I was the lone voice representing Africa, African people around the world and Africans colonized in the U.S., at an international conference of experts in Moscow, on September 20, 2015.
My presence there was at the invitation of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, whose letter of invitation read in part:
“The Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia is arranging an international expert conference, ‘The dialogue of nations. The right of peoples to self-determination and building of [a] multipolar world.’
“…There are a number of regions in the world that strive for acquisition of real sovereignty in order to become independent political players. The existing world order deprives the citizens of different regions of their legal right to self-determination that is officially guaranteed by the United Nations Charter.”
Continuing, the letter of invitation explained further:
“As a result, we are going to form a special working group in which the representatives of different organizations from all over the world will be involved. The main objective of the group is providing joint cooperation regarding wider autonomy and secession, informational and practical collaboration, arranging public events, forums and scientific conferences.
“This working group will prepare a final document that is to be considered in the UN. This appeal will be based on the principles of international law that stands for freedom and self-determinations of nations, protections of human rights and investigation of military crimes…”
African liberation on world agenda
The conference, held at the Presidents Hotel, site of the former Warsaw Pact meetings, allowed us for the first time since the height of the revolutionary period of the 1960s to place the issue of African liberation back onto the agenda of the world’s peoples.
The conference was attended by more than 80 representatives of the international media.
This fact–––more than anything else––should dispel the U.S. lie of the Russian suppression of freedom of press and speech, especially given the fact that it is nearly impossible to get U.S. and western imperialist media to cover any event within their “domestic”territories that is not accompanied by major rebellions.
The conference heard presentations from 30 or more delegates, including representatives of fighting forces currently engaged in armed conflict in Ukraine, where the U.S. engineered a coup and has only been stopped from complete de facto annexation of Ukraine by popular forces within the country.
Indeed, there were so many presenters at the conference that it was necessary to cut some of the presentations short in order to accommodate everyone.
Recognition of the significance of our Party and the oppression of Africa and African people was made obvious by the lineup of presenters at the conference and my location at the side of the lead conference organizer.
Among those who presented at the conference––with whom we joined in a post conference working group to prepare the final declaration to be prepared for the UN––were representatives from the European Communitarianist Party in Italy; the National Sovereign State of Borinken from Puerto Rico; the Independent and Sovereign Nation State of Hawaii; the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; the Polisario Front from Western Sahara; the Catalan Solidarity for Independence from Spain; the Irish Republican Socialist Party and Republican Sinn Fein from Ireland.
African people and our unique, dual colonialism
While each of the attending conference participants spoke of their repression and right to self-determination within the definitions of specific State borders, my task was to redefine our struggle for self-determination to include the entire forcibly dispersed African nation wherever we are located—within Africa and throughout the world.
My spoken presentation was abbreviated to accommodate the time constraints, but the written statement that was prepared for and presented at the conference contained these important statements:
“From the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) we address this international community of peoples also struggling for freedom, independence and self-determination from imperialist and colonial domination.
“We are African people colonized in our homeland of Africa as well as inside the borders of the United States and wherever we are dispersed around the world.
“The European assault on Africa in the form of the slave trade—beginning 600 years ago and continuing well into the 19th century—forcibly dispersed Africans in great numbers from our homeland to the U.S., Haiti and all the islands of the Caribbean as well as to Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela and many other countries in South America.
“As a nation, Africans face a unique duel colonization. We are colonized in our African homeland and at the same time we are colonized wherever else we are currently living due to having been kidnapped and enslaved by our oppressors over the centuries.
“African people are a nation of a different sort.
“We are the dispersed African nation—one African people forcibly scattered throughout the world by the European assault on our homeland.”
APSP/ASI best qualified to speak for Africa!
Speaking of our colonially oppressed presence in the Americas and the U.S., my statement continued, “We are the only people who didn’t come to the Americas looking for a better way of life. We lost a better way of life in being brought to the Americas. We are captives, not immigrants.”
This is the first time in decades—no, generations—that Africa was able to speak and define for itself our history and our place in the world.
I, however, recognized clearly that no one is better prepared to do so than the African People’s Socialist Party, part of the African Socialist International (ASI), with actual organizations within the U.S., the Caribbean, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Sierra Leone and with organizers in Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, Germany, France and Belgium that I can name from memory without access to the files of our ASI Secretary General.
Indeed, most peoples of the world are generally aware of the history of our national oppression. I was simply able to supply some of the details and the analysis of our reality that the U.S. and Western European colonizers have a material interest in concealing.
No one, not the conference conveners, participants or the more than 80 representatives of the media, including the London Independent, London Guardian, Huffington Post and Blumberg, challenged or questioned my analysis and historical references.
Origin/function of the UN
Our Party has no illusions about the UN, the body to whom the declaration from this conference will be presented. We know that it is the immediate child of the League of Nations that, like the League, it was created as a means of keeping the peace between European predator States.
The UN was created as a means for the colonial powers to engage in nonviolent struggle over colonial possessions.
It established rules of conduct for European oppressor nations regarding the management of oppressed peoples and proscribed how those European nations would behave whenever war emerges from their inevitable need to occasionally fight each other to re-divide the world among themselves.
The UN, however, can and has provided a political forum for the pursuit of the interests of the oppressed, at certain moments of history when there is a shift in the balance of forces and the hegemony of the U.S. as a world power is not absolute.
Such was the case when the Soviet Union was able to act as a counterweight to the U.S. in world affairs and when there was a sudden influx of formerly colonized peoples into the UN in the 1960s.
The UN returned to its original function as a near-absolute tool of U.S. global hegemony, but only after the U.S. was able to, through murder, coups and an array of machinations, successfully neutralize the most progressive of the leaders of the anti-colonial/anti-imperialist forces and collapse the Soviet Union.
Today we have entered into a new period. There is an “Uneasy Equilibrium,” an intense struggle between the past and the future.
African struggle exciting the world
The past of imperialist domination of the world is being challenged on every front by struggles of the world’s oppressed.
Russia functions today as a nuclear powered counterweight to the U.S. and has disrupted its capacity for carrying out its rapacious agenda with impunity in various places in the world, and has united with and opened its doors to many who are struggling to break free of a U.S.-imposed imperialist agenda.
This offers us an opportunity to advance the cause of Africa in general and of Africans within the U.S.
This is significant because the U.S. is the strategic enemy of the world’s peoples and the primary nemesis of Russia’s efforts to realize its own national agenda.
The world is up in arms. Everyone is fighting for their own self-perceived interests.
Africa is now, through the work of our Party, able to enter into the fray and layout the framework for our liberation from the poverty, misery and genocide imposed on us for so long that it has become a norm that no longer excites the world.
It will excite the world now, because of our increasing participation on the world scene.
I did not participate in the Dialogue of Nations Conference to just rail about the abstract crimes of imperialist white power. These crimes are concrete and I was also concrete when I spoke of the specific conditions of Africans colonized on the U.S. front of our struggle, stating:
“The conditions faced by African people inside the U.S. today meet the definition of genocide as defined by the United Nations, including acts committed with ‘intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group…’
“African people make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but are incarcerated five times as frequently as white people on the same offense.
“The average life expectancy in one mostly black suburb of St. Louis was 30 years less than for white people.
“The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world with 2.3 million people behind bars at any time and more than 7 million people awaiting trial, on probation or parole. Half of the U.S. prison population is African although we are only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
“One in eight of all people in prison in the entire world is an African person inside the U.S.”
Of course the list can and does go on. I elaborated on all the issues without fail, at the conference.
Finally I called on the world community as represented by the conference attendees, to unite with our people’s struggle for national self-determination, for national liberation, calling on the world to:
“Recognize Africans in the U.S. as part of a forcibly dispersed African nation with the right to real liberation, unification and socialist democracy;
“Unite with the demand for the release of all Africans in prisons within the U.S. and the immediate freedom of all African political prisoners;
“Unite with the demand by Africans in the U.S. for reparations for slavery, genocide and the violent expropriation of stolen value;
“Recognize the right of Africans in the U.S. to exercise armed self-defense from U.S. colonialism and colonial terror;
“Unite with the call by Africans in the U.S. to bring charges against the U.S. before the UN for genocide against African people;
“Recognize the right to return to Africa by any African any place on earth who desires to do so.”
I demanded more, but this provides some insight to the significance of my participation in the September Dialogue of Nations Conference.
Of course, as important as the conference was, the real task to win the liberation of our people remains with our Party, our movement and our people!
We are our own liberators and it is recognition of this fact that took us to Russia to place our struggle on the political agenda of the world.
We know we will win!
We know we are winning!