A Call to the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations’ 14th Annual National Conference
August 19 & 20, 2023 – St. Louis, Missouri
On July 29, 2022 the U.S. government initiated a watershed assault on the African Revolution headquartered in the U.S. with an attack on the home of the Chairman of the Black is Back Coalition, Omali Yeshitela, who is also the Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party and leader of the international Uhuru Movement.
This attack went beyond the harassment the anti-imperialist and black liberation movement have come to expect from the U.S. government when its class peace and domestic colonial domination are challenged. The July 29 attack on the African People’s Socialist Party and Uhuru Movement are akin to the massive, murderous attack that centered on the Black Panther Party, but targeted the liberation movement of the 1960s as a whole.
On July 29, 2022 the FBI military assault on the home of Chairman Omali Yeshitela in St. Louis, Missouri was accompanied by an attack on six other homes and properties associated with the Uhuru Movement in two states. Armored vehicles, stun grenades, militarily-attired FBI troops with assault weapons used battering rams, drones and other means to destroy and steal property, temporarily take a radio station based in the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida off the air, break down every door in the building and raid the Party’s archives.
All of this was done with the subsequent spurious claim that the work being led by Chairman Omali in opposition to the U.S.-initiated Ukraine war, the work done by the Uhuru Movement to collect signatures for the UN charging the US with violation of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment for the Crime of Genocide, along with the 2017 and 2019 electoral campaigns in St. Petersburg, Florida calling for reparations and black community control of the police, were done in the employ of Russian interests.
They claimed that Chairman Omali Yeshitela and at the time, three other members of the Uhuru Movement were Russian agents. Their spurious charge is based on the racist presumption that African people do not have agency, that some other force, presumably white, must be telling African people of our reality although it is a reality we have experienced since the first attack on Africa brought us to these shores against our will.
On April 18, 2023, some nine months after the initial military assault, Chairman Omali and two other members of the Uhuru Movement were indicted by the US Justice Department and on May 2nd and 8th went before a judge in Tampa at a federal court where they were hobbled in leg irons, handcuffed, fingerprinted, placed in holding cells and finally released on restricted bail that required relinquishment of passports, any personal weapons, weekly reports to a supervising officer, permission to travel beyond the specific districts in Florida and Missouri and visits by supervising officers to their homes at will.
Currently they are facing up to 15 years in prison on these fabricated charges. Surely this is an enhanced attack on our struggle for happiness, dignity and the return of the value stolen from our people and our Africa over the last few centuries.
The attacks go further. They include the pre-emptive assault on the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida where on July 2, just 27 days before the two-state pre-dawn raids, a man using a military-grade flamethrower torched the 15 x 25-foot Red, Black and Green Flag proudly flying from a 50-foot flagpole; a September break-in of a vehicle driven by an Uhuru member chauffeuring Chairman Omali that resulted in the theft of the driver’s computer and passport from the back floor of the SUV with tinted windows in Oakland while the Chairman was eating lunch.
Across the street from the St. Louis home that was attacked on July 29, a church that was under contract for purchase by the Uhuru Movement to house some of the movement’s more than 50 anti-colonial community programs, was torched before the purchase could be completed.
In addition, several banks with whom the Uhuru Movement has done business for years have suddenly initiated sanctions against the Party and Movement as if they are a hostile foreign government against whom such actions by the U.S. have now become common.
What is going on? This is the question before us as the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is moving to convene our 14th annual conference.
Ours is a remarkable coalition that has served to reconstitute a black liberation movement that was militarily destroyed in the 1960s by assassinations, targeted and mass jailings, slander and an assortment of debilitating acts that we are finally overcoming, thanks to the founding and work of the Black is Back Coalition.
We have fully entered a new moment in history where the colonial mode of production is being called into question by struggles of the oppressed peoples globally. This has already resulted in a profound change in the political and economic configuration of the world that is driving the colonial powers, currently led by the shaky U.S. hegemon, into a frenzied crisis.
The social cohesion of the U.S. is rapidly rending. Fabricated on a foundation of colonialism, where every aspect of existence is based on the parasitic extraction of life by settlers who forcibly ripped this land from its indigenous custodians, now consigned to concentration camps called barrios and Indian reservations, every act of resistance to foreign domination boldly undermines the legitimacy of the “American” project self-proclaimed as a beacon of freedom and democracy.
It is upon this stolen land base that the colonial enslavement of forcibly dispersed African people was imposed at gunpoint, depriving both Africans and the Indigenous of control of the productive forces necessary for self-determination and reproduction of life.
The struggle of African people has always represented the most serious, existential threat to a global capitalist economy originating from African colonial enslavement in Africa and every other arena of our forced dispersal.
This is what the German revolutionary philosopher Karl Marx recognized with his observation that the development and progress of the white world stemmed from the imposition of a world economy, a colonial mode of production, that he dismissed as the “primitive” accumulation of capital with these words:
“The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial war of the European nations, with the globe for a theatre…”
The globe continues to be the operational theater of the capitalist system thus spawned. Hence, even Russia and China, countries previously pushed to the sidelines of history through the functioning of the colonial mode of production, have re-emerged on the world stage fighting for their own, independent interests. And although their fight continues within the existing colonial mode of production, it contributes to the fracturing of the prevailing social order.
The same is true of the ongoing struggles of the peoples of the “Middle East” and Persian Gulf, South America and our Continent of Africa that was attacked by Portugal some 600 years ago as the vanguard colonial act that resulted in our forced dispersal and the emergence of a world economy for the first time in human history. It was the nascent world economy that Karl Marx characterized as the “original sin” of capitalist accumulation and production that would ensnare the world in its bloody fangs.
All economic and political activity of the world is scrambling to find its place in this era of turbulence erupting from the growing loss of equilibrium tenuously tethered to an insecure colonial mode of production: Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Palestine, Nicaragua, all of Africa and the United States of North America and all the inhabitants of the U.S prison of nations, are just a representation of the global population engaged in a disadvantageous parasitic and dialectical process of life production and reproduction.
This is not a new recognition by our Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Thirteen years ago, in 2010 at our first National Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, just months following the Coalition’s creation, our adopted founding document proclaimed:
“The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is an organization comprised of otherwise independent groups and institutions that fit within the general anti-imperialist, self-determinist tendency of the African community.
“While the immediate cause of our organizing has been the escalation of the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, we are representative of a people whose introduction to the U.S. and to imperialism in general has been our own experiences as victims through the attack on our African Motherland and the subsequent enslavement and colonization from which we still suffer today.
“It has been our own historical experiences as victims of imperialism that help to inform our views of imperialist aggression by the U.S. and others against the peoples of the Middle East, including Palestine and the Persian Gulf; It has been our own experiences that help us to recognize imperialist aggression by the U.S. and others against the people of South America, especially Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and the growing anti-imperialist bloc.
“These experiences have also made us opponents of U.S. and other imperialist involvement in Africa and the African world at large, especially the economic quarantine of Zimbabwe, the proxy wars in Congo, Ivory Coast and other places and the imposition of AFRICOM as a means to guarantee the never-ending profit that deepens the immiseration of African people.
“We recognize the current imperialist involvement in Africa and the African world as continuation of the initial assault on Africa. In addition, the colonization of the African continent that transformed Africa into a source of stolen labor and resources, resulted in the export of African misery and colonization to the far reaches of the earth that include North and South America and the Caribbean where Haiti continues to be a glaring example of the consequences of this relationship.
“In fact, the current expression of capitalist exploitation and oppression, known as imperialism by some, is but the development of capitalism and the relations of exploitation that were born of the first accumulation of capital stemming from our enslavement and colonization and the accompanying rape of Asia and what is now known as the Americas.
“This is why the Black is Back Coalition is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in the struggle against the current expressions of U.S. imperialist aggression being directed against the struggling peoples of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. This is why we stand in solidarity with the Mexican people, the indigenous people of the U. S., the people of Cuba and Venezuela, etc.
“It is because we recognize their struggles, like our own, are simply efforts to reverse the verdict of imperialism that requires the vast majority of the world’s peoples to live in perpetual misery and poverty for its success.
“It is because we know that the prisons of the U.S. are filled with the masses of our people because U.S. imperialism recognizes us as an internal colony and since the formal emancipation of our people, has maintained a public policy of police containment, most often with the democratic consent of the general white population.
“This is why the brave men and women who organized themselves and boldly struck out to win our happiness and the return of our stolen resources have all been victims of character assassination, forced exile and murder. This is why scores of such men and women are now rotting in prisons or living furtive existences as hunted prey even as the U.S. preens on the world stage pretending social equality, having hidden its historically recognized white power behind a black face in the [then] presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.
“Unemployment and an imposed drug economy, the ongoing theft of value through home foreclosure and other means, reveal the use of our people as a reserve labor force as well as a reserve source of capital accumulation. The police murder of our young men and the denial of any meaningful health care – all of these factors contribute to our ability to characterize our status in the U.S. as subjects rather than citizens.
“While many have been moved to protest the U. S. foreign and domestic policy agendas for a variety of reasons, the Black is Back Coalition is motivated by a genuine hatred of imperialism that is responsible for most of the misery being experienced by the majority of the peoples within the U.S. and around the world.
“We protest the wars and injustices directed at the peoples of the world by U.S. imperialism, but more important, our existence represents the reentry of our people into political life as an organized, conscious act of anti-imperialist resistance that has its basis in circumstances similar to those that have motivated the peoples of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“Our coalition is uniquely positioned and has a special responsibility to provide leadership in the resistance against U.S. foreign and domestic policies. The fact that Obama represents the latest, most desperate ploy of imperialism by allowing the oppressor to represent himself in the guise of the oppressed would have confused and paralyzed many opponents of imperialism if not for our intervention.
“We have not simply called for ‘peace’ as much of the U.S. anti-war opposition has done. More importantly we have been able to express solidarity with those who resist U.S. imperialism, to the victims of imperialism.
“Our list of demands does not assume that peace and social justice can be conferred on the world by simply demanding the resources going to make imperialist war be diverted to ‘domestic’ use. We are opposed to imperialism itself. Our existence as a coalition marks the initiation of united resistance to imperialism, a resistance that advances the interests of oppressed and exploited African people within the U.S. and worldwide.
“Ours is a resistance for Bread, Peace and Black Power. Obviously the demand for bread calls for self-serving employment that contributes to the development of our community and a return of all the recently stolen resources due to our people from U.S. actions that accompanied and followed the catastrophe of Katrina and other Gulf region weather systems. We want restitution and repair for the subprime mortgage fraud that resulted in the greatest theft of African wealth since slavery. But the demand for bread also means reparations for all the stolen wealth that has accumulated to the coffers of U.S. imperialists from slavery up to now.
“Nor should the demand for peace be interpreted to be an imperialist peace, the type of peace that the slave master can appreciate as long as the slaves are not resisting and the system of slavery goes unchallenged. When we say peace we mean the peace that accompanies social justice, a peace that can only come through fierce uncompromising resistance designed to overturn the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressor…”
Is there any wonder that a Black Liberation Movement under the influence of our Coalition would come under attack by the colonial powers of the U.S.?
Coalition Vice Chair Comrade Lisa Davis has spoken proudly for our Coalition with these words that should inspire us all to attend our upcoming Annual National Conference and advance the struggle the colonial powers are so desperately attempting to derail:
“UHURU! The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations stands in complete solidarity with our falsely accused comrades and calls for this government to immediately drop the charges against the “Uhuru-3!”
“…We are proud of the work of this Coalition under the leadership of our Chairman. From our 19 Point Platform for Black Self Determination, to our electoral campaign schools demonstrating how to put revolutionary issues on the ballot, to the mission of our working groups and our coalition members, we have created a body of work challenging U.S. imperialism, wars and colonialism, while advocating for Black Community Control over every aspect of our lives.
“Upon the first year of launching the BIB Electoral Campaign School in 2017, the African People’s Socialist Party ran two candidates on a reparations platform in St Petersburg, Florida. Jesse Nevel ran for mayor and Akile Anai ran for a city council seat. Although they did not win, their campaigns were so effective that they garnered international attention, thus launching the demand for reparations into the mainstream electoral arena in a way that had never happened before. In fact, in the very next presidential election after their campaign (2020), Marianne Williamson made reparations a central theme of her campaign platform.
“We believe that the impact of the Black Is Back Electoral Campaign School is one of the critical reasons that the U.S. government has launched an assault on Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru Movement, as one of the scurrilous accusations levied against the “Uhuru-3” is ‘interfering with elections.’
“According to the Department of Justice, ‘Russia’s foreign intelligence service allegedly weaponized our First Amendment rights – freedoms Russia denies its own citizens – to divide Americans and interfere in elections in the United States,’ said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
“The department will not hesitate to expose and prosecute those who sow discord and corrupt U.S. elections . . .”
“Brothers and Sisters, we can be so proud knowing that the work we are doing is being heard and is having a profound impact. We call on everyone to remain strong, undeterred and to stay the course of our resolute freedom fighters such as Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Brother Malcolm, Dr King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Brother Huey and so many other heroes of the Black Liberation Struggle. Just as the US government has come after all of them, they are coming after our Chairperson and the Uhuru movement. But we are not deterred and we will win!”
The Black is Back Coalition has been the most important factor in the revival of the U.S. front of the Black liberation movement. Today our movement is stronger than ever despite this latest desperate U.S. government attempt to derail our struggle with false charges and arrests. Our power is in our success in the ongoing war of ideas and the relentless pursuit of the highest expression of democracy, which is nothing less than total self-determination. It is this democracy that our oppressors fear more than anything.
Forward to democracy!
Forward to African self-determination!
Forward to our August 19 & 20, 2023 – 14th Annual National Conference!
Drop the charges against the “Uhuru 3!”
We are winning!
Below are some resources that we urge all to examine:
- The Hands Off Uhuru website. Please stay connected for updates, join their mailing list and donate to the defense fund.
- Outpouring of Support for the Uhuru Movement.
- Solidarity Statements in Support of the Uhuru Movement
- The post-indictment Press Conference from the Uhuru Three and their attorneys.
- The recent Durham Report, lambasting the FBI, the media and which concludes that there was no Russian collusion with Trump to interfere with elections. Ironically, it does point to a conspiracy by the Clinton campaign to accuse Trump of such wrongdoing. The Durham Report Reveals the Real Threat to “Democracy” – The FBI Weaponized by Democrat Party Affiliated Elites.
- Recommended Readings on the FBI