Black Lives Matter activists at August Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle, Washington
The 14-Point Working Platform of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) was adopted by the Party on September 23, 1979 and revised and adopted at our Party’s First Congress on September 6, 1981.
The Party’s Working Platform has been a primary guide to the political objectives of the African People’s Socialist Party, especially within current borders of the U.S.
Our Party is guided by a political program, a Constitution and a Main Resolution presented to each Congress of the Party. The Main Resolution is complimented by a host of other resolutions based on a summation of our situation.
This makes us less likely to succumb to the swamps of opportunism that most often contaminate the struggle of our people to be free of a vicious white colonial domination that has created great wealth and well-being for the U.S. ruling class and white people at our expense.
Point Number eight of our Working Platform reads thusly:
“We want the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. police from our oppressed and exploited communities.
“We believe that the various police agencies which occupy our communities are arms of the U.S. colonialist State which is responsible for keeping our people enslaved and terrorized. We believe that the U.S. police agencies do not serve us, but instead represent the first line of U.S. defense against the just struggle of our people for peace, dignity and socialist democracy. Therefore, we believe the U.S. Police is an illegitimate standing army, a colonial army in the African community and must withdraw immediately…”
Our Party’s position on police clear and consistent for 36 years!
These two short paragraphs make an explicit statement about the nature of the police and its relationship to our people. It destroys any attempt to mystify the question as all opportunists are wont to do.
The unity of the African People’s Socialist Party with the demand for Black Community Control of the Police being advanced by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations and the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement can be found in Point Eight of our Platform, forged 35 years before the August 9, 2014 murder of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
This is why we were prepared for the upsurge that followed the courageous resistance of the African working class young people in Ferguson.
The white colonial rulers’ selection of a Chicago Negro as president of the U.S. does not change the nature of our relationship with the U.S. and its police—a standing, occupying colonial army in our communities.
No empty platitudes from preachers, imams and “whites who love us” could determine our position because of the circumstances of the moment.
We could not be lulled into belief that the issue of police violence and terror against our people is new to the historical relationship we have always experienced with U.S. colonial white power.
As this is true for the African People’s Socialist Party it should be equally true of all who would offer leadership to our people at such a critical moment when Africans in the U.S. and the peoples of the world have begun a generalized resistance that is finally turning the world right side up after centuries of white imperialist domination.
“Black Lives Matter,” while it appears to some to be a catchy, innocuous slogan, is in fact a pitiful, empty, directionless cry that barely conceals the opportunism and opportunists responsible for its prevalence.
The fact that it was apparently first put forth by young people responding to the Ferguson resistance does not rob it of its opportunist essence. Youthful opportunism is simply opportunism expressed more energetically!
Opportunism is the tendency to sacrifice the long-term interests of the colonized working masses for the short-term advantage of a sector of the population.
Right now our people need scientifically informed, revolutionary leadership more than ever. We cannot afford to tail behind any sector that would obscure the oppressive relationship Africans have with the police.
We cannot tolerate any reforms that do not result in moving the African masses closer to possession of our own power over our lives as a subject, colonized people
African People’s Socialist Party member Gazi Kodzo and I participated by telephone in a political struggle with Black Lives Matter leader Julius Jones and two other silent activists of the Black Lives Matter Movement, on August 25th of this year.
The telephone struggle was a response to a shameful video that captured Jones pleading to Democratic party presidential candidate Hilary Clinton to explain, “What in [her] heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of this country?”
This was Jones’ question despite Clinton’s adamant position that it was up to Black Lives Matter to put forward its own demands rather than depend on what’s in the “hearts” of politicians.
Jones made it clear, in our telephone discussion, that Black Lives Matter is not about putting demands on the system or providing leadership for our people.
“The point of the action (that brought him in the company of Clinton) was not to go in there to propose policies,” said Jones. “It was about her heart and her mind and what is happening with her personally now that she can understand the consequences of the violence that she has caused.”
Comrade Gazi put it clearly: “Hearts don’t build this world. Power, systems and violence build this world. Organizations build this world. Revolutions build this world. People are tired. They’re asking black lives matter, but to what end? The overall question is, to what end?”
Our Party has an answer to this question that can also be found in the 14-Point Working Platform.
Point Number 13 reads, “We want an end to U.S. colonial domination of African people within the U.S.”
Point Number 14 reads, “We want the total liberation and unification of Africa under an all-African socialist government.”
The position of our Party destroys all illusions of any ability for our oppressed community to reconcile our interests with those of the oppressor nation and its coercive, colonial State apparatus.
We must win our liberation as an oppressed, dispersed nation that can only know freedom and democracy through revolution that will liberate and unite Africa and African people worldwide.