On Friday, July 29, 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initiated a political assault against the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), the broader Uhuru Movement and its leader, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, in the form of pre-dawn raids. This attack employed the use of dozens of tactical gear-sporting FBI agents, battering rams, flashbang grenades, assault rifles, drones and more.
The attacks occurred in two cities where our Party has prominent bases: St. Petersburg, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri, the latter our recently established Party headquarters. They were simultaneous, beginning at 5:00 AM in the Midwest and 6:00 AM on the east coast. The attacks happened at a time when the FBI assumed our leaders would have been in a vulnerable state. It was also an attempt to make it impossible for our leaders to connect with one another, to prepare for whatever was to come next.
Attacks in St. Louis, Missouri
The home of Chairman Omali Yeshitela and APSP Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela in the African community of northside St. Louis was broken into with the use of flashbang grenades, shattering windows around their house. Chairman Omali was met with a laser dotting his chest, a statement that the colonial State was prepared to assassinate him at any moment. The FBI sent drones into the home and temporarily detained the leadership with handcuffs, at one point asking them to “sit on the curb” while they conducted their raid. Their cellphones and computers were stolen from them in the process.
Across town, in the white community of southside St. Louis, the same type of attack was made against our Uhuru Solidarity Center, an institution that is part of the Black Power Blueprint, bringing the struggle for Black Power into the heart of the colonizer community.
The FBI used battering rams to barrel through the doors, and in the apartment homes within the center, Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM) Chair Jesse Nevel and USM Vice Chair Amanda Carlozzi were met with assault rifle-toting agents, threatening them to leave the building.
The colonial State showed up to the home of African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) Chair Penny Hess and APSC veteran Kitty Reilly in the same fashion. All of these comrades had their phones and laptops taken, as well as files and other computers that were in our institutions.
Attacks in St. Petersburg, Florida
In St. Petersburg, Florida, St. Pete police told APSP AgitProp Director Akilé Anai that her car had been broken into. At this point, the FBI had not made their presence known. Director Akilé was instructed to check her car, at which point FBI agents circled around a corner, trapping Akilé in the middle of them. Her car was raided, phone and laptop taken as well as bank deposit bags for institutions within her department.
The FBI came out in droves to the St. Pete Uhuru House, a longstanding political fixture in the heart of the city’s southside black community. They taped off the streets, preventing anyone from driving down the full length of TyRon Lewis Avenue (18th Ave), similar to how they had done in 1996 when they attempted to crush our movement. Their raid lasted nine long, grueling hours, knocking us offline, unable to communicate across the airwaves with the use of Black Power 96 Radio. They stole entire file cabinets worth of financial records, computers, hard drives from our Party’s archives, and in every location they damaged doors, light fixtures and covered up the security cameras to hide the extent of their destruction and theft.
They also raided the Chairman and Deputy Chair’s home in St. Petersburg, Florida!
Why they attacked us
If this type of aggression and terrorism on behalf of the colonial State seems familiar, it’s because the U.S. government has always responded to the rise of Black Power in this way. This is illustrated by the way in which they attacked our movement at 5:00 AM in St. Louis, just an hour later than when the FBI stormed the home of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton in Chicago in 1969, where they gunned him down while in bed, next to his pregnant wife.
Former U.S. president Donald Trump, who claims to have encountered an unannounced FBI “raid” on Monday, August 8, 2022 wasn’t met with flashbang grenades or assault rifles. This type of violence and intimidation is reserved for the Black Liberation Movement, and more specifically, the vanguard of our liberation struggle, the African People’s Socialist Party.
The U.S. government provided a bogus and outright fabricated explanation for the reason they attacked this movement and Chairman Omali Yeshitela. They use their law, merely the opinion of the ruling class, to villainize us and justify their violence.
The bourgeois media, which are just mouthpiece extensions of the colonial State, have perpetuated these lies in various “hit pieces” aiming to discredit the Party and undermine our 50-year history. But part of what they’re working hard to do with this slander is hide the real basis for this attack.
In order to understand why the FBI would target the African People’s Socialist Party, we must examine the context in which these attacks have occurred. This assault is not removed from what’s unfolding throughout the world.
The period that our Party has worked to usher in is one where the colonial world hegemon, the United States, is weakened politically, economically and ideologically. People around the world, who have been forced to live under the brutal domination of U.S. imperialism, are rising up and fighting back, refusing to be bullied and beaten to continue the theft of our land and resources.
At the center of this struggle is the anti-colonial fight waged by African people, who were captured from Africa against our will and dispersed throughout the world to work to produce life for the colonizer, while we ourselves are starved of our own resources.
This relationship that the colonial powers of the U.S. and Europe have had with the rest of us, is being severed at the hands of the colonized, ourselves. It is a relationship that the colonizer population depends on to live! There’s nothing that the white world has obtained for itself that has not been stolen from African, Indigenous and all other colonized nations throughout the world.
The anti-colonial struggle that’s heating up across the planet is driving the global system of colonial capitalism into great peril. Not only this, the U.S. is facing challengers to its economic and military power, primarily in the form of Russia and increasingly, China.
The white ruling class has even articulated its own decline, recognizing that it’s “not cyclical, but permanent.”
This is the proper context of this recent FBI attack against the revolutionary Party of the African working class, the African People’s Socialist Party. Our Party is recognized as a threat to the existing order of colonial capitalism, and that is what’s being acted on by the U.S. government.
White power down, Black Power on the rise
The same was true during the Black Revolution and the counterinsurgency war waged in the 1960s. The Black Panther Party, the vanguard for our struggle at the time, experienced at least 30 assassinations of its leaders and members, jailings and total destabalization of the organization, effectively non-existent by the end of 1960s.
There were others that suffered the same consequences like Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, to name but a few. The historical record shows that if we dare to struggle for our freedom, we can and will be attacked by the U.S. government and world colonial powers.
Over the last 50 years, Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party have worked non-stop to advance the freedom struggle for Africa and Africans, all around the world. We produced initiatives that took on the question of reparations and genocide as early as 1982, international campaigns to free political prisoners, programs and institutions that solve real, present day problems for African people, as recently as the Black Power Blueprint project in St. Louis with a doula training program and pending African women’s health center.
The July 29, 2022 attack on our Party represented an assault against the work we’ve done that the people have come to know, love, become a part of or contribute to. It’s everyday people that have put their hands to raw material and transformed the conditions of our people, wherever the Party organizes.
It’s leaders like Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela, architect of the Black Power Blueprint, who manages over 50 economic institutions within our Movement, and drives forward the establishment of an independent African economy.
It’s comrades Penny Hess, Kitty Reilly, Jesse Nevel and Amanda Carlozzi, under the leadership of our Party, who take the struggle for Black Power and reparations behind enemy lines, in over 130 cities throughout the U.S. alone. They represent an incredibly significant front of the African Revolution, formed by our Chairman more than 45 years ago. It’s at times like these, where the counterinsurgency ramps up against our struggle, where the solidarity movement serves as the buffer between the African Revolution and the colonial State.
It also deepens the fractured unity among the colonizer population, and gives the colonizer the opportunity to abandon its ruling class to join the liberating future being paved by the African working class.
And it’s Chairman Omali Yeshitela, who didn’t surrender following the defeat of the Black Revolution of the 1960s. He began to assess, sum up and answer the questions left outstanding with our defeat. He went on to build the Party in 1972, developed the guiding theory of African Internationalism, defined and thrust forward the colonial question. He has cleared the road toward African liberation, and as that time grows closer for us each day, the colonial-capitalist system sees the writing on the wall.
This is how we must understand these attacks against our Party and Movement.
When they touch the Chairman, the African People’s Socialist Party, they attack the entire African Nation!
We will not retreat!
Hands Off Uhuru!
Hands Off Chairman Omali Yeshitela!
Stop the FBI attacks against the African People’s Socialist Party!