African Liberation Day conference in Manchester, England successful

ENGLAND — At this time of unprecedented crisis for imperialism, we African people, the most humiliated, exploited and oppressed people in the history of humanity must provide an unprecedented response to this new phase of crisis. We can’t afford to do things as in the old ways, depending on how comfortable we can be. This is the period of doing things that have to be done. Revolution is an absolute necessity for any meaningful emancipation from imperialism for African people.

We in England responded to the call from African Socialist International (ASI) Chairman Omali Yeshitela to have an African Liberation Day (ALD) conference in Europe, to be bold and go out in the world with confidence, and to win African people to the ASI and the revolution.

It was a tough decision to make to have an ALD outside of London with little human and financial resources. We won forces to come to planning meetings and participate in building up for ALD, but we failed to win people based in Manchester to join the committee and assume posts of responsibilities. People from Manchester participated in outreach, took us to local radio stations and cooked food for ALD, but they would not lead. The organizing effort was essentially led by our Party forces from London,

Our members spent several days in Manchester to sort out different aspects of the conference, driving there on weekends. They sometimes drove first to Birmingham, to give out leaflets, before heading to Manchester. They also drove to Coventry for outreach, before heading to Manchester on the weekends. Our members worked hard to get the word out.

We travelled to Brussels, Paris and Toulouse to get the word out and win Africans to attend the ALD and join the ASI building process. We did this, not because we love travelling, but because it is a style of work that helps to distinguish revolutionaries from other forces.

We have to do what is necessary to build the ASI outside London. It is also a process to educate new forces in the Party how to be in the Party.

Going to ALD in Manchester, our general goals were as follows: to achieve a regional ASI committee, develop and consolidate a Europe plan of action, to consolidate a national African People’s Socialist Party in England, and to recruit into our department of Agitation and Propaganda — the department responsible for making the ideas of our Party belong to our dispersed and colonized African people.

We did not achieve all of these goals at the conference. The process is still incomplete. We will learn within a couple of weeks where we are exactly with all of the forces who took part in the conference. However, we would like to thank all our supporters who housed our members free of charge whenever they went to Manchester.

We printed 10,000 flyers, and most of them were given out to the people. The largest distribution took part in Manchester itself, with the rest being shared between London, Birmingham and Coventry.

One weakness in our outreach is that we did not open up the universities where there is a possibility to mobilize and win the African youth in the three universities in Manchester. Another possible weakness is that the only mass leafleting done was essentially done with the ALD leaflet. A mass saturation with leaflets speaking to other contradictions faced by the people in the area could have worked in our favor.

Attendance at African Liberation Day

On the first day, we reached more than 40 participants, with less attendance on the second day. There was a lot of unity with African Internationalism. Most of the participants came from outside Manchester travelling from places including Liverpool, London, Birmingham, Sussex, Paris and Lille in France, and Manchester itself.

The vast majority of participants were people who had never met us before. It was a learning experience for most of them.

Speakers at ALD

Party member Makola gave a presentation on the genocidal coltan war in Congo. Another Party member, Likay, made a presentation on IMF, the World Bank and Reparations.

The speakers on AFRICOM and the theft of oil and other resources in Africa did not show up. We heard from them after the conference was over.

The speaker on the corporate exploitation of Africa did not really address the issue.

The speaker from an organization based in Congo, believes in one Africa, but he expressed that he felt a return to our cultural and spiritual values would do it. RNDP, revolutionary party of the African working class were new things to him.

The conference was also attended by the British Libyan Solidarity Campaign.

We played two videos from Chairman Omali Yeshitela — the keynote presentation he made at the East Africa Regional Conference of the ASI in Kenya and a presentation on the national question he made at the ASI Conference in England in 2006. Everyone was impacted by those great presentations. I also spoke on the historical and theoretical basis of the African Socialist International.

Discussion at ALD was good

There was a good discussion on socialism and communism. It was clear that the vast majority of the audience had never learned of the real material basis for the rise of socialism in the world.

A member of the British Libyan Solidarity Campaign asked the question, “To whom do the resources of Africa belong?” He also raised that he is interested in doing an African day event.

A brother from Somalia who has been in England since 1954 spoke of remembering where the Pan Africanists who led Africa to neocolonialism used to meet. He stated that he wants us to be aware that we have to break the two types of colonialists: the white colonialists and the black ones.

Another participant asked if we were following the Russian model of socialism. I was surprised when some one asked me if we were a political party. On reflection it makes sense. If all of the organizations around our people are charities and cultural associations of some sorts, then some people would be surprised when they meet a revolutionary party!

In general, there was unity with our analysis and philosophy and with the ASI main resolution document, except from those who came late and did not have the opportunity to read it.

Moving forward

We were able to announce our goals and determine that we are going to conduct a monthly meeting to implement and consolidate a plan of action to build the ASI in Europe, which will consist of:

Organizing ASI committees throughout Europe, bringing in news programs on UhuruRadio.com and frequent articles on Uhuru news from Africans based in Europe;

Organizing Chairman Omali Yeshitela’s tour in Europe;

Building AAPDEP in Europe;

Building the World Tribunal on Reparations for Africa and African People (WTRAAP);

Developing a Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) with InPDUM in Europe;

Organizing Africa day;

Building African student and youth summits with the African Internationalist Student Organization (AISO);

Organizing against the special oppression of African women in a way that we bring into our international liberation struggle more women as leaders, fighters and shapers of our movement. This way we will be able to take control of the issue of the oppression of African women away from imperialist ideologues and charitable organizations who use it against our revolution.

We have to work hard to ensure everyone who united with ASI main resolution consolidates their unity within ASI structures or under the Party’s organization.

This means that we should be able to start our programs in French, Lingala and Swahili on UhuruRadio.com this month. We can also guarantee regular articles in French from forces who attended this ALD.

A computer technician from Manchester, who has done work in Jamaica, has been put in touch with AAPDEP. There are also forces who have been identified for the Party’s Agit-Prop Department. There are forces that have been identified as potential forces to work on Economic Development as well.

The development of the RNDP for Europe will truly make the difference. We will also begin to pull together a committee to organize the first student conference that may allow us to launch AISO this year.

Forward to One Africa! One Nation!

Build the ASI!

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