This report from Sierra Leone is the first in a three-part series.
The November 16th thru 18th conference held in Sierra Leone, West Africa officially launched the African People’s Socialist Party on African soil. The event offers new opportunities for the international African revolution to consolidate itself, and to advance the cause of world socialism not seen since the defeat of the Black Revolution of the Sixties.
They say that the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with. That saying was proven true when the British Council rented us their venue to hold this historic three day conference, which in the long run will prove to be a nail in its coffin.
The three-year organizational process, led by the African Socialist International and the Africanist Movement culminated in a Sierra Leone national interim leadership committee. They put forward the Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) to guide its work over the next year that promises to organize all of Sierra Leone and neighboring Liberia and Guinea (Conakry) as well.
The Africanist Movement, led by Comrade brother Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, who is also International Organizer of the African Socialist International (ASI), voted to disband the movement and cease all political activities in the name of the Africanist Movement as it officially became the African People’s Socialist Party-Sierra Leone.
The powerful and popular Africanist Movement that embraced African Internationalism in 2006 has worked diligently to make the visions of Marcus Garvey, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, and other African internationalists working for a United Africa, a reality. An UhuruNews,com reader commented on the disbandment of the Africanist Movement:
“This is a powerful move for all of Africa…I know the Africanist Movement is a powerful force in West Africa and for the leadership to be humble enough to build the African People’s Socialist Party is a testament and model for all African people and organizations around the world. There are thousands of organizations just like the Africanist Movement that are impacting the world and can do so more profoundly by building up the Uhuru Movement wherever we are…Uhuru! One Africa! One Nation!”
For the first time ever, a socialist party that states uncategorically that it is led by the African working class and is for socialist revolution and the destruction of capitalism and neocolonialism, has been put on the ground in Africa. This movement sees the territorial borders that were put in place on the African continent by the colonial powers for the purpose of exploiting African resources, as one of the major contradictions it confronts. The neocolonial leadership of the different so-called states inside these borders share the same interests as the U.S. and Western European imperialist powers.
The three-day conference, which averaged 300 participants per day was also attended by an eight person U.S. delegation headed by African Socialist International Chairman, Omali Yeshitela, delegates from Guinea (Conakry), and African Socialist International Secretary General and African People’s Socialist Party leader in the United Kingdom (Britain), Luwezi Kinshasa.
After Comrade Chernoh M. Bah welcomed all the delegates and attendees, ten-year-old Alhaji S. Bah led the audience in a series of spirited slogans, letting everyone know exactly what this historic conference was all about. He led with “ONE AFRICA! ONE NATION!,” “SMASH IMPERIALISM! SMASH COLONIALISM!” and “IZWE LETHU I AFRICA! I AFRICA! IZWE LETHU!,” “UHURU!,” “TOUCH ONE! TOUCH ALL!” and “NO SURENDER! NO COMPRIMISE!”
This militancy and clarity set the tone for the following three days of serious organizational, theoretical, and practical work designed to solve the problems of the African revolution and bring us closer to a united and socialist Africa under the leadership of the African Socialist International, the advanced detachment of the African working class.
Comrade Bah then introduced Dr. Julius Spencer who would moderate the first and ending days of the conference.
Dr. Spencer proved to be an excellent moderator. He came into the conference as an objective observer and participant who understood the historical implications and the new ground breaking endeavors of this conference. He understood the significance of the question of socialism and the working class coming to power in Sierra Leone, defining the question of the colonially imposed borders in West Africa and on the whole African continent, and the question of the dispersed African population as a result of the slave trade.
Dr. Spencer’s credentials as an African patriot are impeccable. As a journalist and professor, he has consistently fought for a democratic and open society in Sierra Leone. His participation in this conference furthered efforts on his behalf to bring justice and freedom to the people of Sierra Leone and Africa. Dr. Spencer through his radio and print journalism was also pivotal in keeping at least a modicum of democratic ideas open during the horrendous so-called Sierra Leone Civil War of the 1990’s.
He stated from the onset that his position on socialism was not etched in stone either way and that he would moderate fairly and as one also in search of answers that could advance our struggle for liberation.
The organization of the African working class was organized
The efficiency of the events happening before our very eyes was astounding, especially considering the poverty of the people and the organization that pulled it off. The sisters who cooked and served lunch for three hundred people, without being short one piece of bread, was phenomenal. The ability to get all participants there in automobiles that were surely on their last leg, in traffic that would put New York City traffic to shame; printed programs, documents, and agendas that were there for the people. These were all magnificent displays of the creativity of the African working class.
Upon stating his purpose for being there, Dr. Spencer brought Comrade Chernoh back up, and he took on introducing the different delegates as each stood to a welcoming applause, Following the introduction of the delegations, Comrade Chernoh gave a historical analysis of the movement that culminated in this three day conference. From Marcus Garvey to the dissolution of the Africanist Movement, to the struggles against colonialism and neocolonialism right there in Sierra Leone. Comrade Chernoh was to-the-point in explaining why it was time for an African working class party in Sierra Leone. He defined the present two political parties in Sierra Leone, as being two sides of the same coin. Neither represents the interest of the African working class and poor peasantry.
Chairman Omali as a son coming home to report
Perhaps the highlight of this conference was the warm and heartfelt reception African Socialist International Chairman Omali Yeshitela received from our sisters and brothers when he said he was a long lost son coming home to report to his people. As the Chairman spoke, the audience, between tears and applauses, made it clear that the son indeed was truly welcomed home.
Chairman Omali gave a history lesson on how African slavery created capitalism and its relationship to the poverty we endure today. He talked about the socialist revolution necessary to break the chains and usher us back into our rightful role as makers and movers of human history.
Following a question and answer period, the day’s events ended with a camaraderie that will always be remembered by those present in that atmosphere of freedom and African revolution.