“Stop U.S. Colonial Wars Around the World and Inside This Country” was the theme of the annual national conference of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) held at the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, FL January 10th through the 12th.
Formed by the African People’s Socialist Party in 1976 the African People’s Solidarity Committee is made up of white activists organizing solidarity from our own communities under the strategic leadership of the African-led Uhuru Movement.
Building a movement for white reparations for African people, APSC organizes white people to recognize our genuine interest in overturning this white power system by standing in solidarity with the African-led movement to unite all African people and liberate Africa.
Activists in solidarity with the Uhuru Movement converged on St. Petersburg from many places around the U.S. including Oakland, CA; Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and the Tampa Bay Area.
The conference combined lively multimedia reports on APSC campaigns such as Africa’s Resources in African Hands and the Uhuru Foods Holiday Pie Campaign with deep theoretical presentations and discussions that helped all of us better understand this present period of transformation and the role we can play in it.
Chairman Yeshitela gave political education
Chairman Omali Yeshitela, leader of the Uhuru Movement and the African Socialist International gave powerful overviews summing up the current work of the African People’s Socialist Party, which is expanding worldwide.
The Chairman emphasized that in this deepening crisis of imperialism the growing liberation struggles of African and oppressed peoples around the world are leading the way against imperialist domination in all forms. He stated that it is important to move beyond protest to a genuine anti-imperialist movement led by African workers.
The Chairman exposed that capitalism was born from the enslavement of African people, the genocide of Indigenous peoples and the colonial oppression of the majority of the world for the benefit of the white world.
In his presentation on the meaning of socialism Chairman Yeshitela expanded on the question of the Labor Theory of Value. Noting that traditionally political theoreticians including Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin—though they struggled for a revolutionary trajectory—left out of this theory the reality of the stolen labor of enslaved African and colonized peoples whose unpaid toil unearthed the minerals and natural resources needed for the existence of the factories that provided jobs for the white workers of Europe.
He made the point that African and colonized workers are the true proletariat leading the world revolution through struggles for national liberation, not the white workers sitting on the pedestal of the enslavement of Africans. If white workers want to destroy the capitalist system of bosses and workers they must stand in solidarity with colonized workers leading the anti-imperialist struggles.
The Chairman also educated us about the question of Anarchism, stating that he unites with anarchists in their hatred of the state, which is always a repressive institution upholding the interests of the class in power. He believes that eventually after imperialism is destroyed and control over the land, resources and political institutions are in the hands of the working class there will be no more need for a state.
However, in the meantime, colonized workers who have conquered state power have to defend their power through the workers’ state which represses the former elite bourgeois class that is always striving to regain its power at the expense of the people. Everyone interested in destroying the white power bourgeois state must support the workers’ state on the road to true communism in which the institution of the state no longer is necessary.
Uhuru on the Move!
On the opening day of the conference, African People’s Socialist Party Economic Development leader Ironiff Ifoma led an informative discussion on “Uhuru on the Move: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going.”
Laying out all the victories of the Party over the past year, including the founding of the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone, Ifoma put out the goals for 2010 including the Party’s Fifth Congress to be held in Washington, DC in July.
Gaida Kambon, APSP’s National Secretary, gave an inspiring presentation about the history of the Uhuru Movement, her role in many of the Party’s leading community campaigns over the years and what motivated her to dedicate her life to African liberation.
APSC chairwoman Penny Hess gave multimedia presentations showing that African people are oppressed by colonialism inside this country. Africans in the U.S. are not struggling against racism, Hess exposed, but are waging an anti-colonial movement. She showed why it is in the interest of white people to take up the demand for reparations to African people and why a stand of white solidarity is the progressive stand that represents our genuine interest in joining humanity for justice and liberation.
Africa’s Resources in African Hands
Alison Hoehne, chairwoman of the APSC unit in Philadelphia, led a workshop on the work of Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM), APSC’s activist organization.
Lisa Burgess, Harris Daniels, Maureen Wagener, Ruby Gittelsohn, Scott Milinder, Stephanie Midler, Miah O’Malley-Thompson, Lisa Watson, Bill Canada and others reported on some of USM’s most successful campaigns of 2009, including the Earth Day Festival and Yoga for a Purpose which involved the participation of many yoga studios in raising money for projects of the Uhuru Movement.
Plans were laid out for 2010 focusing on building membership, launching the campaign for Africa’s Resources in African Hands and building the annual African People’s Solidarity Day which aims to raise $10,000 for the work of the African People’s Socialist Party.
Everyone who participated in the APSC conference was mobilized and renewed to build APSC and the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.
APSC member Kitty Reilly believed “the APSC conference was one of the best ever. I know I am eager to get out and build a powerful movement in the white community for reparations to African people!”
For more information on the African People’s Solidarity Committee visit http://www.apscuhuru.org/