On the wispy morning of Nov. 4, African people from various states across the U.S. gathered at Malcolm X Park in D.C. to prepare for the 15th Annual Black People’s March on the White House in solidarity with the Palestinian Liberation Struggle.
This 15th consecutive march is further emphasized by the sponsorship of the newly- formed Hands Off Uhuru! Hands off Africa! Fightback Coalition.
In the early hours, greetings of “Uhuru, comrade!” were accompanied with Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” blasting through the sound system.
The historic and political importance of this mobilization was recognized by many attendees across various organizations including Universal African People’s Organization, Black Alliance for Peace, Pan African Community Action, People’s Organization for Progress and more.
Ejike Anyanwu from the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) says that in addition to “sending a message of love and support to Palestine, the importance of mass demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine is to show [that] the people do not coincide with the ruling elite, further exposing so-called ‘U.S. democracy’ for the farce that it is.”
Chairman Omali Yeshitela has said since day one that this is not only a singular conflict but the crumbling system of imperialism and the ascendancy of the proletariat that can be seen globally.
Netfa Freeman of Pan African Community Action and BAP, who was one of the speakers at the pre-march rally, highlights the importance of solidarity: “Mobilizations like the Black People’s March on the White House are important because black liberation must have international dimensions. White power can’t be reduced [to] solely the designs of republicans and MAGA policy makers.
“We see the phenomena of black face imperialism, compradors supporting the obscene and murderous foreign policies of the U.S. such as the U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM that has entrenched the homeland of black people into the realm of what is known as forever wars. Same with the symbol and beacon of black resistance in this hemisphere, Haiti. We must get our domestic struggle of the colonized inside the U.S. to see that we are but another front in the international struggle against Western imperialism, led by the U.S. settler colonialist State.”
Justis Reins, a member of the People’s Organization for Progress, who chimed in leading the chants of “They say get back! We say fight back!” connected contradictions faced by African people in the U.S. to that of the Palestinians:
“I’m 53 years old, so I feel like I was deceived all my life. Because it was said go to work, go to school, get a good education and you’ll be okay. That’s not true because in 2008, I did all that. But in 2008, housing went boom. I got caught up in that and then I was on welfare. Like how do I go from working all my life to ending up on welfare?
“So the fight with the Palestinian people…when unity comes together, we can make the change. So I’m thankful…because we can address the root cause of this issue here, which causes you to have the issue over there [Palestine]. It’s the same struggle.”
This linked destiny highlighted by Comrade Justis was also echoed and expanded by Party member Bak-Ra Men Maat who, along with Lisa Davis and Oronde Shakur, led a bus contingent of over 35 people from New York and New Jersey to join the march:
“This mobilization is very important…for us to show and connect the dots of colonialism to the experience of African people not only in the U.S. but across the globe to the struggle of the Palestinian people. That’s what we can say is the latest of the settler colonial projects. Because we got the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa are all way older projects than Israel–which is the most contemporary one.
“So this was great for [Palestinians] to see that connection and understand that we got the same fight. We’re fighting against the same system. And we need to make that relationship even stronger going forward.”
The Northern Region of the African People’s Socialist Party also sent a second contingent bus from Philadelphia. The Southern and Midwest regions also organized caravans so Africans could attend en masse.
It is clear that African people understand that the fight to overturn colonialism is not an isolated struggle, but one that encompasses any and all peoples touched by colonial domination. That the colonized peoples of the world—be they in D.C., Sierra Leone, London or Palestine—are waging the same war against the various manifestations of colonialism. A war that can only be won with this internationalist consciousness.