Spine Bookstore and Cafe in St. Louis hosts “The Verdict is In” book reading with Chairman Omali Yeshitela

“Currently I am under indictment by the federal government that intended to imprison me for what at my age would be a life sentence,” stated Chairman Omali Yeshitela to a rapt crowd at the January 8 reading of his newest book, “The Verdict is In! Reparations Now!” The reading was held at the Spine Bookstore and Cafe at 1976 Arsenal St. in South St. Louis.

Mark Pannebecker, the owner of the Spine, enthusiastically opened his space to Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru Movement, which has won friends and supporters throughout St. Louis.

A diverse group of people braved the elements on a cold rainy night to see Chairman Omali Yeshitela, leader of the African People’s Socialist Party. The audience included students, a lawyer, a woman who had studied the genocide convention in college, an art gallery owner, a Green Party activist as well as many members and supporters of the Uhuru Movement.

Penny Hess, Chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, and Jesse Nevel, Chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, were also part of the program. Hess and Nevel are leaders of the white organizations under the Party’s leadership and, along with the Chairman, have been indicted and are part of the Uhuru 3.

Chairman Omali autographs ‘The Verdict is In: Reparations Now!’ book and speaks with attendee.

The Chairman explained that the U.S. government indicted him on speech crimes, following military-style pre-dawn raids on his home and 6 other properties of the Uhuru Movement on July 29, 2022.

As the Chairman recounts, “military forces attacked my home on Red Bud Avenue in North St. Louis. They came with armored vehicles and assault rifles. They used flash-bang grenades, battering rams. My wife and I heard a loudspeaker from outside saying, ‘This is the FBI. Come out with your hands up and your hands empty.’”

Despite his more than 58 years of working tirelessly to liberate African people here and around the world, the Chairman explained that the colonial U.S. government alleges that in 2014 Chairman Omali somehow suddenly became a “Russian agent.”

The bogus indictment also falsely charges the Chairman, among other things, of creating a genocide petition and launching a reparations tour at the behest of the Russian government.

Holding up the book to the audience, the Chairman stated that “The Verdict is In!” was published by Burning Spear Publications last summer to serve as evidence exposing the U.S. government’s lies and attacks on the Party. “The Verdict Is In!” chronicles the First Tribunal on Reparations to African People held by the African People’s Socialist Party in 1982.

Chairman Omali Yeshitela served as the People’s Advocate at the historic tribunal and launched the plan to make “reparations” a household word. Featuring testimonies from a wide range of some of the most important African activists of the time, the book tells the whole story of how the tribunal used United Nations’ human rights law and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to indict the U.S. government on its crimes against African people colonized inside its borders.

The ruling was that the U.S. government owed African people in the U.S. $4.1 trillion in 1982.

The Chairman’s reading at The Spine offered a significant insight into history and shows the ongoing struggle of African people to be free and liberated despite ongoing U.S. government attacks.

This building where Chairman Omali Yeshitela gave his book reading on January 8 is believed to be the same spot where in 1968 the plot was hatched to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as part of the counterinsurgency against the African Liberation Movement of the 60s.

The building housing the Spine Bookstore today was once the notorious Grapevine Bar, owned by John Larry Ray, the brother of James Earl Ray.

Under the Ray family in the 1960s, the bar served as the headquarters of the white nationalist George Wallace’s presidential campaign. The Grapevine was known to have been frequented by St. Louis cops, KKK members, and FBI agents.

After the reading, people lined up to purchase the books and have them signed by Chairman Omali Yeshitela. The book reading at the Spine Bookstore proves again that the movement for the liberation of Africa and African people can never be crushed.

We are winning!

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