The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) presented the struggle of African people in the United States to a panel of United Nations experts. From April 24 to May 5, the United Nations International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the context of Law Enforcement (EMLER) toured the United States.
EMLER was organized following the George Floyd uprisings of May and June 2020.
The expressed purpose of the EMLER visit was to gain first-hand evidence of the “systemic racism” Africans endure in the U.S.
EMLER visited six cities in the United States: Washington D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City.
EMLER met with community and grassroots organizations and Africans who have been directly impacted by colonial violence in the United States. The EMLER meetings were organized by the United Nations Antiracism Coalition (UNARC). InPDUM is a member of UNARC.
On Saturday April 29 in Los Angeles, InPDUM organized a panel on mass incarceration of African people in the United States with direct emphasis on California prisons and Los Angeles County jails.
On Sunday April 30 in Chicago, InPDUM testified in front of the UN panel on the FBI attacks and State repression that the Uhuru Movement has endured since July 2022.
InPDUM leads question of mass incarceration
The Los Angeles EMLER visit was held at the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), an African-led organization that fights for the human and civil rights of poor and unhoused people.
InPDUM organized the panel on prison and jails for the April 29 EMLER visit to Los Angeles. We were able to lead in the success of this panel because we understand mass incarceration as a colonial issue.
Point 30 of InPDUM’s Revolutionary National Democratic Program recognizes “that the justice systems of North American and European domestic colonialism function as a tool of colonial domination of African people and demand immediate transformation.”
Prisons are tools of genocide, counterinsurgency
President Matsemela organized and moderated the panel. The panel began with an overview of Dr. Dennis R. Childs of University of California, San Diego. Dr. Childs is the author of “Slaves of the State: Black Incarcerated from the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary.”
Dr. Childs identified incarceration as a form of genocide and underscored the historic importance of the panel. Dr. Childs referenced the We Charge Genocide campaign of 1951 and a subsequent petition presented to a UN panel in 1979.
Dr. Childs was followed by Curtis Howard, author and formerly incarcerated community organizer with All of Us or None (AUOUN) in San Diego, CA. Howard spoke on solitary confinement. He was one of the first inmates in Pelican Bay. Howard was followed by Roland Ashley.
Ashley spoke on the use of sexual assault of African women and gender nonconforming people as a political violence in federal prisons. Ashley’s story was reinforced by April Adkins who spent more than 20 years in California jails and prisons.
Robyn Williams addressed the connections between homelessness, police containment and prisons.
Stephanie Jeffcoat, an African mother and organizer with AOUON in Orange County, told of the theft of her child by the State while she was incarcerated in county jail.
Dorsey Nunn, founder and director of AOUON traveled from Oakland to attend. Nunn noted mass incarceration of Africans as modern slavery, eugenics and human trafficking. All of the speakers addressed their organized efforts to overturn the system of mass imprisonment.
InPDUM presents to UN panel in Chicago
On April 30, Kabula Mutombo delivered InPDUM’s statement during the EMLER visit to Chicago. This event was held at the DuSable Black History Museum.
In his oral testimony, Kabula was able to forward the Black Community Control of the Police campaign of InPDUM and the Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa! Campaign, of which InPDUM has played an important role. Importantly, Kabula’s testimony forwarded the InPDUM Africans Charge Genocide Campaign (ACG).
This is not the first time that InPDUM’s ACG campaign has spoken in front of a UN panel of experts. In 2016, InPDUM presented to the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, also in Chicago.
Kabula spoke on the July 2, 2022 attack against the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, FL, the July 29, 2022 FBI attacks against the Uhuru Movement, the August 2022 erasure of the ACG petition and website, and the subsequent economic sanctions against the Uhuru Movement by the U.S. government under the guise of Regions Bank.
Kabula presented two recommendations to the EMLER panel:
- The U.S. government must take all necessary steps to end the continued criminalization, economic attacks, isolation, and incarceration of African/Black political organizers in the United States, which includes adopting the Dred and Harriet Scott Sanctuary City proposals.
- The U.S. government and Change.org must restore the Africans Charge Genocide petition that it disappeared from public record.
Kabula’s statement was well-received with loud shouts of “Uhuru!” from the audience.
Can’t stop Uhuru
The weekend of activities was a success. It continued into the beginning of the week. On Monday May 1, Comrade Mhandisi in Boston and President Matsemela in San Diego spoke at International Workers Day rallies.
They forwarded the Hands Off Uhuru campaign and noted that there could be no workers liberation without overturning the colonial mode of production.
Counterinsurgency is intended to stop the forward progress of revolutionary movement. InPDUM’s activities at the EMLER visits in Los Angeles and Chicago as well as the May 1st activities evince the continued work of InPDUM and the Uhuru Movement.
Despite U.S. attacks, we revived the ACG campaign. Relentless work has located thousands of written testimony of people from around the world in support of the campaign. As well, we have recovered screen captures of the 100,000-plus signatures that the colonial powers want hidden.
The work now is for us to turn these tremors into a groundswell. Complete the African Revolution of the 1960s!
Build ACG Working Groups!
Hands Off Uhuru!
The highest expression of democracy is self-determination. Join InPDUM today: