Jesse Nevel, 1 of 3 indicted by U.S. gov’t, speaks: “We work for the African Liberation Movement”

My name is Jesse Nevel—member of APSC (African People’s Solidarity Committee) and Chair of USM (Uhuru Solidarity Movement).

I was one of the three people from the Uhuru Movement indicted on bogus charges by the federal government on April 18, 2023, along with Penny Hess, and Chairman Omali Yeshitela, who is the primary target of these vicious attacks.

As APSC’s mass organization, the Uhuru Solidarity Movement works under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party with the strategic purpose of extending the struggle for African liberation into the white population.

Based on the strategy and leadership of Chairman Omali Yeshitela, our work is to organize white people to turn our backs on a social system built on slavery, genocide and colonialism for our benefit. And to join the rest of humanity by fighting for reparations to African people. I have had the honor to be a part of this organization for the past 13 years.

In addition to reiterating that we are NOT guilty of the absurd charges that we are Russian spies, deployed by the Kremlin to disrupt the St. Petersburg, Florida local elections—I would like to add that I firmly and proudly stand in complete solidarity and unity with the African People’s Socialist Party, the Uhuru Movement, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, the black community of St. Petersburg, and African people everywhere.

Comrade Jesse speaking at Comrade Akilé’s District 7 City Council electoral campaign launch party in 2019. The campaign was on a platform of reparations and economic development to the black community. PHOTO: THE BURNING SPEAR

I denounce these horrific attacks on their presumed right to freedom of speech and political expression by the U.S. government’s so-called “Department of Justice.” These charges are illegitimate. And we should all be outraged and disgusted at this blatant, despicable and shameful campaign of repression that the U.S. government is waging against Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru Movement.

Heavily armed FBI troops raid Uhuru Solidarity Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 22, 2022. Lead by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), the Uhuru Solidarity Movement works in the white community for reparations to African people. PHOTO: THE BURNING SPEAR

The charges against the Chairman, Penny and myself are false. But they are not just false, they are false to an idiotic and laughable extreme. Anybody who knows anything about Chairman Omali Yeshitela would know that this notion that somebody else—a Russian or anyone—is behind the scenes pulling the strings for Chairman Omali Yeshitela and telling him what to say or do—it’s such an offensive and slanderous allegation that to even dignify it with a response feels inappropriate.

For more than 60 years of his life, Chairman Omali Yeshitela has fought for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people everywhere—freedom for black people. That has been his life for over six decades. He has built a global movement that empowers and uplifts African people to reclaim their own agency and self-determination over their resources and lives. Under his leadership, the Uhuru Movement has built political and economic programs in the hands of the African working class on nearly every continent.

Today I live in St. Louis, Missouri where the Uhuru Movement has built a program called the Black Power Blueprint that has brought life and hope back to the deeply impoverished north side. [Black Power Blueprint is] building community centers, gardens, farmers markets, housing and workforce programs for formerly incarcerated African people, trainings for doulas and midwives, and is now working to construct a black women’s health center to build community-based solutions to the grave and genocidal rates of infant and maternal mortality faced by African women in this country.

The Uhuru wa Kulea African Women’s Health Center is soon under construction, as part of the Black Power Blueprint. The APSP is building community-based solutions to the grave and genocidal rates of infant and maternal mortality faced by African women and families in the U.S. Visit blackpowerblueprint.org for more details and learn how to support. PHOTO: THE BURNING SPEAR

The U.S. government is attempting to imprison Chairman Omali Yeshitela not because they actually believe he is a Russian agent but because they know who he really is: just like they knew who Martin Luther King really was, who Marcus Garvey really was, who Malcolm X really was, who Fred Hampton really was. A freedom fighter for his people and for the oppressed peoples of the world. But they can’t openly say that. They can’t openly charge Chairman Omali Yeshitela with being an agent of freedom, so they lie and charge him as an agent of some so-called foreign power that we’re all supposed to be afraid of.

In the same indictment, the U.S. government has also charged Penny Hess and myself—again, not because they actually think that we are “working for the Russians,” but because they know who we work for: the African Liberation Movement. Because they know that we work under the leadership—or as they like to say “subject to the influence and direction of,” not the Russians, but the African People’s Socialist Party.

We speak not for some “foreign malign influence” but for the millions of other white people in this country who refuse to be complicit with our own government’s unceasing state-sanctioned terror and violence against African people, as the world recently witnessed once again with the public lynching of Jordan Neely by a white man in New York who has not even been arrested or charged with a crime, or by the countless other acts of colonial brutality on African women, children and men—every day.

Despite the government’s best efforts to scare away white people from supporting the African liberation struggle, more and more of us are becoming “co-conspirators” too as the Uhuru Solidarity Movement continues to grow and build. Our slogan, given to us by our leadership, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, is “unity through reparations.”

So our message for the white community and to all who believe in freedom is to join the Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa! campaign. Hands Off Uhuru means hands off freedom of speech. Hands off the First Amendment. Hands off freedom of political expression and assembly.

If Chairman Omali Yeshitela’s right to freedom of speech is nullified, then even the presumption of freedom of speech itself will be gone. Now is the time to send a message to this government that you will not stand by and do nothing. Demand the charges be dropped. Donate to the legal defense fund at HandsOffUhuru.org/Donate.

Join the fightback at HandsOffUhuru.org!
Hands Off Chairman Omali Yeshitela!
Hands Off Penny Hess!
Hands Off Uhuru!
Hands off Africa!
Unity Through Reparations!

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