PHILADELPHIA––On August 13 and 14, 2016, the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will hold their preparatory conference, the “National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination” at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA.
The following is the declaration for the National Black Political Agenda.
A critical moment in our history is upon us. In addition to the traditional centuries-long destitution and political repression that has characterized our existence and distorted virtually all our intra-communal relationships within the U.S. there is now an escalation of police and other white violence directed at our people that demands a coherent response.
The entire world is in a state of turmoil. The vast majority of the world’s population that experiences poverty and cruelty as normal features of life is in a state of rebellion.
Because the world capitalist system owes its existence to the enslavement of our people and colonial domination of much of the world, capitalism rests uneasily on a fault line of oppression.
The historical oppression of our people stems from this cruel fact of history. Like most peoples of the world we trace our current conditions of existence to the birth of the capitalist system at the expense of our happiness and human and material resources.
We recognize the escalation of terror against black people that includes State and popular attacks and police and civilian murder. We understand that the prominent expressions of white nationalism revealed through the electoral process to select a new president of the United States are due to the growth of resistance among oppressed populations of the world and within the U.S.
We recognize that the apparent social peace within the U.S. over the past 35 years or so has been illusory, a product of the successful brutal assault by the U.S. government on the struggle of black people for justice and power in the 1960s.
Our movement was obstructed by State-imposed repression that included the political murders of important leaders from our community. Among these leaders were Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and others.
The false sense of social peace during this past period also depended on the disruption of the then-developing black agenda that demanded peace, democracy, an end to poverty, political oppression and the acquisition of Black Power.
The U.S. government and its minions of appointed or anointed black leaders have contributed to a defeatist outlook among our people that reduces our struggle to vain attempts to influence the two major U.S. ruling parties to include the interests and aspirations of our people in the otherwise ruthless, terror-inducing imperialist agenda they normally represent.
The U.S. government’s assault on our independent movement for black political power has created a worldview that promotes the U.S. electoral process as the only viable means of forging and pursuing an agenda favorable to our interests.
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations does not believe that our future should be in the hands of any institution that does not have its origins within our own community and has not been forged through the struggles of our people.
Black people, therefore, are gathering to consolidate our own National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination.
With our National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination we claim responsibility for our own future, independent of the Democratic and Republican parties or any other organization or institution external to our community.
We are fully aware of the long history of betrayal of our people by both parties and refuse to submit our destiny to a slavish dependency on either of them.
As conscious women and men, we are declaring our intent to guarantee a future for our children and generations to come by creating an independent agenda for the progress of our people.
We know that this agenda is not all encompassing. It cannot be. Our movement is in a developing stage, having been re-energized most recently by the August 9, 2014 uprising of poor, working-class young people on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri after the police murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
We recognize that our National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination is in contention with the decisions made for us by the rulers of the U.S., their servants in our midst and other African people who may have legitimate disagreements with our views.
But we cannot wait. History will not permit hesitation at this critical juncture. Our people demand participation in creating the future that awaits us.
This development of our National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination is not an attempt to create a new political party or organization.
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is a coalition in the truest sense of the word: We are an organization of organizations and individuals who have chosen to unite around a common set of principles for self-determination and a conscious struggle against world imperialism.
We have seen the defeat of previous attempts to create a black agenda by prematurely creating new political formations before basic principles and organizational relationships were firmly established that required first loyalty to our people rather than to the Democratic Party.
We call on all organizations currently not affiliated with the Black is Back Coalition to join us as part of a process that will extend the political influence of all our movements and organizations while preserving the independence of each.
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations does not attempt to function as a substitute for any existing organization. We simply provide a forum, a space for the overall expansion of our struggle for self-determination beyond the capacity of most individual organizations.
We can see the world created by slavery and colonialism collapsing before our very eyes. The decline of imperialist white power is visible for the world to see and experience.
Not only are the heroic peoples of the Middle East, South America and Asia engaging imperialism in heated battles for control of their sovereignty and resources, so also are our people throughout Africa, Haiti and various other places in the world, including Europe.
The struggle against colonialism has breached the citadels of Europe and the U.S. White people of Europe––of France and Belgium, for example––are living lives with the kind of insecurity that is common in the colonial territories of Africa and the Middle East from which Europe has extorted lives and resources for centuries.
We are taking up the task of developing our National Black Agenda for Self-Determination while in the throes of a maturing resistance that is primarily a response to open police murder of African men, women and children.
In Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the actions of Micah X Johnson and Gavin (Cosmo) Long represent the clearest movement toward an armed response to African murders by the U.S. domestic military occupation forces since 1972 when Mark Essex initiated an attack on the New Orleans police department.
Like Essex, Johnson and Long briefly exposed the vulnerability and incompetence of U.S. police forces with their attacks on domestic military occupation forces in Dallas, Texas on July 7th and Baton Rouge on July 17, 2016.
The moment is urgent and history requires us to move decisively and without hesitation.
It is within this context that we offer this National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination for discussion and adoption by our people.
The Black is Back Coalition has adopted our points for the National Black Political Agenda. They read:
1. A commitment to facilitate the elevation of African Women to full, equal partnership in our struggle to create a new world.
2. We demand Black Community Control of the Police.
3. We demand the freeing of all political prisoners.
4. We demand a roll back and end mass incarceration.
5. We demand reparations to all Africans.
6. We demand the right for armed self-defense.
7. We demand the nationalization the banks, ending the rule of capital.
8. We demand full employment and a national minimum income.
9. We demand a right to safe, secure, habitable and affordable housing.
10. We demand a halt to gentrification.
11. We demand that black business be nurtured.
12. We demand the right to free education through post-graduate level.
13. We demand free, universal, quality healthcare for all.
14. We demand proportional representation in voting systems.
15. We demand that the U.S. exits Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
16. We demand that the U.S. immediately drop all debt claims against the formerly colonized regions of Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific.
17. We demand the recognition of all the rights of the Palestinian people.
18. We demand that capitalist countries take responsibility for the destruction of the environment.
19. We demand an immediate halt to attacks on the black family.
The Black is Back Coalition invites all freedom loving Africans to attend our National Conference on August 13th! Register today!
**Editor’s note: The print edition of this piece in the August 2016 issue of The Burning Spear listed Chairman Omali Yeshitela as the author of this piece. That was an error. This piece was a collaborative effort by members of the Black Is Back Coalition. The Spear staff apologizes for making such a mistake**