TAMPA––Black Lives Matter held a demonstration and a march at the Lykes Gaslight Park on July 11, 2016. The demonstration was held in response to the murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA and Philando Castillo in Chicago by police. The Uhuru Movement made it a point to be at that demonstration.
The Uhuru Movement did not go to fight racism or to remind anyone that we matter. We went to spread the ideas of African Internationalism, the theory of the African (black) working to the masses of Africans who gathered in search of answers to ending the genocide being committed against us in the form of police murders.
The demonstrators noticed the comrades of the Uhuru Movement as soon as we exited our vehicles and got in formation.
Our large red, black, and green flags were held high as comrades organized themselves behind the banner which showed the picture of Pinellas County sheriff who murdered three African girls––Dominique Battle, Ashaunti Bulter and La’Niyah Miller––in St. Petersburg, FL.
Colonial media reporters flocked to the members of our Movement immediately once they saw our flags, the banner and heard shouts of “Uhuru.”
Gazi Kodzo was interviewed by St. Petersburg’s channel 10 news. He explained our purpose for attending the demonstration.
The comrades of the Uhuru Movement approached the crowd silently, but our presence screamed out to the people that we were an organized, disciplined and uncompromising force for liberation.
Evangelizing African Internationalism at the demonstration
Comrades Kalonde and Muteba circled the crowd, passing out fliers with information about our “3 Drowned Black Girls” campaign.
Protestors held signs with the two recent victims’ names, as well as signs that read “stop police terror.” There was an African man wearing a T-shirt with the words “Am I next?”
They had various speakers who addressed the crowd over bullhorn. One such speaker criticized African people and blamed us for the oppression that we face. He stated that Africans “need to clean around our own yard first.”
The next person to speak was a sister who referenced Dr. King’s message of peace and nonviolence. She stated that the police are here “to protect and serve” and ended almost every statement with “in Jesus name.”
The weak, vague and passive messages came to halt once members of our Movement spoke to the crowd.
Yashica Clemmons, mother of Dominique Battle––one of the three girls who drowned at the hands of the sheriff’s deputies of Pinellas County––told her story after being introduced by comrade Gazi.
Mike Reed, a resident of Tampa, broke down in tears as Yashica spoke. He told The Burning Spear that he was crying because “they don’t give a f*ck about us.”
International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) president Kalambayi Andenet set the crowd on fire after Yashica’s speech.
She delivered a clear, direct message to the demonstrators which educated them on African Internationalism, unlike the speakers before her.
Kalambayi told the crowd, “We [the Uhuru Movement] understand that the system cannot be fixed. We want a new system.”
Her message was so strong and revolutionary that Kelly Benjamin––a white organizer for the Service Employees International Union––attempted to silence her. He attempted to get the African members of his organization to silence her, however they refused.
He then tried to remove Kalambayi himself and take away the megaphone himself. He was met with fierce resistance from our comrades in the Uhuru Movement, as we chanted “let her speak.” The rest of the demonstrators, thoroughly engaged in our revolutionary message, joined into our chanted and demanded that Kalambayi speak.
Benjamin was forced by all the demonstrators to stand down.
Kalambayi continued and encouraged Africans and and white people to join the revolutionary organizations of the Uhuru Movement. “Join a revolutionary organization. That is the only way that Africans will be free,” said President Kalambayi towards the end of her powerful speech.
Benjamin, now red in the face, then attempted once more to silence InpDUM’s President by invading her personal space. He was met with resistance by comrade Aaron, who demanded that Kelly “back up.”
Ultimately, one of the organizers of the march, an African individual, and perhaps one of the members of Kelly’s organization, also aided comrade Aaron in getting the now-enraged Kelly to back down.
Benjamin, left without any other option, then begged our comrade Chimurenga for the Megaphone which Kalambayi spoke into.
The comrades of the Uhuru Movement passed out fliers, received petition signatures and even received new member sign-ups from the Africans in the crowd.
Members of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement––the white people who work under the leadership of the Africans of the Movement––also received new member sign-ups.
The Revolutionary Vanguard of the African Working Class
The crowd’s handlers proceeded to corral the demonstrators into the street to march.
Comrades of Uhuru Movement organized into our march formation under the leadership of African National Women’s Organization(ANWO) President, Yejide Orunmila.
The movement moved with razor sharp precision while staying several paces behind the Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
A number of demonstrators who showed up to the protest, were won to the movement and marched with us towards our end goal, instead of being led blindly by the Black Lives Matter group.
The demonstration moved on to “shut down” the highway. Comrade Yejide made the decision for our comrades to not continue in that direction. We turned off and made our way back to the Gaslight Park.
This was a strategic move for us as we are not struggling to be arrested. We are fighting for our freedom.
The Movement did a summation of the march in a nearby parking lot. The people who left the original march to follow the Uhuru Movement remained present for this as well. They united with our politic and our goals and expressed that they will be joining our Movement.
Kenneth Johnson, told The Burning Spear, “The Movement said what needed to be said.”
The Uhuru Movement is a cohesive unit of Africans united under a single political line.
We are always clear that we want freedom. We understand that the State is designed to oppress the African people through violence and terror.
The State is only here to “protect and serve” the interest of the white ruling class––white power.
Black lives won’t matter until get Black Power. Africans must come into political organization and join the Uhuru Movement and the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP). We have solutions to the oppression that we face as Africans in the U.S. and worldwide. We must work to overturn colonialism, that is the only way that we can prevent police murders.
We urge every African to come into political life, and join the Vanguard of the African working class. Visit JoinAPSP.org.
Black Power Matters!
Join the African People’s Socialist Party
Join the Uhuru Movement!
We are winning!