On October 3, off the coast of Lampedusa in Italy, hundreds of Africans drowned to death attempting to escape imperialist-imposed conditions in Africa.
There were 500 people coming from Africa. One hundred fifty-five people survived and 185 bodies were found dead. There were men, women and children that died.
One 20-year-old woman was pregnant and gave birth to her baby in the water. They both later died.
This tragedy is just the latest in a series of human tragedies.
For some time there have been many Africans fleeing from Africa to Europe in hopes to live "a better life." In this particular case, it was mostly Africans from Eritrea and Somalia coming to Lampedusa.
This is happening on a regular basis, since the living situation has worsened in these parts of Africa.
Also, there are people from West Africa fleeing by boat to Europe, coming mainly to countries like Portugal.
This particular case has created big reactions all around the world. There have been memorials, and many different people actively trying to organize around this particular case.
The question is though, how come so many people flee by boat all the way to Europe, when the risk of not making it all the way is very high? What are people escaping from?
Neocolonialism only serves the African petty bourgeoisie
We live in a time of neocolonialism. It is important to understand that colonialism never left Africa.
White power is still present and ruling, but with a black face. This is what the so-called leaders represent in Africa.
The same goes with the president of the U.S., Barack Hussein Obama.
These neocolonial puppet leaders don't and will never represent the interests of the majority of the African masses or other oppressed peoples of the world.
Neocolonialism is the reason why people desperately decide to flee by boat. The African petty bourgeoisie — like the entire imperialist system — rests on a pedestal of the exploitation of the African workers, and it is the need to end this parasitic relationship that drives people to flee.
It's bigger than Eritrea and Somalia
As stated, there were mostly people from Eritrea and Somalia who went to Lampedusa. The masses in Eritrea are suffering, living in bad conditions with no electricity, food, transportation, jobs, etc.
There are mostly young children and elders left in the country, while many in the generations in the middle, don't see any other options besides escape.
The same goes with Somalia, where because of imperialist intervention, the land continues to get separated into more and more pieces making it harder for the masses to live there.
However, the majority of African people are facing the same consequences as the people in Eritrea and Somalia.
What is happening to our brothers and sisters in Lampedusa is not an isolated thing. Under neocolonialism, the African working class has no power over our own lives or our own resources, so we are suffering, facing these contradictions on a daily basis wherever we are located.
An African is killed by the police in the U.S. at least every 28 hours. Men, women and children have to dig gold for 30 cents per day in Sierra Leone for European companies. All of these conditions are a result of neocolonialism.
Colonialism is built in that fashion. In order for it to exist, it must rest on this pedestal of the slave labor of the African working class and other oppressed peoples. More and more people are suffering. People fleeing by boat are a sign of desperation.
Africa belongs to African people, those at home and abroad
Because of what has happened in Lampedusa there have been many memorials. However, memorials are not enough to end the conditions that caused this incident.
This is the time to organize to overturn neocolonialism, what Kwame Nkrumah called the final stage of imperialism.
African Socialist International Secretary-General Luwezi Kinshasa wrote about the class struggle against imperialism and its neocolonial forces in an August 21, 2013 Uhuru News article:
"When we speak of class struggle in the African world, we want to alert everyone that, as dialectical materialists, we are not looking into a world restricted between the African petty bourgeoisie and the African workers. Rather, we are looking at the sharpening class struggles between these two forces as part of all other social conflicts that are all concentrated in the colonial question as expressed between oppressor and oppressed nations.
"African People's Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela asserts the real class question in the real world is concentrated in the colonial question. From an African Internationalist standpoint, this means the African working class must fight to achieve power and usher in the era of socialism."
We Africans who live outside of Africa have a special responsibility when it comes to organizing for the freedom of our people since many of us are in the imperialist centers where Africa's suffering originates and also because political conditions often make it harder for our brothers and sisters living in Africa.
It is our duty to expose the sellout leadership in Africa and elsewhere and organize the African working class where we are towards a single united African nation! That is our responsibility!
Secretary-General Luwezi Kinshasa also wrote in his article about the necessity of overturning the borders dividing African people: "Class struggle is to free the African economy. We have to take back our land and our resources. The colonial physical and mental borders make us artificially strangers to one another. One cannot defend the African nation if they are still dominated by colonial physical and mental barriers that define us as properties of our colonizers. Remember that all the demarcation lines throughout Africa and the Americas were the decisions of our oppressors."
We are calling on African people to unite and join the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement! We are calling on all freedom-loving people to join the Uhuru Movement and become part of revolutionary organization to overturn parasitic colonialism.
Africa belongs to African people, those home and abroad. We are calling for one Africa, one nation! African workers and peasants must unite against imperialism and the sellout African petty bourgeoisie and create a future with power in our own hands!
One Africa! One Nation!
Forward to the 6th Congress of the African Peoples Socialist Party!