Exposing the U.S. government’s unending war on black liberation

Excerpt of Chapter 3, “How the Party Survived Counterinsurgency” from the book, Vanguard – The Advanced Detachment of the African Revolution, written by Chairman Omali Yeshitela

The COINTELPRO objectives spelled out in this August 25, 1967 memorandum sent by the FBI to field offices throughout the U.S. is telling in its slander, lies and efforts to criminalize and set the Black Revolution up for violence and assault:

“The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavor is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder.

The activities of all such groups of intelligence interest to the Bureau must be followed on a continuous basis so we will be in a position to promptly take advantage of all opportunities for counterintelligence and inspire action in instances where circumstances warrant.
The pernicious background of such groups, their duplicity and devious maneuvers must be exposed to public scrutiny where such publicity will have a neutralizing effect. Efforts of the various groups to consolidate their forces or to recruit new or youthful adherents must be frustrated.

No opportunity should be missed to exploit through counterintelligence techniques the organizational and personal conflicts of the leaderships of the groups and where possible an effort should be made to capitalize upon existing conflicts between competing Black Nationalist organizations.

When an opportunity is apparent to disrupt or neutralize black nationalist, hate-type organizations through the cooperation of established local news media contacts or through such contact with sources available to the Seat of Government [Hoover’s office], in every instance careful attention must be given to the proposal to insure the targeted group is disrupted, ridiculed or discredited through the publicity and not merely publicized.”

The political structures within which the U.S. domestic anti-colonial struggle was being waged came under siege. In the mid-60s, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) briefly became the center of anti-colonial resistance within the U.S.

In the meantime, with the rise of African national consciousness of the African workingclass- led movement, other anti-colonial organizations began an outright challenge to confining the African struggle to Civil Rights or rights within the colonial- capitalist system. Among these were the Junta of Militant Organizations (JOMO) and the Black Panther Party. The African People’s Party (APP) and the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) were others.

These organizations and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) were influenced ideologically by Malcolm X, who had left the original Nation of Islam (NOI) in a split that divided that group between religious obscurantists, philosophical idealists, and the growing materialist-influenced, revolutionary ideology and practice being promoted by Malcolm X.

The masses of African people were part of the wave of anti-colonial struggle sweeping the planet. The chains of colonial domination were being shattered everywhere. Kenya! Korea! Ghana! Congo! Viet Nam! Cuba! Grenada! Algeria! Oakland, California and St. Petersburg, Florida!

The colonial-capitalist ruling class had been defeated politically and ideologically within the U.S. and throughout the world. Part of that defeat was to be seen in the creation of independent political organizations— the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania is an example.

But there was also the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (Mau Mau), Zimbabwe African National Union, Black Panther Party, SNCC, New Jewel Movement of Grenada, JOMO and African People’s Socialist Party.

Many others developed in Africa and worldwide. Their main significance lay in the fact that they represented the intention of the colonized to seek solutions for ourselves outside the structures and political and ideological framework of the colonizers.

They had won the support and participation of the broad masses of the hundreds of millions of colonized Africans and others determined to end our relationship with foreign colonial domination.

Comrades! While many of our people have been convinced that our colonial oppression is due to “racist” whites or the colonizer simply not “liking” us, the fact is that the entire success of the colonizers—all the wealth, happiness and democratic rights enjoyed by them—require our colonization. In other words, there has always been a material basis for our oppression to which the colonial hatred and brutality owe their existence.

The colonial-capitalist loss of political and ideological authority over our colonized communities— the U.S. government’s political and ideological defeat—left the colonizer with only one logical response: military attack.

Extreme violence! This was true all over the world, but this was especially true within the U.S. Here our Movement inside the imperialist center, the headquarters of human oppression and exploitation, inspired the fighting peoples of the world and presented white power with an existential crisis.

Because the U.S. Front of the Black Revolution of the Sixties threatened the very foundation of world capitalism, the U.S. initiated this counterinsurgency, with no recognition of our political prisoners, no protocols for the treatment of our prisoners of war or features of what the colonizer recognized as “civilized” conduct, much less the admission that the assault on our Revolution was indeed a war.

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