African People's Solidarity Day forwards the work of African liberation
Uhuru Solidarity Movement | 11.21.2006
On November 11 and 12, 2006 a powerful and historic two day event in Philadelphia, PA showed the dynamic strategy of the African liberation movement to unite African workers world wide, leading their own struggle to reclaim the resources and land of Africa for the benefit of all African people around the world.
African People's Solidarity Day (APSD) highlighted speakers from Azania (South Africa), Congo, Haiti, and the US as well as solidarity statements from the movements of indigenous and Mexicano people. APSD events were also held in Boston MA, St. Petersburg FL, Oakland CA, and San Francisco CA. There were individual presentations as well as powerful workshops on: "Violence, Terror and African Liberation; Reparations Now!; and Free Africa and You Free the World". The event was sponsored by the African People's Solidarity Committe. APSC works under the leadership of the African People's Socialist Party to organize white comnunity support for reparations and self-determination for African people.
Featured speakers included:
Omali Yeshitela, leader of the Uhuru Movement and Chairman of the African People's Socialist Party, who gave inspiring keynote presentations on both days, demonstrating a tremendous breadth and depth of historical understanding, strategic clarity, and commitment to the absolute liberation of African people. Yeshitela discussed concrete programs including building the African Socialist International to destroy the imperialist imposed borders in Africa, undermine neo-colonialist, sellout African leaders and assert the leadership of African workers. The ASI is currently building for the International Tribunal for Reparations for African People to by held in Berlin Germany in June 2008. The tribunal will bring representatives from all over the African world to put European countries on trial for the assault on Africa and the theft of its human and material resources. The ASI is also building the do-for-self African People's Development Project to bring villages in Western Africa clean drinking water and hydro-electric generating facilities. Yeshitela is also proposing building an international labor union joining all African workers throughout the world to counter the influence of international corporations and cartels which drain the resources of Africa on a daily basis.
Luwezi Kinshasa, leading the work to build the African Socialist International, spoke of the horrible violence imposed on Africans to force them into slavery and of the state sponsored violence which maintains the colonial oppression of Africans today. He discussed the proxy wars between forces representing the interests of France and the US which cost the lives of at least 5 million Africans between 1996 and 2003 in Congo. These wars were fought over the tremendous mineral wealth there, including diamonds and a strategic mineral called coltan, essential in the manufacture of cellphones and computers. Another kind of violence are the illnesses epidemic in Africa, cholera, malaria, AIDS and diseases related to the lack of basic sanitation - these are the result of underinvestment as well as IMF mandated budget cuts.
Aisha Fields is a physicist coordinating the African People's Development Project, working directly with communities in West Africa to develop an electrical infrastructure and water purification program based on models of environmental sustainability. As Dr. Fields says, "the goal of the APDP is to use science and technology in the service of African liberation", not as "charity", but to build dual and contending power to change the actual conditions of life for African people on the continent.
Sbusiso Xaba President of Pan Africanist Youth Congress (PAYCO) of Azania opened his presentation by quoting Nigerian leader Nnamdi Azikiwe, "we are independent in everything, neutral in nothing", stating that in the African struggle, there is no middle ground between liberation and imperialist imposed violence; "We are faced with two options, democracy and terror…democracy is not elections, it is not even the right to speak…democracy is power, democracy is power lying the right hands…
Jafrikayiti, Haitian activist currently exiled in Canada, spoke of how the UN forces, "composed of criminals from all over the world", have murdered literally thousands of Haitians since the February 2004 coup orchestrated by France, US and Canada; that the US imposed not only a puppet president replacing legally elected Jean Bertrand Aristide, but also replaced thousands of officials at the local level; that since the coup, as recently reported in the medical journal Lancet, "there have been 8000 murders and 35,000 rapes", and that for Haitians, "the real problem is entrapment in a cycle of poverty, debt, dependency, instability, and foreign manipulation".
There was also powerful revolutionary spoken word by Christina Walden, organizer in the Philadelphia branch of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement. Other cultural presentations were by Coco as well as Sister Fayah with Thembi Langa, who performed revolutionary music from Azania (South Africa).
Penny Hess is leader of the African People's Solidarity Committee, which works in the white community to organize "Europeans and North Americans to learn the truth, to take a stand, and to take responsibility for the history and present conditions and relationship that we have to this system, that African people have to this system, and that relationship that we have to African people.. to present the view of the world through the eyes of African people inside of white power". She spoke of APSC's 30 year development and present challenge to bring to the white community the reality of an imperialist world in crisis - in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Nicaragua, Mexico, and the rise of Africa and African people to seize control of their land and resources.
Said Hess,"We don't want to be consumers of information, we want what you hear today to change you, we want North Americans to take a stand, we want you not to be able to walk out of here and just go back to life as usual. Because if we did out work right, you will have to be part of changing the world."
Clips of some of the speakers from the event (Omali Yehsitela, Luwezi Kinshasa, Dr. Aisha Fields, Sbusiso Xaba, Jafrikayiti, Penny Hess, Christina Walden) are also available linked to this article. To hear Penny Hess speak in Philadelphia, attend the event where she will present a powerpoint presentation on the true history of the U.S. and Europe and their ongoing attack on African people today. This event will be and the Uhuru Solidarity Center, at 3733 Lancaster Ave, in West Philadelphia (take the number 10 trolley to 38th Street. It will be at 6:30 PM on Monday 11/27/06. For more information on how you can support the work of the Uhuru Movement, contact the APSC at (215) 387-0919 or go to apscuhuru.org.