how dangerous an enemy imperialism is, the more determined we have become to fight and beat it. And each time we find fresh forces ready to stand up to it.”

It is from this correct line of thought that fresh forces such as the Africanist Movement in West Africa are emerging from every corner of the African world to stand up to this monster, imperialism. Therefore, all our efforts to commemorate the assassination of one of Africa’s upright sons, Thomas Sankara, must be about completing the African revolution by bringing African people back into political life.

The exemplary character of such martyrs as Sankara led to the founding of the International Committee of African Martyrs (ICAM), a mass organization charged with the task of upholding the legacy of our African martyrs.

Blaise Compaoré remains reactionary

In contrast to Sankara, Blaise Compaoré remains a stooge to imperialism by returning Burkina Faso back into neocolonial bondage. In addition, Compaoré has been a key player in further destabilizing the neocolonial States in West Africa through actions such as his criminal dealings with another gangster name Charles Taylor as well as the buffoonery of the crises in Ivory Coast.

In his desperate efforts to pacify and distract the Burkinabé people from his crimes against Africa, the Compaoré regime lavishly spent millions of dollars to build an “upscale” neighborhood for the impotent Burkina elite in Ouagadougou and inaugurated it as WAGA 2000 (Waga deux mille) while the vast majority of Burkinabé are homeless or live in horrible housing.

But the Burkinabé people who had a taste of what the revolution did to resolve the housing crises under comrade Sankara coined an appropriate word for this neighborhood — “WAGA DA,” which in More (the language of the Mossi) means thieves.

The African revolution must be completed!

The Burkinabé people, and indeed Africa, suffered a temporary setback following the coup d’etat by Compaoré and French imperialism, but the taste for revolution is still in our hearts. Our people in Burkina Faso saw the potential the revolution had in changing their wretched existence.

As African Internationalists, we have internalized the lessons learned from the Burkina experience with Comrade Thomas Sankara, Amilcar Cabral in Guinea Bissau, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, Samora Machel in Mozambique, the Black Liberation Movement in the USA and in many other fronts of the African revolution.

We strongly believe that the theoretical question has been settled. The missing ingredient in the struggle for our total liberation is practice.

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Comrade Thomas Sankara, we will hold a demonstration at the Burkina Faso embassy in Washington, D.C. on October 15, 2007 from 10:00am- 12:00pm and November 17, 2007.

One Africa! One Nation!

Touch One! Touch All!

From Jena to Huntsville, We Ain't Through! 

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Our mobilization to Jena, Louisiana was a brilliant display of Black Power in motion. But it's not enough. There are Jena's throughout the U.S. that are crushing our people with the U.S. brand of justice every day. We have to go beyond Jena and develop the capacity to not only respond to every such case in the U.S., but we must also move beyond responding to the acts against us by white power and come up with the organization and strategy that can advance our interests every day.

This is why we say, "Come to Huntsville and build beyond Jena."

This coming weekend, on September 29 and 30 the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), is holding its annual convention in Huntsville, Alabama under the slogan: "Organization is the key; self-determination is the solution!"
Click here to visit the InPDUM Convention website.