Last year, in Washington, DC, the first North American Regional Conference of the African Socialist International (ASI) was held on African Liberation Day (ALD) weekend, whilst simultaneously in Manchester, England, the first European Regional Conference of the ASI took place.
In that same year we saw the first East African Regional Conference of the ASI in Kenya, and as a result an interim committee for ASI Kenya was established.
The launch of the African People's Socialist Party (APSP) – Sierra Leone last year and the pending 5th Congress of the APSP – USA in this period of imperialism’s deepening crisis is moving the ASI to realization of a vision that Chairman Omali Yeshitela laid out almost 30 years ago.
These exciting times have also presented the London Unit of APSP with the task of building APSP – UK.
During the 10 days surrounding May 25, there have been a number of African Liberation Day events taking place across London and the rest of England.
Whilst the Pan-Africanists in this country have busied themselves with their annual talk fests and cultural celebrations, the APSP London Unit planned an ALD march which took place on Saturday May 29 (See the May 1 ALD press release) under the slogan "One Africa! One Nation! One Billion Strong!"
The march was a call to sons and daughters of Africa to join the just struggle to reclaim Africa and her resources for the benefit of African workers and peasants.
Consistent outreach was carried out twice a week in May by comrades of the London Unit, led primarily by APSP Comrade Earl.
That outreach increased to every day during the week leading up to the event in Camberwell and Peckham, South-east London, where the march was set to take place.
Comrades from London even traveled to the Black Student’s Conference in Liverpool where they were able to win students to African Internationalism in principal and gained valuable contacts.
Despite the valiant effort, this work alone proved not to be enough on the day to mobilize the masses to March.
Aside from the poor weather conditions that day, the outreach strategy for the event was not developed in the way needed to make it a success, partly due to forces being spread quite thinly on the ground.
However this did not faze these comrades. The ALD March was quickly adapted into an ALD Rally and used to set a new standard for outreach in the area.
The rally attracted attention from the masses, several of whom stopped in the middle of their shopping trips and family outings to see what the rally was about.
Some left their contacts and expressed their support for the course that the Party was set on.
Reports were made by representatives from various parts of the African world including Trinidad (Comrade Courtenay of APSP), Guyana (Bro Winston), Somalia (Bro Duale), Chad (Bro Ahamat), Libya (Bro Azeldin of the British Libyan Solidarity Campaign), to name a few.
Organizers of the Wesley Sterling March arrived later, as did two students that met the Party at the Black Student’s Conference.
The crowd was also treated to a cultural performance by APSP comrade Makola in the form of spoken word over an awesome drum beat provided by InPDUM member Trevor Gardner.
InPDUM London Organizing Committee President, Ruth Kimathi (holding a placard which read Free Diop Olugbala Now!), gave an inspiring call to join InPDUM which encouraged one sister to sign up for membership and pay on the spot!
Although the march did not take place, the rally evidently was able to spark the imagination of all who attended and many who were able to witness it, even if it wasn’t first hand.
Some passers by were spotted reading the banners and placards to people they were speaking to on their mobile phones. Some even pointed their mobile phones in the direction of the PA system so that others who weren’t there could hear the presentations being made.
The presentations and slogans were also clearly of interest to members of the Islamic community (African and non-African alike), who stood outside a nearby Turkish grill-takeaway joint attentively watching and listening.
For many in this country and throughout the rest of the world it has become unusual to see the African working class articulating itself in its own interest.
Not only was this rally able to spark the imagination of the masses, but it reaffirmed the need for more political education out on the street.
After the rally, ASI Secretary General, Luwezi Kinshasa, emphasized the need to bring the discussion of African liberation to the masses by stating, “We must carry on this trend of having meetings without walls where the masses can be engaged by the Party and given the opportunity to participate in struggle.”
If you are in the UK and would like to find out how you can be a part of turning the world right side up, by building APSP – UK you can contact us on: 020 8265 1731 or e-mail us at: email@example.com
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