The ASI Interim Committee, pictured here, determined that the Founding Congress of the ASI will be held in Senegal in March 2008.
LONDON — On October 6-8, 2006, Africans from around the world attended the historic 7th Conference to Build the African Socialist International (ASI) in North London, England. It was a conference enriched with the participation of comrades from Cameroon, Occupied Azania (still known by the colonial name South Africa), Burundi, Guyana, Mozambique, Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Sweden, the U.S. and the UK.
Africans who had planned to attend the conference from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia were denied visas by the British imperialist immigration officials. Another brother from Barbados was denied entry on arrival to the UK.
Promotional posters that boldly stated “One Africa! One Nation!” inspired African people in London and the rest of the UK. It also brought fear into the hearts of the British rulers who made threats of fines and court orders against the ASI’s organizing committee.
This conference happened at a crucial time in world history, when imperialism is desperately attempting to militarily re-colonize the non-white world in order to maintain the status quo at our expense.
After over four decades in power, it is clear for everyone to see that the African petty bourgeois rulers all over Africa are incapable of achieving a United States of Africa free from imperialism. They represent white power in black face.
Just like the imperialists, they too require the maintenance of the same borders, colonial states and blood suckers corporations that repress and exploit African people everywhere.
The only solution in African people’s quest for freedom, justice and material development is to go back to an all African solution like Marcus Garvey put forth. We need a solution in the hands of the African working class. We need to build the African Socialist International.
The ASI, a project of the African People‘s Socialist Party (APSP) launched at the APSP’s First Congress in 1981, has matured today. It is a place to listen to reports from African revolutionaries and progressive around the world. It is also a place to meet the guiding theory of the African revolution — Yeshitelism.
This ASI conference has brought practical strategies that Africans from around the world, can instantly unite with and implement. It put forth concrete projects to mobilize African people into political struggles for the transformation of our genocidal living conditions on our own terms.
Hence, Africans from around the world can all participate in the same project with different tasks for each front of the African Liberation movement. This is a great leap forward, in our struggle to win the mind and hearts of the impoverished African masses.
Unity of theory and practice of African Internationalism
Chairman Omali Yeshitela has led the way in sharpening the ideological battle between the African working class and the imperialist bourgeoisie and it’s African petty bourgeois servants. This is a necessary battle we have to win, as imperialism for African revolution to occur.
The call for “One Africa! One Nation!” exposes and challenges the illegitimacy of neocolonialism at its foundation by attacking the dispersal of African people and the partitioning of Africa.
The struggle against wrong philosophy exposed Pan Africanism as a philosophy that was born as an attack on Garvey’s movement. Pan Africanism was also born as anti-communist and pacifist, and its limitations led to the downfall of giant freedom fighters like Nkrumah, Lumumba, and Sobukwe who did not understand at that time the dynamism of class struggle in the real world.
In July 2004, a qualitative change occurred in the process to build the ASI. The adoption of the main ASI resolution provided a clear document around which unity with the process to build the ASI could be determined. Unity with this process to build the ASI is going to be what determines what is progressive or not progressive in the African world.
Revolutionary culture kicks off 2006 Conference
The 2006 ASI Conference was preceded by a cultural show on Thursday, October 5, featuring artists from Burning Spear Records, the APSP’s revolutionary record label, as well as other progressive artists. Burning Spear Records is a part of the APSP’s strategy and has the task of making culture that serves African people in our revolutionary struggles.
Over 300 people attended the cultural event, held at a popular venue in Brixton called the Fridge. It featured Burning Spear Records artists Bombai, Naima, Africa’s Trigger as well as M1 of Dead Prez, Daddy Muus from Sierra Leone, local artists Mama Sol, Blind Alphabets and more.
The conference opened on October 6 with freedom songs from Azania led by Sbusiso Xaba, president of the Pan African Youth Congress (PAYCO) of Azania, and accompanied by drummers Cele and Pisha from the Democratic Republic of Congo and percussionist Coco from Canada.
Sbusiso united all participants in the United States of Africa song. Naima, a sensational Burning Spear Records artist from Madagascar, followed with her moving version of Bob Marley’s song “Africa Unite.”
Burning Spear Records headliner Bombai lifted the audience with his powerful rap song on reparations.
At the 2006 ASI conference, those who did not unite with the main ASI resolution were defined as observers, with no right to vote in matters and deliberation of the ASI conference. This was unlike many other African conferences, where people show up to consume information with no unity or strategic goals for the African revolution.
People who attended the conference came, not just to consume information, but also to take their places in the struggles for African revolution. This was demonstrated in all workshops that took place.
The conference received two solidarity statements. The first was presented by Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC), an organization created by the African People’s Socialist Party. The APSC is an organization of white people who work under the leadership of the APSP to win solidarity with the African Revolution among the white population and to work for reparations within the white community.
The conference also heard a solidarity statement presented by Benjamin Prado from Union del Barrio. Union del Barrio is a Mexican liberation organization formed in 1981.
The APSP and Union del Barrio have enjoyed a fraternal relationship for 15 years. Union del Barrio is fighting for the repossession of their land and identity, stolen from them by the U.S.
Workshops put in motion critical work to unite the African world
The 2006 Conference to Build the ASI featured both reports and workshops on important questions and projects being led up by the ASI. Workshops were held on the question of reparations, the need for an international African trade union, the national democratic revolution, developing an independent media capacity, and the African People’s Development Project also being led by the ASI.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela led the reparations workshop, and it put forth the strategy of the International Tribunal on Reparations for Afrikan People (ITRAP), a project that is mobilizing Africans around the world to come to Berlin, Germany in June 2007 to put white power on trial for its crimes against African people.
The ASI is instrumental in the ITRAP process, and it is being led by Chairman Omali Yeshitela.
Another workshop led by International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement President Chimurenga Waller called for the immediate building of a National Democratic Revolution led by the African working class in alliance with patriotic forces.
The National Democratic Revolution workshop resolved to take on the questions of free speech, the war on the African community under the guise of a war on terror, challenge the illegitimate electoral process, and the removal of the illegitimate colonial borders.
It was determined that the National Democratic Revolution must result in the defeat of the alliance between the neocolonial sector of the African petty bourgeoisie and white ruling class and the African working class seizing control of the institutions of power.
Another workshop led by APSP member Aisha Fields put forward the African People’s Development Project, an institution that will organize a body of scientist to lead the building of micro projects with the participation of African workers to change our material conditions in Africa.
This project is important as it builds the capacity for water purification and electrification in areas of Africa where these resources are not available to African people.
It was made clear that this project is not a charity organization. It is instead a project that will be used to organize African people to not only solve these immediate problems, but also solve the primary contradiction of colonialism.
Nkrumah Kgagudi, Secretary General of the Metal and Electrical Workers Union and member of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, led another workshop. This workshop laid out a plan to build the International African Labour Union, a labor union which will have the responsibility of defending the basic rights of African workers everywhere, but will also prepare the African workers to become the new ruling class.
The final workshop laid out the development of a media apparatus that will enable our movement to communicate to each other and the rest of the African world without having to borrow the oppressor’s media. This apparatus includes the outlets of UhuruRadio.com, an Internet radio station that the APSP launched in April, and the Burning Spear Newspaper, the longest running African revolutionary newspaper in the world.
It was determined that bureaus would be built in Azania, West Africa and Britain as a part of this apparatus that is headquartered in the United States.
This media apparatus was already serving the African Revolution during the conference the conference itself was broadcast live on UhuruRadio.com. This allowed people to listen from locations throughout the world including Ukraine, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Angola, Ghana, the U.S. and more.
Reports show universality of the African struggle
The reports introduced the glorious history of African Resistance in African world and allowed participants to see the sameness in the conditions of our people everywhere we are. The reports were well received and created opportunities for sincere and deep discussion.
Names of martyrs of the African liberation in Cameroon were remembered, and the ASI would be looking at ways to keep the legacy of these selfless African freedom fighters alive in our movement. In Cameroon from the ’50s through the ’70s, French imperialism and its black puppets, assassinated leaders of the much-feared Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC).
Reuben Um Nyobe, Felix Moumie, Ernest Ouandie, and Osende Afana were all killed in a desperate attempt by the French to destroy the unstoppable African revolution.
The reports from the U.S. and the UK informed the conference participants of how the so-called imperialist “war on terror” manifests itself as a war on the African communities within the domestic colonies.
The report presented by Chernoh Alpha M Bah Director of the Africanist Movement reiterated the need for an all-African solution for all African people.
The report from presented by Iesther Hoyte from Guyana mirrored the same conditions of existence described in reports from Occupied Azania and Zimbabwe. They all exposed the betrayal of the African working class by the African petty bourgeoisie class and the necessity to build revolutionary organization.
The ASI conference also pledged support for the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania in its fight for power in Azania.
Forward to the ASI Founding Congress
This conference ended with having established the date for the Founding Congress of the ASI. Attendees were excited to hear the Interim Committee announce that the Founding Congress would take place in Senegal in March 2008.
The ASI Interim Committee set out to quickly begin moving to build for it establishing a follow-up meeting in Barbados in May 2007. This meeting will be an attempt to also consolidate the ASI Caribbean regional participation
African people find ourselves at the threshold of history, facing an outdated and dying imperialism on one hand, and on the other hand we are faced with the rise of China, and possibly India, who are seeking access to African minerals for their own development.
The ASI is the only vehicle to build for an African revolution that will put an end forever to the stealing of Africa’s people, land and resources. It is the only way to unite all African workers in alliance with poor peasants around the world.
Join in the process to build for a successful ASI Congress in Africa in 2008!
Forward with the International African Revolution!
All power to the workers!
One Africa! One Nation!