On May 28, 2020, the first known organized demonstrations against the murder of George Floyd in the city of St. Petersburg, Florida was led by the African People’s Socialist Party’s (APSP) Director of Agitation and Propaganda Akilé Anai. The demonstration took place right outside the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) with around 30 demonstrators. The Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM) also mobilized forces in solidarity for the event.
Dir. Akilé Anai led the gathering, demanding reparations for George Floyd and an end to the military occupation by the police in African communities around the world and particularly in St. Petersburg. Director Akilé laid out the demands of the African working class and led the demonstrators with powerful slogans. More African and North American passers-by joined in while several cars honked in support of the protests.
On May 30 2020, a local unofficial coalition of activist groups organized a protest at the St. Petersburg City Hall. The APSP was not invited to be part of it. However, the Uhuru Movement assembled forces from the APSP and USM ahead of the announced event.
When people arrived, they engaged with Dir. Akilé on the topics of police brutality, black community control of the police, reparations, colonialism and Black Power. In these early interactions, these protesters were recruited to hold Uhuru Movement signs throughout the day.
The APSP became the de facto leadership for the gathering, and Dir. Akilé gave a powerful presentation, laying out the root cause of the oppression faced by African people as colonialism. Dir. Akilé thundered that the fightback against that oppression that is currently happening is an African working class uprising and nothing less.
USM National Chair Jesse Nevel followed up on Dir. Akilé’s presentation with a strong call for principled solidarity under the leadership of the APSP. The gathering of mostly North Americans cheered on Dir. Akilé’s presentation, and many signed on with USM to be part of the movement to be in solidarity with the struggle towards freedom.
Sheridan Murphy, an Indigenous leader who spoke at the event, also united with Dir. Akilé’s presentation and called on the need to end colonialism in all forms. The gathering thundered with loud energetic chants of “Uhuru!” before marching towards the SPPD police station.
I sincerely salute the leadership of Dir. Akilé Anai and Chair Jesse Nevel in organizing this incredible action in St. Petersburg! The Party is the Vanguard in the Revolution and this demonstration is just another example for that!
No Justice! No Peace!
Jail the killer cops now!