Party’s successful cadre training school puts black revolutionaries in the streets

Editors Note: The following article appears in the September 2014 Burning Spear newspaper in Secretary General Gaida Kambon's monthly column, Africa on the Acendency.
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida— From July 5 to August 1, the African Liberation Movement, under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), was able to bring together African revolutionaries and progressives from around the world to a single location in St. Petersburg, Florida for the APSP Cadre Intensive.
The Cadre Intensive aimed to bring “the Best Sons and Daughters of Africa” under the theory of African Internationalism with the mission to train revolutionaries for the final offensive against imperialism and to liberate and unify Africa and African people under scientific socialism led by the African working class and poor peasantry!
The Intensive provided theoretical, practical and physical training to transform regular Party members and participants into cadres, leaders for the African revolution with the task of duplicating themselves in their communities and building the Party.
The occurrences of the past month were not a small thing!
One of the most valuable achievements of the Cadre Intensive was that it was the foundation of a process to ensure that our class enemies are not able to decimate the African Liberation Movement in any part of the world that we can’t rebuild from.
Revolutionaries and progressives from throughout the world would take this intensive training back to their various locations to put into practice the tenets of African Internationalism.
In addition to the African participants, the Party was able to organize internationally, as North Americans (white people) from the solidarity movement and a representative from the Mexican National Liberation Movement also underwent this training under the same African Internationalist banner to fight for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people and the oppressed of the world.
Comrades push to participate in Intensive
Party forces from Sweden, Norway, England, Egypt, Sierra Leone, California, Alabama, North Carolina, N.J., Florida, Texas, Maryland, and Illinois also attended the Cadre Intensive.
Most of our comrades had to endure serious hardships to be able to participate in the Intensive. This was especially true for our comrades from the Continent.
They went through difficult times with the U.S. Embassies in their attempts to secure visas.
One comrade was told after his first attempt that the embassy couldn’t locate the papers he originally submitted and that he should reapply, losing the first fees he paid. He paid another fee of over $100 only to have his second application rejected.
Another comrade was turned away at the airport when attempting to check in for his flight. He was told that he would need a second visa to board his connecting flight which was not possible. 
Our comrade out of Egypt is six months pregnant and refused to let that stop her from participating. While she had a visa, she was not given authorization by the new regime until almost two weeks after her ticketed date!
Nonetheless, the comrades persevered. Obtaining our freedom is itself a monumental task. But we will win.
The Cadre Intensive, literally an African Internationalist boot camp, opened up with the call and response chant aimed at keeping our tasks before us:
“Who are you? Why are you here? What is your task? Are you ready to subordinate your will to the will of the Party? Are you committed to being a cadre?”
Intensive’s structure based on Party structure
From day one, the participants were separated into four units fashioned after the Party’s basic organizational structure.
They were instructed that from then on they will function as a unit, solving all the problems of their unit. Each unit elected its unit leader and members of the units were assigned roles based on the Party structure. 
Each unit was given a scenario in some instances based on real life occurrences to organize around.
The scenarios mimicked problems they would have to face when they operate in their respective area.
They had to develop Plans of Actions around their scenario that would call for developing and executing a strategy, fundraising, getting the word out, presenting their scenario to win support and mobilize the people.
All their efforts to develop the scenarios had to be presented in an open assembly for critique. Judgments were made on professionalism, clarity of the submitted Plans of Action and the thoroughness and effectiveness of their strategies. 
Assemblies convened every Friday and served as the process for reporting, for criticism and self-criticism and for the participants to discuss with the leadership and their peers the experiences of their unit and anything else that they wanted to bring forward.
The challenging physical education (PE) program, put together by the trainers from the All People’s TyRon Lewis Community Gym was another important aspect of the Intensive.
The PE was designed to cultivate discipline, stamina and better health among the cadre.  
Everyone had their weight and body fat measured before the exercise.
The PE included yoga and weight training three days a week, and everyone rotated to one of the functions.
There was a run/walk to a local park on Saturdays. Grueling sit-ups, push-ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks and weight resistance training took place at the park.A run/walk back to the point of origin followed.
Body fat indexes were reduced drastically and weight loss was evident at the end of the process.
Nutrition was tied to the physical education. The meals provided were healthy vegan/vegetarian with chicken and fish on the weekends.
Cadre curriculum
The most important aspect of the Cadre Intensive was the curriculum. There were about 30 lectures and workshops with presentations on theory and practice that included videos and PowerPoint presentations.
The theoretical workshops dealt with various questions.
One of the most significant theoretical questions was dialectical materialism, a tool to see the world as knowable and changeable.
The premise of the workshop was that we can understand the world, and we have a responsibility to change it. 
Another important theoretical question was understanding the State, an organ of violence and coercion protecting and serving the interest of the dominant class. 
The workshop on the African nation defined the African nation as a community of people whose core identity is based on historical ties to the equatorial continent of Black Africa, contributing to a common culture, history and physiognomy. 
Another workshop explained the principle of Democratic Centralism, a guiding unifying Party principle that requires voluntary unity and voluntary discipline, submitting the will of the individual to the organization and the minority to the majority.
Some of the topics dealt with in the practical workshops were “How to solve problems and keep your bearings,” “How to lead a committee, chair a meeting, mobilize and acknowledge your forces,” “How to give a presentation” and “How to create fundraisers.”
In addition, we studied the histories of revolutions which included the history of the African People’s Socialist Party, highlights of the African Revolution, the Vietnamese Revolution, a history of struggles of African people in Haiti, the Russian Revolution, the struggles of the Palestinian people and African women in the African revolution and in the Party.
Party theory in practice
African Internationalism teaches us that theory without practice is sterile. The reason we study the world is to change the world.
Community outreach happened three times weekly and proved to be an invaluable part of the overall cadre development intensive process. 
Our forces took to the streets, armed with leaflets that laid out our programs, going door to door throughout African and North American communities to drop the leaflets and knock on those same doors to speak with individuals who answered their knocks.
Selling The Burning Spear newspaper was an essential and mandatory part of this outreach process.
Evidence of transformation was everywhere at the end of the process.
People had embarked on the intensive not knowing each other and very uncertain about how the experience would end up.
At the end, they had lived together for a month and developed deep camaraderie and revolutionary bonds between each other.
We saw the comrades’ revolutionary confidence grow. We heard testimonies from individuals attesting to the transformation they had gone through and had seen in their unit and housing members. 
We saw evidence of physical transformation, people lost pounds, looked healthier, lost body fat and developed a capacity to run/walk and sustain longer workouts.
We also saw ideological development. We saw attitudes changed. International forces developed their ability to speak English better. Individuals who were identified as problematic in the beginning were elected leaders of their units and now were problem solvers!
Cadre Intensive Awards
The Party issued several categories of certificates in recognition of the tremendous effort that was put forward by all who participated in and successfully completed the Cadre Intensive.
The certificates will also be placed in the membership files of all who attended to inform the Party of their advanced training.
A Certificate of Completion of the African People’s Socialist Party’s Cadre Intensive 2014 went to 24 graduates who participated from the beginning and successfully completed. The Certificate of
Attendance went to six individuals who participated in only part of the process. The outstanding cadre of each unit went to Comrades Juan Samaniego, Antonieta Gomes, Yahwe and Jesse Nevel.
The most prestigious award, The Best Sons and Daughters of Africa Award, went to Comrade Fenty Tholley.
Our Chairman, Omali Yeshitela, said at the beginning of the Intensive in his welcoming speech that he wanted the comrades to leave as completely different persons than when they arrived.
Every person attending had taken great steps towards becoming a new woman or man, a cadre of the African People’s Socialist Party ready to go out into the world to win every African man, woman and child to take up our struggle and historic mission to liberate and unite Africa and African people everywhere under the leadership of the African working class.
Cadre… ready and unafraid
We salute the tremendous work and effort of Chairman Omali Yeshitela for tirelessly and patiently teaching us so much during this process and imparting in us both the confidence and the tools to become true African Internationalists and Revolutionary African working class intellectuals.
We also salute all the teachers, especially African Socialist International Secretary-General Luwezi Kinshasa who brilliantly enlightened us on so many questions.
We applaud the outstanding stance and commitment of all the comrades who participated.
The APSP Cadre Intensive of 2014 has been a profound experience for us all. We have truly become African Internationalists.
A passage from the Chairman’s closing remarks in the Political Report to the Sixth Congress is quite appropriate for the 2014 Cadre Intensive: “Everything from the past that was assumed to be true is being called into question by the unfolding events of history, but we are not afraid.” 
The Cadre Intensive of our Party will function to locate the African People’s Socialist Party in our proper role as facilitators of history.
We are the harbingers of human progress that will result in the end of misery for the world’s majority and the destruction of a social system that relies on exploitation and suffering for its success.
This Cadre Intensive will serve to arm every member of our Party with the theory, confidence and organization to reclaim our history, our dignity and our Africa.
We are not afraid. We will win! WE ARE WINNING! No Compromise! No Surrender!



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