Party leaders must lead! Forward to the Plenary! April 25-26, St. Petersburg, Florida


Editors note: The following is an excerpt from Chairman Omali Yeshitela’s political overview of the world situation presented at the January 2015 quarterly meeting of the Party’s National Central Committee.

The meeting was held at the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida, International headquarters of the African Socialist International.

by Chairman Omali Yeshiela
 
This is a really important time in history. The whole white nationalist imperialist world is on shaky ground. There is fracturing everywhere.
 
The so-called European Union is severely strained with the growing economic crisis. There is a shrinking pie to be divided by imperialism around the world.
 
This is causing different states in Europe to seek their own solutions sometimes at the expense of the whole.
 
People in Scotland and sections of Spain think they would be better off separating from England and greater Spain and becoming part of European Union.
 
There is a population crisis in Europe along with a growing number of right wing parties there.
 
Even as Europe manifests greater antipathy towards immigrants, there is an obvious need for immigrant workers because white people in Europe are not reproducing themselves efficiently enough.
 
Workers from the Middle East are imported in high numbers resulting in Europe being referred to as “Eurabia.”
 
Immigrants from the Middle East, bringing their culture and religion, have become a growing influence in Europe, a fact that is antagonizing many white people who up to now have been able to celebrate their whiteness as a sign of superiority over other peoples.
 
In addition, the foreign policy of the whole white world—a policy that justifies and advances parasitic aggression over everyone else—is creating greater antagonism not only outside of Europe but inside of the Euro Zone itself because of the growing number of immigrants.
 
Europe and America are dependent on their ability to suck the blood of the people of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, forcing many people to leave those places to come to Europe in order to survive.
 
Most come to Europe filled with antagonisms spawned by the imperialist plunder and occupation of their own lands.
 
These antagonisms extend across generations as was most recently seen in France where so-called French citizens from North and West Africa, participated in the January shootings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office and at a Jewish grocery store in Paris. This is just one manifestation of the crisis.
 
Similar crises abound in the U.S. and in places like the U.S. where the immigrant question is obscured by terms like “American citizens”—meaning white people—and African Americans—meaning black people—or Mexican Americans—meaning some of the Indigenous people, whose lands have been stolen and who have been stolen from their land.  
 
The African community resistance that began on August 9, 2014 when the people rose up in Ferguson, MO, after the police murdered 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed African youth, was one manifestation of the growing imperialist crisis.
 
Crisis abounds throughout the whole white world and is growing deeper and deeper every day. The problem is that the white ruling class has unleashed its entire capacity in an attempt to control the narrative of this phenomenon while trying to destroy and kill everything that challenges its hegemony in the world.
 
Oppressed peoples, in most cases, do not completely understand that they are striking out in various places in the world against North American and European colonial domination that prevents them from living.
 
The Party is the only force that recognizes the kind of contest we are engaged in and therefore the Party is the force that has the greater responsibility to lead out of this situation.
 
This is what contributes to the tremendous responsibility we have as a Party, more importantly as the leadership of the Party.
 
Leaders must refuse to accept foreign domination. The Mau Mau killed a lot of Africans because they understood that white people’s ability to dominate Kenya was a result of the relationship between white people and the sellouts!
 
Our Party must create a force that is intolerant of any foreign domination. We have to have a Party of that character that understands what Ho Chi Minh meant when he said that “There is nothing more precious than freedom and independence.”
 
This has to be a part of our DNA. We have to be serious about our intent to be self-governing and to rule ourselves. The rank and file of our movement will not be serious about this if we in the leadership of the Party are not serious about this.
 
The kind of Party that we are building has to be led by people for whom there is no sacrifice too great for the liberation of our people. There is no pain that cannot be endured for the liberation of our people.
 
The Party that we are building requires that our leaders and our members fight to self-govern and create dual power through raising resources in a consistent and meaningful way. Our Party is not funded by some other force.
 
Our Party from top to bottom is funded through economic self-reliance and through winning our base, supporters and allies to contribute.
 
This is the meaning of the concept of reparations as a revolutionary demand. We are taking back what is ours, seizing political and geographical territory and resources in the process of African Liberation.
 
As I wrote in the Political Report to the Sixth Congress, published as “An Uneasy Equilibrium: The African Revolution versus Parasitic Capitalism:”
 
“Deputy Chair Ona Zene Yeshitela leads the Office of Economic Development and Finance that has the responsibility for the economic work of the Party while developing and promoting economic development for the entire colonially dispersed African nation.
 
“We recognize this is a bold proposition, but no bolder than a program for the total liberation and unification of Africa and Africans the world over. This is the role enthusiastically embraced by our Party. We have always prided ourselves on our ideological commitment to economic self-reliance, reflected in the history of our practice.
 
“We have also recognized that our practical work for national economic self-reliance—work done since the inception of our movement and Party—is a concrete manifestation of our ideology. It represents a measurable example of our political struggle against foreign and alien colonial domination. It is one of the things that shows that the Party’s commitment to national liberation is not simply an abstract concept. It is demonstrably real in every way…
 
“We are redeveloping our economic work as a new political front. Unlike the recent past where our economic work was designed to fund political activity, our economic work, more firmly in the hands of the Party directly, is now strategically geared toward the conquest of political power. It will be more defined as part of the struggle for dual and contending power clearly with a dying imperialism.
 
“This time, in the era of the Final Offensive, we intend to win the struggle for power and raise the African working class up to its proper place as the ruling class of a socialist, liberated and united Africa and African people…
“For us, political power in our hands means the Party must take on all the responsibility for self-rule even while we are engaging an imperialist colonialism for all power to the people and black power to the African community.”
 
That is what our leaders have to grasp and unite with. If leaders cannot grasp that then they should stop saying that they are leaders because the critical thing that we have to do is win our freedom.
 
It is not enough just to be a member of the Party; the freedom of our people is what should move us. We have to be able to move beyond our own limited self-interest.
 
If the capacity is not in our leadership, we will not reproduce it in the people we recruit. We have to call on all the leadership of the Party to function as leaders and to assume responsibility for the Party and the emancipation of our people around the world.
 
The Fifth and Sixth Congresses established the mandates that we are supposed to carry out. We created the One People, One Party, One Destiny (OPOPOD) campaign, as an ad hoc committee in 2011 after the Fifth Congress to make sure that we carried out the mandates, because of weaknesses in our structure and the fact that the formal, constitutionally-required National Central Committee was not functioning as it should.
 
We have instituted, in this period, the Final Offensive Initiative (FOI) to function in a similar way as the OPOPOD.
 
The life of the FOI will be short because we are demanding that the NCC rise up to function as it should.
 
This is a critical moment, particularly in terms of what is happening here in the U.S. One of the most important things happening in the world is the movement-based struggles around the Mike Brown case.
 
We are seeing spontaneous developments, mobilizations and new organizations cropping up all around the country.
 
African people are in the center of all this spontaneous mobilization and if they are not in the center, it is the African question that is the basis for all the spontaneous motion.
 
It is African people who are looked at in every instance around this question. It is the thing that challenges the legitimacy of the Obama strategy that was imposed on us by imperialism.
 
Two generations after the Black Revolution was crushed and the masses of the people pushed out of political life, we now see a rush to fill that vacuum that has been imposed on us by military defeat, assassinations, mass imprisonment of African people etc.
 
A neocolonial strategy that includes forces like Sharpton, Jessie Jackson and Farrakhan has been put in place and now we see a rush of people coming in to fill the vacuum.
 
We have seen a leap in development of political consciousness that once would have taken about ten years or so to develop, in a matter of five months since the murder of Mike Brown and the subsequent resistance!
 
This development comes without any theoretical foundation, without any history of struggle, but it is trying to move forward. 
 
We see, at the same time, all of the imperialists trying to define and give it leadership because there is a profound concern that without leadership there is a possibility of an insurgency in this country that could be extremely problematic for them.
 
This is what we saw in Brooklyn when Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot the two cops and said it was because of the Africans being killed by police departments.
 
Subsequent to that, two Africans in court in Detroit for robbing and killing some white people were told to make a statement, they shocked the court by apologizing for not having been able to do more to bring justice for the families of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice and others.
 
There is something unfolding here. The question before us is who will define and give leadership to conditions as they are unfolding around the world.
 
We are faced with this question all over the world. There is serious crisis in Paris, in Africa, in Congo, in Gambia and all over the African world.
 
We are faced with the greatest opportunity that we have ever had as the Revolutionary Party. The Party has existed for the last 43 years not just to be here holding meetings!
 
We exist to be able to advance the Revolution, to win our freedom and be able to recognize what is happening in the world that contributes to the emancipation of African people and what it is that we can do, should do and must do at all costs!
 
This is a critical historical moment. This is the thing that the Vietnamese understood better than anything. That’s why they were able to engage in a protracted struggle that people referred to as the “long war theory.” That is the African People’s Socialist Party.
 
The Party has the long view. We don’t start from anew when we see events happening in the world. We see them in the context of the long view.
 
We contextualize the events in the historical process that we have been involved in from the beginning to the end.
 
This is what informs us that this moment is more critical than the last moment. Our political report places this moment in the context of history.
 
We are not simply based in the moment. We put the moment in the context of the long view of our oppression and what it will take to win our freedom.
 
We have a long war strategy. We are involved in protracted struggle. We recognize what it took to put us in this oppression so that everything we do is to deconstruct this whole thing to get to the end of a liberated, united Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class. 
 
We are engaged in a process of strategic development which says we must recruit. Our reports need to show who we are bringing into the Party, our participation in the economic work, how many Spears we are selling and the recruitment strategies we are using. 
 
We have to fund our own Revolution. We have to build organizations. We have to know what comprises the region and the regional work. Our strategy has to be going from place to place winning and bringing Africans into the Party.
 
We cannot be satisfied in our Party with how much of the work has been led. Every leader in the Party is critically important, as we try to pull African forces into roles of leadership over this long drought we have experienced, especially when starting off from a small entity. 
 
When you have a small organization at a critical time, the actions of every single comrade can make the critical determination as to whether we will be successful or not.
 
That is why the question of leadership is critical now. We are asking people to lead, to assume responsibility for the freedom of our people.
 
Our ideology will sustain us and take us where we want to go. We are calling on Party leaders to do what is necessary to advance the freedom of our people.
 
That means we must make the structures where you are located work to carry out the Party’s strategy. We have to change the character of the leadership of the Party.
 
We have to demand that people coming into the Party be exactly the kind of force that we ourselves are. 
Forward to the Final Offensive!

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