INPDUM storms York, PA demanding freedom of local president

By Diop Olugbala, InPDUM International Organizer

YORK, Pennsylvania — On Tuesday, December 2 over 20 members of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) and various friends and supporters of the InPDUM converged on York, PA to protest the arrest of InPDUM York branch President Ajamu Bandele (fka Orlando Gibson) and to attend his preliminary hearing – at which the decision for the case to go to trial was made by York County Magistrate Richard Martin.

Although we did not expect any justice to come from a white man in a robe, we knew that our presence would make it very difficult for the State to keep our comrade captive like it was “business as usual.”

For two hours solid, the InPDUM marched in front of the doorsteps of the District County Court demanding the immediate release of comrade Ajamu – using such chants as “they took comrade Ajamu’s freedom – cuz he was out here building InPDUM!”

InPDUM asserts that Ajamu’s arrest and subsequent denial of freedom at the preliminary hearing is all part of a futile strategy on the part of the entire York County, Pennsylvania and U.S. government to contain the growing influence of the InPDUM throughout the poor and oppressed African population held captive in this country.

Ajamu represents 1 out of every 8 African men of childbearing age who is currently locked down in prison. Ajamu represents those 1.5 million African people who are held prisoner for no other reason than for being African. But more than that, Ajamu represents the future of our oppressed nation – as he has united with the task of building revolutionary organization to liberate and unite African people worldwide. This is why the State wants him locked down. Ajamu’s arrest is a clear example of the true role of prisons – to contain the resistance of the African community and make great profits while doing so.

This was the fundamental statement InPDUM made at the protest.

“While Ajamu has successfully exposed the public policy of police containment of the African community as an illegitimate substitute for economic development, the York court system has yet to indict the mayor, city council or any of the major corporations who get rich by locking up the same young people who could produce for their community. Because of this we say free Ajamu and indict the system!”

InPDUM has maintained that Ajamu is innocent – and further has struggled to expose his arrest as part of a counterinsurgent attack on the African community in York and throughout Pennsylvania. We say this because of the very significant work that Ajamu was leading in the York community to expose and defeat the war that the U.S. government is making against the African community. Less than a year ago, Ajamu, as our York branch president, led a campaign against the federal government “Route 222” anti-gang task anti-gang initiative that targeted African people for prison and police containment.

More evidence of the political nature of this case is to be found in the Pennsylvania State Parole Board’s detainer on his $12,500 bond – which would never be imposed on someone with the same track record as Ajamu’s. The reality is that Ajamu was known throughout the city of York as a pillar of the community – one of the most productive members of the community, and the sole provider for his 7-year-old son Quazil. Without the ability to earn a living, his son’s future is tenuous.

While truth is on our side – it will take more than truth to free Ajamu. It will take organization. It is because of its own organizational capacity – power it wields. The law is nothing more than the opinion of those with that power. Through cases like the Liberty City 7, Hunstville 3 and Ajamu Bandele, white power has made a very clear statement that it regards any African who resists our oppression to be breaker of the law – and it will use its power to enforce that law.

Based on our historic relationship with the State, the court’s decision came as little surprise to InPDUM. We have never seen any gains in our lives and struggle for freedom as a consequence of the good will of white power or the legal savvy of middle class lawyers. Every struggle we have won has been in the streets. The struggle to free Ajamu will be no different. In the final analysis, African people will never win our freedom (from prison or from the system) until we organize to get power in our hands. The State will never release Ajamu until the African masses demonstrate that it will be problematic for it not to do so. The action on Tuesday was the first utterance in the very long statement of militance that InPDUM plans to make throughout the duration of this campaign.

The struggle to Free Ajamu is far from over – nor will it end with Ajamu’s freedom. It will end when all 1.5 million African people are free from the dungeons of the U.S. colonial prison system – on both sides of the bars! We need all of our warriors back on the streets to help fulfill this goal – and Ajamu is one of our best.

Forward the Revolutionary National Democratic Program of the InPDUM!

All Power to the People! Black Power to the African Community!

What you can do:

  • Ajamu’s arraignment (at which his trial date will be set) is scheduled for January 2nd. It is important that we be there to let the State know that they cannot make one move without the African community watching.
  • Demand the detainer is lifted from Ajamu’s bond so that he can return to the community. For Call-in / Write-in info Click Here.

For more info Click Here


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