Burning Spear News
Building Cadre, Democratic Centralism and power to the Political Bureau of the African People’s Socialist Party
Africans study The Burning Spear newspaper at Uhuru Movement community meeting in Occupied Azania (South Africa)
The following presentation was made by Chairman Omali Yeshitela at the African People's Socialist Party's July 23, 2022 National Central Committee. In it, the Chairman assesses the current period and the strengths and contradictions confronted by our Party in this new period of escalated imperialist crisis.
For several months I have been attempting to identify the primary contradictions within the Party that have a negative impact on Party development at this time of extreme crisis of the colonial-capitalist system.
Serious work to implement our Regional Strategy, rigorous attention to our Organizational Manual and dedicated usage of the Party’s Standard Party Agenda constitute the primary formula I have promoted as the way forward.
The crisis of imperialism that we reiterated at our Seventh Congress 3rd Plenary in February has only grown sharper and more defined in the interim. U.S.-led war against Russia in Ukraine, volatile and disintegrating geopolitical relationships, a faulting global colonial economy and an obvious, increasingly talked-about decline of global white power with the U.S. in the center, are among the features of general crisis that promote great possibilities for our revolutionary aspirations–depending on the growth and capacity of the international Advanced Detachment of the African working class, our Party.
During this Central Committee meeting we will discuss some of the accomplishments of the Party since February. They will include the fact that, in May, we were able to more or less simultaneously host eight African Liberation Day mobilizations on three continents. We are actively working, with different degrees of effectiveness and consistency, to implement the Regional Strategy that requires creation of functioning Regional Committees.
Our mass organizations are achieving greater influence and capacity and our Coalition work has permitted the Party to extend our political and ideological influence to the point that the Party has succeeded in bringing coherence to an inchoate and diverse anti-colonial movement. This is one of the outstanding examples of the efficacy of the Party’s Tactics and Strategy for African liberation.
The work of the Party’s Solidarity Front has expanded our capacity for leading every aspect of revolutionary work within the U.S. and globally. Not only have we been able to advance African Internationalist theory “behind enemy lines,” so to speak, we have succeeded in opening a new, socialist, anti-colonial political front with North American solidarity forces operating on some level in more than 130 U.S. cities and 30 states.
The move of the Party’s international headquarters to St. Louis, where much of our work is centered, has provided us the opportunity to better identify the primary contradictions within the Party at large and get on course to correct them while boldly and successfully pursuing our aims on the ground in St. Louis.
We will hear reports on the work to accomplish the Black Power Blueprint and related activity, essentially defined by its economic component. The entire African colony of St. Louis has been affected by this work that has begun the transformation of North St. Louis in a remarkable way–disrupting a decades-long policy of the colonial ruling elite to rubbish North St. Louis.
Our entry into the electoral political arena in St. Louis affected politics as usual. Our political campaigns have resulted in alerting African people to existing colonial tools that legally bleed the African colony economically by open land theft through utilization of an institution created specifically for that purpose. It led to public exposure of elected officials and their participation with land thieves and other exploiters and the indictment of three government officials in St. Louis proper and another in the county.
The time is ripe for advancing our struggle in St. Louis.
Consequently I initiated an organizing political process that would allow the Party to use St. Louis as a template for how our work should look globally while carrying out the Regional Strategy that calls for winning the people of the region to conscious support for the Party and into the Party. This requires functioning Party organizations at every level.
In St. Louis I called a meeting of Regional Party forces to start a month-long intensive and massive campaign of propaganda work that would put the Party’s propaganda in every sector of North St. Louis. The Burning Spear newspaper and other Party propaganda promoting our mass organizations, projects and programs would be placed in as many hands and homes of the African colony as possible.
And while the work has gone generally well, with me being among the first to actively participate in the community work to “drop” our propaganda on every doorstep in North St. Louis, the Party as a functioning local organization did not materialize.
Local Party members were less likely to engage in the work that required our “army of propagandists” to assemble daily at 6:30 a.m. to carry out the work. Mass forces and members of the Central Committee were the primary organizers taking on this work that would culminate in a Movement-sponsored July 31st St. Louis Black Community Convention to hammer out a popular anti-colonial agenda for the city that includes the work, projects and programs of our Movement.
We had the Party structures in place, but we suffered in the area of cadres, the dedicated forces necessary to make a revolution. The members' approach to Party work was lackadaisical, without regard for the urgency of the moment or the character of our Party as the Advanced Detachment, Vanguard for our class and colonized nation. Some Party members characterized the demands being made of them by the Party as disruptive to their “lives.”
I have initiated regular Sunday mass meetings that function as an institution of mass political education and organization. I intend to use the Sunday Mass meeting to teach about the Party and to recruit directly into our work, Movement and the Party. This is designed to build our base, by winning conscious followers of the Party throughout St. Louis and everywhere Party organizations accept the St. Louis Party work as a template for their activity. It is especially designed to recruit into our Movement and Party the kind of members sorely needed to carry out our mission in the face of the weak stance of Party members in St. Louis who may not survive the process as members of our Party.
We have learned that while the Party’s Regional structure and Standard Party Agenda were employed, it was done mechanically. The Regional structure is poorly understood. This is generally true, not just specific to St. Louis. Party leaders and the Party’s Director of Organization have not understood the Regional structure as a means by which strategic leadership is given to building the Party in every nook and cranny within our regions. It is not simply a means of identifying who will participate in Regional Committee meetings.
Moreover, it is not well understood how utilization of the Standard Party Agenda is a method that enhances ongoing recruitment and cadre development through ceaseless defined political education fit for every level of our organizational structure.
Many of the criticisms raised by Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela are resolved through appropriate, creative and informed utilization of our Party structure and Standard Party Agenda.
Our Director of Organization must understand what I am discussing in this meeting before the end of this Central Committee meeting and immediately establish the necessary mandates, organizational corrections and protocols within the week following this meeting. This directive must give definition to the work ensconced in the committee of the Director of Organization.
Additionally, the Director of Agitation and Propaganda must be able to understand the fundamentals of Party political education and its perennial utilization throughout our structures. It is not understood at this point. This affects our cadre-development, recruitment and retention process in many different ways. It will be absolutely necessary for the Department of Organization and Agitprop to meet following this meeting to rectify this contradiction.
This takes us to another significant part of the rectification that we are employing to aggressively put our work on proper course, to correct the contradictions that are negatively affecting the Party’s political intervention during this general crisis of the colonial mode of production. This is related to correct and creative utilization of our structures and integrating every aspect of the Party’s work into a single center.
This refers to the rehabilitation of the Political Bureau, that arm of the Central Committee that functions under my leadership and meets eight times a year allowing me to stay on top of the Party’s work during the quarterly interim between Central Committee meetings.
The fact that our next Political Bureau meeting is next month on August 9 and 10th contributes to the point I am making here. The agenda for our August meeting must guarantee that decisions made at this Central Committee meeting are being carried out. The Politburo meeting contributes to the ongoing Party life process that guarantees relentless, unending, movement toward the aims we set for ourselves in these and other meetings as well as fidelity to the Party's line.
In this Central Committee meeting, we will review some pertinent points concerning the State of the Party from Chapter 6 of the Political Report to the 3rd Plenary of our 7th Congress. Study of the entire chapter by Party leaders and members was mandated in the Plenary Political Report that was voted on and adopted by the entire Party. Frequent review and implementation of the mandates of this chapter of the Political Report will answer and resolve many of the questions that concern us now. This meeting of our Central Committee and ongoing meetings of the Political Bureau will guarantee a general process of rectification of Party work and a shorter lifespan for an already troubled colonial mode of production headed by U.S. imperialism.
This Central Committee will also resolve the contradiction of not having regional representatives for the Midwest and Southern U.S., following resignation and removal of individuals previously in those important Party positions. I believe that there are individuals in the Party, playing very important roles in the work, that are capable of filling those posts. We will discuss this.
A report on the changes to the NCC that occurred at the July meeting can be found on page 9 of the October issue of The Burning Spear, "We Are Winning!"