For the first time since the 1960s, the liberation movement of black people in the U.S. is winning public recognition from international leaders. Representatives of the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, a leader of the Mexican/Indigenous rights movement, and African leaders from Colombia, the Caribbean, Congo and West Africa will come together at the 5th Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party – USA (APSP-USA), July 10-14 in Washington, D.C.
Not since the support given to the Black Panther Party from countries such as Cuba and Algeria four decades ago, has the international community come forward to lend support to the right of black people in the U.S. to organize in their own interests with their own political party, independent of the Democratic or Republican parties.
Despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s declaration of the achievement of a “post-racial America”, black communities throughout the U.S. suffer the highest rates of home foreclosures, police violence, mass incarceration, execution, unemployment, school closures, extreme poverty, and denial of health care.
The 5-day Congress of the APSP-USA, a member organization of the African Socialist International (ASI) based in Africa, Europe, the U.S., Caribbean and South America, will bring African people and their allies together to discuss “the strategy for the complete liberation of Africa and all its resources under the leadership of the African working class around the world.”
The Congress will be convened by ASI Chairman Omali Yeshitela, founder of The Burning Spear Newspaper and UhuruNews.com, “the voice of the International Black Revolution, presenting news and analysis through the eyes of the African working class.”
Yeshitela is a veteran of the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s who spent two years in prison for his political stands in the 1960s, and has declared his intention to “complete the Black Revolution of the ‘60s.” He has traveled and worked with African communities throughout Africa and Europe, organizing for the ASI in Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, England, Spain, France and Holland.
Marcos Garcia, the Labor Attache of the Venezuelan Embassy and an expert on the political history of Venezuela and on the advances made by Venezuelan workers since the founding of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela will address the Congress, as will a representative of the Nicaraguan Embassy.
Ernesto Bustillos, a founding member of Union del Barrio, a revolutionary Chicano-Mexicano organization on the forefront of the Raza liberation movement today, will also participate in the Congress. Bustillos was a member of the Brown Berets and helped co-found the Raza Press Association.
APSP-USA member Diop Olugbala, currently facing felony charges for protesting social service budget cuts and escalating police brutality in Philadelphia, will also address the Congress. Olugbala received worldwide media coverage when he publicly challenged then-candidate Barack Obama during a campaign event in St. Petersburg, FL in 2008. Olugbala demanded to know why Obama would not denounce police violence and economic exploitation in African communities of the U.S., raising a banner and leading a chant, “what about the black community, Obama?”.
U.S.-based black leaders participating in the Congress include New Black Panther Party Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz and New Afrikan People’s Organization Chairman Chokwe Lumumba, who was elected to the City Council in Jackson, Mississippi. Efia Nwanganza, a veteran of SNCC’s Atlanta Project, broadcaster, leader of the Malcolm X Grassroots Center for Self-Determination in South Carolina, and member of the Black is Back Coalition; will participate, as will Nellie Bailey, leader of the Harlem Tenant’s Council.
Glen Ford, Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, known for its biting exposes of the policies and dealings of the Obama regime, will speak at the Congress, as will MOVE family member Pam Africa, leader of the International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu Jamal; Lawrence Hamm, Chairman of New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress; and Queen Mother Dorothy Lewis, a lifelong fighter for reparations to African people.
The Congress will take place at the Kellogg Center, located at 800 Florida Ave. NE on the Gallaudet University Campus in Washington, D.C. and is open to the public. For more information or to register, visit apspcongress.org or call 727-821-6620. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.