The final and fourth week of the Cadre Intensive began with 6am weightlifting, yoga and high intensity interval training. Everyone is seeing great improvement in their strength and stamina!
After flag raising, ASI Secretary General Luwezi Kinshasa and Chairman Omali Yeshitela led the workshop on the History of African Revolution, beginning this week’s theme of Revolutions of African and oppressed peoples worldwide.
Starting with a timeline of victorious independence movements in Africa in the 1950s and around the world, SG Luwezi analyzed the strengths and contradictions facing many great revolutionary African leaders who were part of the “Winds of Change in Africa” for national liberation at that time of imperialist crisis.
Luwezi explained that the Mau-Mau of Kenya were an organized force who began serious training and recruitment, built their own weapons, and made a profound contribution by becoming the model of resistance for African people.
They effectively broke the back of British colonialism, showing other Africans that African resistance could win!
With Britain also fighting the liberation movement in Nigeria, the Mau-Mau forced the British to mobilize support of other European and white military powers to attempt to hold back the revolutionary tide.
It was clear that the era of direct colonialism was over! Parasitic Europe and the US then developed the strategy of neo-colonialism.
After SG Luwezi briefly discussed the historic events in Congo, South Africa, Guinea, Burkina-Faso, Grenada and Vietnam in the context of this period of national liberation, he and the Chairman made several analyses that show the necessity to build the ASI.
We must learn from the criticisms and experience of these past struggles. We cannot cover over errors and contradictions in these revolutions even as we recognize their successes, or we won’t win!
None of these African liberation forces had a political Party or cadre. Several, such as the Algerian revolution, were led by a “front” or coalition of groups with different political lines and interests. There was no Party for African workers.
The petty bourgeoisie was inside most of these radical organizations, opportunistically fighting for their own interests. There was no class struggle inside the organizations, leaving the class question unresolved and often unrecognized.
Africans can’t win freedom in entities defined by the imperialists. The African Nation can’t be born without a Party of the African working class and poor peasants to destroy neo-colonialism.
African independence was not the end-all. We must take it to the conclusion to social transformation so the African working class will come to power.
Development of an all-African economy will create a common language, diminish the importance of “ethnicity,” will increase richness and diversity for African people.
After lunch, APSC Chairwoman Penny Hess gave an informative presentation and powerpoint on the Vietnamese Revolution. This Revolution, led by a Party of peasants and the working class, was truly a People’s War. Over 30 years against the Japanese, French and US, the heroic Vietnamese triumphed!
The Chairman explained that this shows the people are the key factor in victory or defeat. Our relationship with the masses — how we relate to and treat the masses – is thus key.
He also discussed how the Vietnamese were one of the few revolutions (along with China and the USSR) who were actually led by a Party not a “front,” who all destroyed the State.
There was lively discussion after both these theoretical presentations, then the units met before flag retrieval, dinner and an unusually early dismissal to gather our strength for tomorrow’s workshops and community organizing.
Looking forward to day 25.