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I didn’t need a Russian to tell me I was oppressed and colonized

There is a strong likelihood that I, along with Chairman Omali Yeshitela and other leaders of the Uhuru Movement will be indicted in early 2023, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

This recent update came some months after the July 29, 2022 two-city pre-dawn raid, facilitated by the FBI with assault rifles, flashbang grenades, drones and armored vehicles, causing a wave of destruction in the homes and offices of Uhuru Movement members and terror in the African communities in St. Petersburg, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri where the raids took place.

We would learn later that same day that Chairman Omali and the entire African People’s Socialist Party was being accused of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Their “evidence” rests in the fact that Chairman Omali went to Moscow at the invitation of a Russian non-governmental organization (NGO) to speak at an international conference on self-determination on behalf of African people, and that we’ve had a conspicuous, constitutionally protected relationship with a Russian representing said NGO. 

The U.S. government is also citing that our Africans Charge Genocide campaign was something that we did at the direction of the Russian government. In reality, this campaign was led by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) and it began with a winter encampment tour that followed a United Nations-led commission, raising up the conditions faced by black people, and charging the U.S. government with genocide.

Further, they have pointed to our participation in the electoral arena as a ploy by the Russian government to intervene in “U.S. democracy,” accusing us of being funded by Russia. Their focus is on my bids for city council in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2017 and 2019. An election that resulted in over 20 police cars called to the Hilton Hotel where a candidate forum was taking place, all in an effort to stifle the voices of a people fed up with the status quo. An election so groundbreaking, it made the pages of Ebony Magazine and caused former U.S. president Barack Obama to directly intervene and endorse our mayoral opponent—something he had only ever done one other time. 

It hasn’t been difficult for people to see that these charges are bogus and that this case is absolutely fabricated. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that this is a political attack against Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party, for having the audacity to fight for the freedom of African people, colonized within the U.S. and all over the world. 

Chairman Omali has built a formidable organization and sound theoretical worldview that challenges U.S. hegemony and the dictatorship of world colonial powers. He has created the vehicle that makes African freedom and independence possible, which serves as a thorn in the side of a social system built and maintained on top of our enslavement and colonial oppression. 

This is our crime. Our crime is winning at least 130,000 people to sign our petition charging the U.S. government with genocide; a petition that the FBI has taken down. 

Our crime is that we fought and died for the right to vote during the Civil Rights era, and our Party determined that we would exercise this right by running candidates for office, reintroducing an agenda that speaks to the interests of the black community, such as raising up the demand for reparations, which was something we put on the ballot for the first time in history. 

There is more that can be said about the Party’s 50-year history and Chairman Omali’s steadfast leadership over the international African Revolution that would make the U.S. government’s accusations obviously absurd. 

At minimum, these charges are slanderous and insulting, in that they suggest black people require Russians or any other force to inform us that we are oppressed, and instruct us on how to struggle. The historically accurate case has always been that the anti-colonial struggles, specifically those concentrated within the African world, have given impetus to other oppressed and colonized peoples to fight and sever their relationship with this parasitic social system. 

I didn’t need a Russian to tell me that I was oppressed and colonized growing up in southside St. Pete, having my father taken away from me and locked up in prison, sleeping on the streets, in cars and homeless shelters. 

It didn’t take a Russian for me to know that there was something wrong when they snatched my uncle up and locked him away for 26 years on non-violent drug charges, which came as a consequence of my uncle struggling to provide for his family. All of his three children are now young adults/teenagers that didn’t have the benefit of their father directly in their lives. 

I didn’t know a single Russian growing up, but I did know the Uhuru Movement and Chairman Omali Yeshitela, who helped me to see that I wasn’t broken, my family wasn’t abnormal, and that my conditions were something imposed on me, not of my own doing. I was able to learn that colonialism was responsible, is responsible for those conditions and those that impact all of African people and the majority of the peoples around the world. 

My worldview was reshaped by the theory of African Internationalism, which made clear that the only way out of this nightmare was through the destruction of this social system that rests upon a colonial mode of production. Once I understood this, I made the commitment to join the African People’s Socialist Party. 

I was only 18 when I joined, closely following my graduation from high school. Prior to this, I had been volunteering and performing with the Uhuru Movement since I was 14. The Movement was introduced to me by my father, who had been connected to it as early as 12 years old. 

In the late summer of 2016, I was called on to lead the Justice for the Three Drowned Black Girls (3DBG) campaign, following the brutal murder of three African teenage girls by the Pinellas County sheriff’s department. Under my leadership, this campaign conducted a national speaking tour of one of the mothers, raised over $10,000 in legal defense fees and exposed the sheriff’s department’s violent history and relationship to the African community. We carried this campaign into the 2017 elections, putting forward Black Community Control of the Police, which would include the expulsion of the sheriff’s department within city limits. 

In November of 2017, I was voted on by the Party’s National Central Committee to head our Party’s department of media and communications, a major office correctly characterized as the “heartbeat” of our Party. This department oversees, among other things, the production of our monthly journal, The Burning Spear newspaper, the publishing of our books, our radio stations and the strategic direction for our press and social media work. I have served in this capacity since.

I am a child of this Movement and aim to reflect the profound leadership of Chairman Omali Yeshitela. 

We have been targeted by the U.S. government because the U.S. is scrambling to maintain its death grip on the entire planet, and we have directly intervened in their efforts by relentlessly fighting for Africa and African people globally. Our Party hasn’t broken any laws. This attack on us reveals that the law, which has been summed up by Chairman Omali as the “opinion of the white ruling class,” can be changed and reconstructed on a whim, to justify imprisoning us and defining the narrative.

We intend to hamper their efforts in jailing the revolution, however. Since this assault, we have launched the Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa! Defense Campaign, which is winning support from throughout the globe, from various types of forces, to push back against these colonial State attacks. 

You must become part of this fight, in one way or another, and more can be learned at the website, Volunteer and get the word out, far and wide!

A major aspect of this work is the resources. We urgently need to raise funds for our defense strategy that’s taking place in and outside of the courtroom. We urge you to donate, sign the petition and our “Emergency Response Pledge” that notifies you as soon as indictments are made. 

As Chairman Omali Yeshitela has stated, they want to put us on trial, but this attack has opened up the door for us as black people to put the colonial State on trial!

We will require them to speak to the question of genocide; the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Black Panther Party leaders; the imprisonment of Mafundi Lake, Sundiata Acoli, Mumia Abu Jamaal, Assata Shakur and countless others, while exposing the true basis for this attack against us. 

We are being punished because we refused to surrender the futures of African people. They cannot win!

History will be made with this case. Be part of making it by joining this campaign today!

Hands Off Uhuru! 

Hands Off Africa!

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