Uhuru Solidarity Movement Denounces attack on Uhuru Movement by Philadelphia Coalition to Save the Libraries!

Philadelphia, PA – USM calls for the white community and all allies of African Liberation to support & participate in the October 2nd “They Say Cutback, We Say Payback!” March against Nutter’s budget, led by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement in Philadelphia agrees fully with the serious political criticism made by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, (InPDUM), of the Coalition to Save the Libraries for attempting to silence the voice of the African working class by refusing to allow InPDUM to speak and attempting to stop InPDUM from holding up their banners at the supposedly open “People’s Hearing” at City Hall on Thursday, August 27th, 2009.

This was despite the fact that the Uhuru Movement was invited via email to participate along with other organizations, and followed the procedure given in the email to speak at the hearing.

The Uhuru Movement has actively attempted to build unity with all groups working to oppose the Nutter administration’s budget cutbacks that attempt to solve the economic crisis it faces by targeting the African community for even deeper exploitation and misery.

This is why InPDUM and Uhuru Solidarity Movement have invited the Coalition to Save the Libraries, The Coalition to Save Essential Services and other groups formed to oppose the budget cuts to participate in public forums, a Tribunal and numerous meetings and actions called by InPDUM.

InPDUM is not calling for liberal reforms of Nutter’s budget. They are not calling for things to simply stay in place, in other words for “peace on the plantation”. The African working class-led Uhuru Movement is demanding an end to the colonial war being waged against the black community of Philadelphia, the U.S. and worldwide.

InPDUM has exposed from the beginning of the public struggle around the budget cuts in Philadelphia that the entire city budget is indeed a war budget, where over a quarter of the people’s resources are being spent every year to attack, contain and imprison African and Latino people.

The Uhuru Movement is demanding that the $1.1 billion currently being spent on the police, prisons and courts go instead for economic development, education and housing to uplift the entire African community.

The reality in Philly is clear. The 2009 Pew report stated that in some African communities up to 76% of families live under the poverty level! Over 50% of African men in Philly are unemployed, and the truth is that the majority of young Africans coming out of the brutal colonial school system cannot find jobs. African students in West Philly High are forced to raise money themselves so they can get school books, yet the city is spending millions of dollars building a new juvenile prison in West Philly!

Nutter invests billions of dollars revitalizing Center City and the Avenue of the Arts, giving tax and mortgage breaks to corporations while putting nothing into community development, as Africans are forced into foreclosures and pushed out of South, North, Northwest and West Philly by developers, Penn and Temple universities and white gentrifiers, eagerly taking over traditional African communities as colonial settlers.

The economies of Philly and PA are totally dependent on the exploitation and oppression of African people. Any day you can go to one of the hundreds of courtrooms in the Criminal Justice Center and witness thousands of African and Latino people being railroaded through the court system into prison. Every room has at least 30 people getting a salary from this parasitic “justice” system – from the bailiffs (overseers), DAs and defense attorneys, stenographers, people getting coffee & donuts, court clerks, the police getting overtime for testifying against the people etc, etc.

The Pennsylvania Economic Development Commission has stated publicly that, “Prisons are economic development for rural Pennsylvania”. In an economy where manufacturing and mining has failed or moved, white people in Philly and in PA are employed largely in the colonial prison economy. While only 11% of the PA population is African, African people make up 70% of the PA prison population, and 40% come from Philadelphia!

Political Position of the Coalition to Save the Libraries unites with Nutter Administration and Ruling Class Attacks on the African Working Class!

The Coalition to Save the Libraries has consistently refused to acknowledge the reality of the colonial conditions and exploitation of African people in Philadelphia that is the basis for InPDUM’s just demands for reparations and real economic development for African people, to replace the cynical current policy of police containment that benefits the white population at the direct expense of African and Latino people.

By doing so, the Coalition maintains that all that is needed is to keep the libraries open, and everything will be fine. The truth is that all the libraries that have already been cutback and that are targeted for closure are in the African community.

The reality is that even if all the libraries stay open, the African community will still suffer the same conditions of total poverty, unemployment, homelessness, displacement and powerlessness that has been imposed on it even when the economy is thriving for white people!

The Coalition’s position objectively states that it’s ok for the police to keep murdering
and locking up African people, just as long as the libraries stay open!

By consistently taking the stance of opposition to InPDUM’s call for real justice for the African working class in Philadelphia, the Coalition to Save the Libraries has objectively united with the neocolonial Nutter administration’s attacks on the African community and its leadership, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.

Never has this been clearer than at the August 27th “People’s Hearing” at City hall. As Philadelphia InPDUM leader Diop Olugbala raised in InPDUM’s criticism of the Coalition, what is the difference between this blatant attempt to silence the Uhuru Movement, and Nutter’s when on March 19th he sent the police to violently arrest Diop Olugbala and Shabaka Mnombatha for peacefully protesting at the City Council budget meeting?

City Council chambers was full of people protesting, including members of the Coalition to Save the Libraries, holding up signs and speaking out. Yet it was only the leadership of the African Liberation Movement, the Uhuru Movement, that was targeted for arrest, and now face imprisonment for courageously standing up for the rights of the African community!

It is in the interest of all progressive people who want to see an end to the Nutter administration’s attempt to solve the economic crisis by targeting the African community for even deeper exploitation to work together.

However, instead of working in unity with the Uhuru Movement, the Coalition has attempted to silence InPDUM and at the same time has imitated InPDUM’s powerful tactics and used them to forward their own reformist aims. For example while refusing to participate in InPDUM’s People’s Tribunal that put the city on trial for genocide against the African community, they imitated it with a farcical “People’s Injunction” featuring court jesters.

Uhuru Movement calls for all supporters of justice, reparations and liberation for African people to participate in the African-led “They Say Cutback! We Say Payback” March Against Nutter’s War Budget, on Friday, October 2nd, 2009

The Uhuru Movement is calling for the white community and all allies to take a principled stand on the side of African and all colonized and oppressed people! We can and must denounce the U.S. colonial war against the black community, just as we must stand against the U.S. colonial war against the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine.

We cannot continue the opportunist role the white left has historically played in attempting to control, limit and define the African liberation struggle for it’s own reformist aims.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement calls on our community to join under the leadership of the Uhuru Movement to bring about real change in this city. This can only come through the struggle for justice, economic development, and reparations, and for the African community to control their own education, healthcare, housing and the police!

Unite with the demands of the “They Say Cutback, We Say Payback!” Uhuru Movement-led March Against Nutter’s Budget on October 2nd. Defend the right of African people to resist their oppression and organize for liberation!

  1. Reparations & economic development for African people, not police containment
  2. No budget cuts at the expense of the black community
  3. African community control of schools & police
  4. Restore all black community jobs & services cut by Nutter
  5. No jobs based on oppressing African people
  6. Hands Off the City Hall 2 – drop all the charges!
  7. Impeach Mayor Nutter

To join the coordinating Committee for the October 2nd march or for more information about the “They Say Cutback, We Say Payback” March and Convention call:
215-387-0919 • email: philly@uhurusolidarity.org • or visit http://uhurusolidarity.org

Come to weekly meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:30PM at 3733 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19104

Uhuru Means Freedom.


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