Uhuru Movement attends Second St. Louis National Black Political Leadership Conference

ST. LOUIS, MO—The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and Uhuru Movement were among the enthusiastic participants in the June 5 and 6th National Black Political Leadership Conference held in this city by the Universal African People’s Organization (UAPO).

UAPO is headed by its President General Zaki Baruti, a long-time organizer, activist and influential leader in the St. Louis area and a member of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations (BIBC).

The national conference drew a hundred or more Africans from throughout Missouri and other areas of the United States under the theme: “Achieving Proportionate Political Representation.”

This is just one of the ways some Africans are responding to this political season that is characterized by the lack of African organization and political direction in the face of the electoral tug of war between contending sectors of the white ruling class for control of the levers of political power.

The conference was held at Greater St. Mark Family Church that, under the leadership of Reverend Tommie Pierson, played a critical role in the struggle in the adjoining Ferguson as a meeting place, training center, mobilization staging ground and all-around resource for the local resistance following the police murder of 18-year-old Mike Brown on August 9, 2014.

The conference attendees also included representatives of One Million Conscious Black Voters, Palm Beach, Florida; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Atlanta; the National Black Agenda Consortium from Chicago, the New Afrikan Independence Party from Pittsburg and various others.

UAPO influences prominent leaders to become candidates

As a direct outcome of UAPO’s first conference also attended by our Movement in 2015, UAPO was able to influence several prominent activists and leaders to become candidates for the United States Senate, Governor, and Lt. Governor posts in the states of Kansas and Missouri.

The two United States Senate candidates are Monique Singh Bey, who is on the ballot in Kansas, and Pastor Cori Bush who is on the ballot in Missouri.

The two other Missouri statewide candidates are Bishop Eric Morrison campaigning for Governor and Rev. Tommie Pierson who is seeking the office of Lt. Governor. Each of the candidates is in the Democratic primary scheduled for August 2, 2016. 

This year, the National Leadership Conference had the same purpose as last year’s conference: to recruit as many “progressive” Africans as possible to contend for the various elected offices as possible and to develop African unity with the campaign for proportionate political representation in the U.S.

National Black Political Leadership Conference

On the first day of the conference Chairman Omali Yeshitela, International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) President Herdosia Bentum, and Jorden Giger, who Chairs InPDUM’s “Africans Charge Genocide” Campaign participated with others in the opening panel discussion titled “Voice of the Youth” where young people who are actively engaged in the struggle spoke about their work, their thoughts and tactics for advancing the struggle, and received feedback from veterans of the struggle.

The message from the APSP and Uhuru Movement throughout the conference was to win recognition that Africans involved in the electoral process have to use the platform to fight for self-determination in general and to vociferously fight against all the attacks being waged against our people such as mass incarceration, police terror and growing gentrification and impoverishment.

We also advanced InPDUM’s United Nations campaign of “Africans Charge Genocide” and the general demand for reparations.

Professor Robert White of Alabama State University, Cori Bush and a formidable array of other activists from Kansas, Missouri and throughout the U.S. also made important discussion-generating presentations to the conference.

Words from Yashica

One of the most well-received presentations made at the conference was on Saturday, the second day, by Yashica Clemmons, mother of Dominique Battle, one of the three teen age girls murdered by Pinellas County sheriff deputies in Florida on March 31, 2016.

After she finished speaking of the cruelty of the colonial military sheriff’s department murder of her daughter and her two 15-year-old friends and the way they came to her job 15 strong and bluntly told Yashica of her daughter, “she’s dead,” the entire conference was won to support the call to avenge the girls’ deaths.

President Zaki Baruti was first to offer the support of UAPO and New Afrikan Independence Party Chairman Khalid Raheem and Anthony Shahid of the Tauheed Youth Group followed him.

Other conference attendees also expressed profound support to Sister Yashica, with one woman openly declaring that Yashica’s presentation encouraged her to speak of the police murder of her son for the first time.

The UAPO conference deepened the political relationship between the Uhuru Movement and UAPO and encouraged a greater political relationship among the various and ideologically diverse forces working to end our oppressive relationship with the U.S. colonialist-capitalist government.

More information on the conference and the Universal African People’s Organization can be obtained at www.UAPO.org.


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