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Burning Spear News

Omali Yeshitela lambasts imperialist countries who boycotted UN Conference Against Racism 

GENEVA, Switzerland — On April 20-24, 2009, the United Nations hosted a second World Conference Against Racism, following up the conference in 2001 where peoples around the world declared that slavery and colonialism were crimes against humanity for which reparations were due. That conference also declared the illegitimate settler-state of Israel to be a racist state.

The 2001 conference was boycotted by the U.S. and Israel who both refused to acknowledge their crimes against humanity. In this follow-up conference the U.S. and Israel were joined by virtually all of the other imperialist countries who either refused to participate from the start or walked out at the point that the issues began to be raised.

In an interview on UhuruRadio.com on Sunday, April 26, African Socialist International (ASI) Chairman Omali Yeshitela explains the real basis for these imperialist counties refusal to participate in the conference:

“I want to say it’s criminal behavior, but that’s not appropriate because when you’re talking about crime, you’re talking about the law and the imperialists make most of the laws. So most of what they do is legal including slavery and including the kinds of things that the white nationalist, foul, settler-colonial state of Israel has done to the Palestinians. They take the people’s land, and then they punish them. They kick them off the land, they brutalize them and they murder them.

“You know they had a president from Milwaukee, a white woman from Milwaukee — Golda Meir. They’ve got these white people that they bring from all over the world and they call them Israelis. They change the country’s name from Palestine to Israel. It’s just a whole thuggish process that’s been going on for a while.

“But the United Nations Conference Against Racism that happened in 2001 in Durban, South Africa was a really significant, really critical conference, that took place in late August and went on to the early part of September and it resulted in a statement that upheld reparations for slavery and colonialism, defined slavery as a crime against humanity, and in addition to that, the people also identified the state of Israel as a racist state in terms of its treatment of the Palestinian people.

“And what was really interesting about that was you had a situation where thousands of people who otherwise had not been able to talk about reparations or believe in reparations or anything like that — at the juncture the United Nations gave it an air of legitimacy, you had people coming from everywhere around the world to participate in this conference and this discussion. To have the whole non-white world denounce colonialism, denounce slavery, uphold the demand for reparations and denounce the illegitimate white nationalist, settler-state of Israel — which indeed is a rotting corpse — to have the whole world stand up and do that was a remarkable political occurance that had all kinds of significance.

“And then, of course, that conference ended on September 7, and then on September 11 was the thing that happened with the world trade center, and so it took it off the radar screen and nobody was talking about that historical achievement. Our movement was there in Durban.

“I should mention that in 2001, the United States also did not participate. In fact, it demanded that the Negro secretary of state Colin Powell not show his face at this critically significant thing.

“But they came out of there with some pretty decent resolutions and commitments from these imperialist, colonialist states about struggling against what they characterize as racism and actually having a responsibility to overturn it, and Durban II in part was to give people an opportunity to see what kind of progress has been made since Durban I.

“Now before they even get there, the Obama administration — here we have the negro president again, who is quite convenient because he first of all demanded that they take out the issue of reparations, that they take out the issue of the illegitimate state of Israel, etc. and so they didn’t even participate in the thing.

“And again this is under Obama. This is the hero for much of the Negro reparations movement. They saw Obama as the one who was going to do something for them and of course, he’s now covering for every anti-reparations, anti-African, anti-freedom act against oppressed peoples around the world.

“So from the very beginning you had a boycott. Look at who’s boycotting: Australia, New Zealand, United States, Italy, Germany, Holland. Can you believe that? These are the countries that are boycotting. They don’t even show up at all. So you’re talking about Australia who had the gross history of first of all these white people who leave England as thugs and criminals and locked up in prison, Australia being a prison colony for England. They murder thousands and thousands of black people there called Aborigines as sport. Those who they didn’t murder, many of those who they didn’t murder, they kidnap their children and put them into torture farms to make white people out of them. But they boycott the issue.

“New Zealand has a similar story. There’s Canada, who has right now got reservations for indigenous people who are catching hell there, but they boycott allegedly because somebody is going to say something not nice about some white people who just stole some land in the Middle East. That’s the excuse they give.

“You’ve got the United States. I don’t even have to say what the United States is. The very fact that I’m even sitting here having this discussion is a mark against the United States. And the very fact that there’s a Negro president here is a mark against what the United States is about.

“Then you’ve got Italy, Germany, Holland — Holland who brought the first African captives to the United States. The first African captives to the United States came here on a Dutch ship.

“And then all these other white countries walk out and somehow they say that this thing was condemned by the whole world, but that’s a lie because the vast majority of the people there supported the statements by Ahmadinejad. And the vast majority of the people there still want reparations, still denounce slavery and colonialism. It’s just the white countries that walked out of this thing and perhaps some of their lackeys and allies. The vast majority of the people stayed.

“But the thing is this: as important as these conferences are, and they are important — and I’m sorry that we weren’t able to attend this conference. We were busy on the ground building a revolutionary movement and putting some things down in Kenya because in the final analysis, our freedom is not going to come at a United Nations hearing or conference, even though I think they are extraordinarily important political events.

“They are also something that gives us an indication of the amount of unity of peoples around the world around these questions opposed to colonialism and imperialism. So we weren’t there, but we were in the process of helping to dig the grave of imperialism.

“I think that it’s a critical development and we should not allow the United States and these imperialist powers to define what happened in the fashion that they are trying to define it.”

Chairman Omali continued around the Israel question: “Israel is a criminal enterprise in a thousand different ways. And the whole thing that happened to Jews was done by white people. I don’t know how many Jews were killed in Germany, but however many were killed, they killed them. They were not killed by Iranians. They were killed by white people in Europe.

“And you talk about freedom of speech and all that, but you cannot be in a European country and say six million Jews didn’t die. You’ll go to jail there. But we do know how many people that the Belgians killed in one fell swoop. The Belgians killed more than 12 million African people. You’re going to tell me that because somebody says something that you don’t like about an illegitimate, hostile, white nationalist state that itself was a colonial enterprise that is used against the people there, that the crimes committed by Belgians, the crimes committed by the Dutch, the crimes committed by the United States and all these other countries go unmentioned and undealt with? Because we hurt the feelings of some white people who stole some land in occupied Palestine? It’s absolutely unacceptable.

“I truly believe that Jewish people have a responsibility to denounce the illegitimate state of Israel, to express solidarity with the just struggles of the Palestinians and other oppressed peoples just as I can sit here right now and denounce these neocolonial African states wherever they exist. Jews are no better than anybody else, and what killed them was capitalism and other white people in Germany and other places. Not only were they killed in Germany, they were chased all over Europe, and even in this country, Jews had to change their names and what have you so it wasn’t clear that they were Jews in order to be successful.

“So don’t put this thing about Jews on Palestinians and Iranians and black people and what have you because this is a mess about white people. But they’re using this mess about white people that happened to the Jews. They want to hold this up as the greatest crime against humanity because it’s something that happened to white people and the Jews who are united with this whole Zionist thing participate in this thing and it’s an anti-revolutionary stance that they take.

“They use it to hide the crimes that imperialism has committed against the rest of the world. They say nothing has happened as bad as what happened to those white people, and that’s why it’s got to be six million. If they could make it 40 million, they’d make it 40 million that died there because they need those dead Jews to hold up in the face of any Africans and other oppressed people around the world who say look at what you did to me. They need the dead Jews to say nothing has ever happened as bad as what happened to these white people.”

Chairman Omali Yeshitela can be heard live on Africa Live on UhuruRadio.com on Sundays at 11:00am-1:00pm EST

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.

InPDUM Publicly Summons Philadelphia Mayor to Appear at December 13 Tribunal for Reparations to African People! 

Philadelphia , PA – On Wednesday, December 10, an International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement contingent intervened in a townhall meeting that was organized by the neo-colonial (white power in black face) administration of Mayor Michael Nutter to discuss the recently imposed cuts on the City's budget. The purpose of InPDUM's presence, however, was not to lend any credence to the mockery that was this townhall meeting. Although the Mayor said he was calling the townhall meeting to allow the people to express our concerns about the recent budget cuts, it was really nothing more than a lip service session from City politicians and other representatives of Philadelphia 's ruling class who had no meaningful solutions to the impoverished conditions experienced by the African community of Philadelphia.

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Local Philadelphia InPDUM organizer Kenneth Williams demands real solutions from the city

http://www.uhurufiles.org/image-library/uhuru-movement/inpdum/philly-townhall-20081210/072dpi/20081210_diopservesnutter_400w.jpg width="200" height="133"> International Organizer, Diop Olugbala serves People's Subpoeanas to Nutter and police chief Charles Ramsey

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People's Subpoena

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InPDUM leads mass demonstration outside of Philadelphia townhall meeting

The fact is the real significance of the townhall meeting had nothing to do with the original purpose Nutter and his cronies had established for it. This is because InPDUM transformed the townhall meeting into a townhall hearing--where we indicted the mayor and his Uncle Tom administration for committing crimes of genocide against the African community. Wearing t-shirts that state, “Jail the Killer Cops, the DA and the Mayor," InPDUM took control of the question and answer period. One by one InPDUM and Uhuru Solidarity members blasted Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, exposing their budget cuts as a strategy to funnel more resources into the police containment of the African community. This stance influenced members of the community who attended the meeting, as more and more people began to attack Nutter for sanctioning a military occupation of the African community by the police.

The struggle InPDUM led against Nutter and company was climaxed with the serving of the People’s Subpoenas. InPDUM International Organizer Diop Olugbala served Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey with the People's Subpoena to appear in the Philadelphia Tribunal for Reparations to African People - a court organized by InPDUM to serve the interests of the African working class and to put the City of Philadelphia on trial for crimes committed against the African community. The Tribunal is to be held on Saturday, December 13, 2008 in downtown Philadelphia.

In his statement before serving the subpoeana, Olugbala stated of Nutter, “We have no confidence in this process. We have no regard for this process. It is our belief that when the ones who are supposed to uphold the law act like criminals, we have a responsibility to stop them. We are putting YOU on trial for crimes committed against African people.” Olugbala then walked up to Nutter and Ramsey and served them each a People’s Subpoena.

The people from the community who attended the townhall meeting united with this call, and showed their appreciation by standing up and cheering loudly. InPDUM then led a chant, “Jail the Killers Cops Now!” as they militantly marched out of the building to hold the demonstration.

The Tribunal will expose how the City of Philadelphia, not unlike any other city in the U.S., is a predator of African people. It is the city with the highest incarceration in the U.S. and where the overwhelming majority of the people sent to prison are African. More than 40% of all people in prison in the state of Pennsylvania come from Philadelphia . The economic conditions are equally hostile to African people. Forty percent of African workers in the city live beneath the poverty level, the unemployment rate of African people is twice that of whites, and 50% of all African men below the age of 35 are unemployed. This entire parasitic political economy within the city of Philadelphia is maintained by the gun--through death squads, known as the Philadelphia Police Department, that reigns terror over the entire African community.

Despite his claims of economic crisis for the City, Nutter has managed to keep the police who occupy our community like an army very well funded. During the townhall meeting it was revealed that 24% (one quarter) of the City’s budget is permanently reserved for “criminal justice” (i.e., police, jails, courts, etc.). However, this is just code language for saying that the City invests 24% of its budget in the industry of criminalizing African people and locking us up behind bars!

In the real world, this parasitic relationship between the City of Philadelphia and the African community manifests itself as a heavy-handed style of policing the African community. Every year, dozens of Africans (young men in particular) are murdered by the police in Philadelphia alone. Since August of this year, the Philadelphia Police Department has killed one African per month, earning for this autumn season the title of the “Fall of Blood." The first victim was Shareef Lee Jones, a 14-year-old boy from the Frankfurt section of Philadelphia. Shareef was shot on August 24 by an ex-cop; he then bled to death in back of a Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) squad car while the cops drove him past a nearby hospital at least 3 times. Shareef’s death was then followed by the September 23 assassination of Denill Giddings of North Philadelphia. Giddings, who was trying to rebuild his life, was the target of constant police harassment that at one point resulted in police going to his home. October came with the murder of Michael “Butchie” Johnson on the 22nd day, followed by the November PPD slaying of Norman, who grew up with Denill Giddings and was murdered by the police only blocks away from where Denill was killed.

In the face of these sharp attacks being made by the City of Philadelphia against the African community, InPDUM has determined that our only real defense is to get power in our hands. We have been organizing to expose the U.S. government and all of its state, local, and federal agencies as part of a criminal entity responsible for the poverty, misery, and death of oppressed peoples around the world. InPDUM is determined to get power in the hands of African people so we may bring the U.S. government to justice. Thus, we have been organizing Tribunals (courts) around the world--to put the State on trial for crimes committed against us.

At the Philadelphia Tribunal, there will be testimony provided by various members of the community who have had first-hand experience with the terror imposed on our community by the State. We will hear from family members of police murder victims, as well as expert testimonials from people who have witnessed attacks by the State through the gentrification, foster care, and education systems.

The Philadelphia Tribunal for Reparations to African People comes at a time when the U.S. economy is suffering a deep crisis. African people have the responsibility to deepen the crisis of an economy and government that were built out of our oppression. There can be no path to economic prosperity for anybody on a path paved on the graves of young Africans and resting on the jail cells stuffed with our people. There can be no shelter for this economy in the homes literally stolen from African people. The City of Philadelphia must be exposed as a criminal force that has stolen everything it has from African people, a force that intends to use those stolen resources to facilitate our ongoing oppression. InPDUM says no! InPDUM says that change is long overdue. Real change can only be found in reparations to the African community. Real change can only be found in the real criminals being brought to justice.

Build the Philadelphia Tribunal for Reparations to African People!

Build the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement!

Largest socialist conference in Sierra Leone since 1930s establishes ASI West Africa Regional Committee 

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The first West Africa Regional Conference of the African Socialist International (ASI), held in Freetown, Sierra Leone from October 20-22, 2008 was attended by over 500 people each day, with roughly 80 percent of its participants less than 30 years old. It was also attended by international observers, including the Ambassador from Iran, who delivered a solidarity statement from that country.

In his speech to the opening ceremony, Africanist Movement Director Chernoh Alpha M. Bah stated that "this conference is occurring at a crucial moment in history; a period when the entire capitalist economy is faced with tremendous crisis and great uncertainties about its ability to survive.

"It is pertinent for us to understand that this ongoing crisis of imperialism, the collapse of the global capitalist economy, is one that has been made obvious by the rising resistance of the oppressed masses of the world who are ever desirous to break free from the parasitic chains of capitalism. All around the world, from Latin America to Asia in the Middle East and the pacific, capitalism is being challenged by the struggles of the oppressed masses.

"We are faced with a defining moment in history, a moment, which demands from us our collective effort and contribution as a people to further deepen this crisis of imperialism and accelerate the death of capitalism. Africa must not assume a passive role in this world historical process. The struggle for socialism should be understood from the position of a genuine struggle for popular democracy and creation of a new world in the hands of the workers and poor peasants.

"Africa must move to the position of once again becoming subject of history rather than an object of history. This is the opportunity presented to us by the first West Africa regional conference of the African Socialist International."

Conference participants passed a General Resolution outlining a revolutionary program for the unification and liberation of Africa and African people and calling on "all Africans, at home and abroad to unite to build the African Socialist International, the single organization capable of consolidating our separately fought struggles into a common direction."

The General Resolution demands that "all multinational corporations, including Koidu Holdings, Branch Energy, Africa Minerals, London Mining, Milestone, Alcoa, Alcan, Bridge Resources, Africa Gold and Diamonds Ltd, and others involved in the exploitation of the vast mineral wealth of Africa should be forced to cease operations with immediate effect and forced to pay reparations for the theft of diamonds, gold, aluminum, iron ore, and other resources."

It calls for all western military and intelligence agencies including IMATT and AFRICOM to immediately withdraw from Africa. It repudiates all manufactured debt imposed on the African masses and demands reparations from Europe and the United States for slavery, colonialism and the continued oppression and exploitation of Africa and African people. It demands the right of return for all Africans dispersed throughout the world.

The General Resolution also makes demands for the improvement of living conditions for African workers and peasants, including free and efficient healthcare, public service jobs, better working conditions and minimum wage guarantees, youth employment, free and quality African-centric education for all children, and programs to promote the interests, dignity and position of African women.

The Conference resolved that "the trial of African leaders and others accused of committing crimes against African people should be the task of the African masses and not the imperialists."

According to ASI Secretary General, Luwezi Kinshasa, "ASI's first West Africa conference has launched the return of the African population in Sierra Leone to political life under the leadership of the African working class. There has not been a socialist meeting so well attended in Sierra Leone since the 1930s.

"We have been able to equip African workers with a unique worldview of African internationalism, the point of view of the slave, the philosophy developed by Chairman Omali Yeshitela. We have begun the establishment of the ASI national committee of Sierra Leone, which will be followed by the consolidation of the ASI national committee of Guinea."

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