On Sunday, September 24, 2023, just days before the Uhuru 3 legal team presented their oral arguments for the Motion to Dismiss at the federal courthouse in Tampa, Florida, Charles Barron, City Councilman for New York City’s 42nd district, introduced a resolution condemning government repression of the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement.
It follows a similar resolution presented by Alderman Jesse Todd in St. Louis, Missouri and is part of the growing response by African people everywhere calling for Sanctuary Cities in the face of U.S. government repression against Black community organizers and members working for the betterment and upliftment of their community.
Hands Off the Black Community!
The Council of The City of New York
Council Member, 42nd District, Brooklyn
Resolution 14612 – 2023 / Against Government Repression of the African People’s Socialist Party and Uhuru Movement
Whereas, on July 29, 2022 at 5:00 a.m., the FBI stormed the home of Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) in St. Louis, Missouri. Yeshitela stated that the agents deployed flashbang grenades, carried automatic weapons, damaged the property of his neighbors, and handcuffed himself and his wife. Agents refused to show him a search warrant and absconded with cellphones and other devices from his home; and
Whereas, the assault on Yeshitela’s residence was part of a coordinated onslaught against locations affiliated with the APSP across the country. That same day, the FBI invaded two sites of the APSP-led Uhuru Movement, the Uhuru Solidarity Center in St. Louis and the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida. The FBI also raided the APSP’s radio station, Black Power 96.3 FM, and reportedly detained a prominent APSP leader. The FBl’s flimsy excuse for its operation is that the APSP, by exercising its free speech rights about the war in Ukraine, was spreading “Russian propaganda;” and
Whereas, we strongly condemn the illegal and racist FBI raids on the offices and homes of the APSP and the Uhuru Movement, which took place in the Summer of 2022 and whose prosecution continues to this day. We stand in solidarity with the activists and organizations targeted by this domestic spying entity (FBI), whose job it has been to consistently and historically squelch dissent and resistance to violations of human rights, civil rights and political activism against the status quo of American inequality and exploitation; and
Whereas, the government raids were an indefensible, politically motivated witch hunt. They are part of an increasing assault on civil liberties in a time of growing hardship for the working-class majority, escalating clashes between rich and poor, and rising injustice, especially against those who are fighting for justice and liberation for oppressed communities; and
Whereas, the African People’s Socialist Party was targeted because it has relentlessly fought for the liberation of Africa and African people for the past 50 years; and
Whereas, the FBI raids on the Uhuru Movement posed a threat to the African community’s hard-won democratic right to participate in elections in their own interests; and
Whereas, African people have a right to petition the United Nations to investigate the Genocide Convention as it applies to the conditions of African people in the U.S. and the “original sin” of slavery and colonialism in this country; and
Whereas, African people and all those in the U.S. have the inalienable right to freedom of speech, association and assembly including public statements of dissent regarding the official position of the U.S. on the Russia-Ukraine war; and
Whereas, millions of African people in the 1960s struggling for basic human rights and economic and political power over their lives faced the effects of the COINTELPRO program of the FBI which carried out assassination, political imprisonment, slander and harm; and
Whereas, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, The Black Panther Party, and other human rights and civil rights activists were targeted, threatened, surveilled and/or assassinated by the FBI, often with the complicity of the local police departments right here in New York City; and
Therefore, be it resolved, that the New York City Council strongly condemns the actions of the FBI raid on the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement and calls for all of the trumped up charges to be dropped immediately. In addition the New York City Council calls on all local police departments to commit to non-cooperation with the oppressive tactics of the FBI; and
Be it further resolved, that the New York City Council strongly supports and protects the rights of all individuals and organizations to engage in the exercise of free speech and the organizing for human rights without the harassment and tyranny of the FBI.
NYC Council Member 42nd District