Representatives of the African People's Socialist Party United Kingdom (APSP-UK) joined more than a thousand Africans from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in a march against the neocolonial government of Joseph Kabila on November 25.
The march took place ahead of the western-imposed December 2011 elections, just one of many protests that have been held across Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and DRC.
The march route went from DRC's embassy to Downing Street, home to UK's prime minister, David Cameron.
Although the protest was organized on a weekday during working hours, many working people who took part in the march had asked for the day off or just called in sick in order to participate.
The fact that protesters were willing to call in sick to their jobs in order to march highlights the seriousness, anger and commitment working people feel toward seeing the end of Kabila's presidency.
At the march, British citizens — shoppers and tourists alike — watched in admiration and curiosity as protesters lit up central London's Oxford Circus with their dances and songs.
Kabila has been the murderous dictator of DRC since 2001 when his leadership was imposed on Africans in Congo after the U.S.-led assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila.
Many Africans support Etienne Tshisekedi and his political party, Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UPDS). It is widely believed that Tshisekedi could win the election.
By default the protest became a mini-rally in support of Tshisekedi.
You Cannot Vote For Freedom
The anti-colonial protests and sentiments sweeping across the Middle East, Latin America and Africa have manifested in Congo as anti-Kabila.
Many have been drawn to these protests because of the real prospect of removing Joseph Kabila and his murderous partners from Uganda, Rwanda and USA.
The cutbacks in social welfare and the mass unemployment affecting Africans in the Diaspora have allowed us to begin to see the liberation of Africa as a way out of colonial life outside of Africa.
In the case of the DRC, people see the path away from colonialism as Kabila's removal from office.
Deep debate and discussion occurred during the march. Many people understand that UPDS will not bring total liberation of Africans in Congo, but cannot see any other force or party that would free Congo from Kabila's regime.
APSP-UK organizers reminded protesters that the fates of Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali were decided by the masses in the streets of North Africa, not the ballot box.
We also reminded protesters of UPDS's role in delaying the African revolution in the 1990s, when African youth, students and workers rose up against Joseph Mobutu's neocolonial government, only to have that magnificent struggle betrayed by the neocolonial middle class leadership led, in part, by UPDS under the leadership of Etienne Tshisekedi who was its chairman then.
UPDS and Tshisekedi used their popular support to negotiate with western governments for personal gain of good government positions. They had no social or political program for the masses.
By 2001, UPDS had become a dead political force, to be opportunistically revived only to jump in front of the masses' needs to remove Kabila's neocolonial government.
Old Opportunists, New Hope
APSP's involvement during this crucial time in Africa is more than vital, because without the theory of African Internationalism to offer Africans the wider view of the world from the point of view of oppressed African workers and peasants, many simply will turn to the empty rhetoric of opportunist (at best), tribalist, or regionalist analysis.
What is heartening this time, in contrast to the 1990s, is that Africans in and outside of DRC are beginning to understand the importance of fighting on different fronts.
In 2006, Africans from DRC living in the UK imposed a ban that prevented any neocolonial politician, preacher or entertainer who supported Joseph Kabila's election campaign, from entering the country.
By 2011, this ban was extended across Europe, Canada, USA and South Africa.
Though it is reported that Tshisekedi could win the presidency, Africans cannot let down their guard, even for a moment, as this in itself is a hollow victory in the ongoing struggle to free our people in DRC.
Regime change is no solution for our people who want a decent existence free from genocide, rape, occupation, looting and indirect colonial rule not just in DRC, but also in Ivory Coast, Libya and all over Africa and the African world.
We must liberate the African nation and this requires a revolutionary struggle led by a single worldwide African revolutionary organization. That organization must be led by the African working class and poor peasantry — those who create value in society and cannot meet their needs as a class short of completing the struggle for freedom.
We must build the African Socialist International as the real solution for Africans in DRC and throughout the rest of the dispersed African nation.
See the video summary of the elections: