Update from Sierra Leone on Nov. 18, 2009

Experiencing the launching conference of the African People's Socialist Party of Sierra Leone (APSP-SL), I am certain that the era of Africa's liberation has arrived. And judging from the faces of the several hundreds of people who have been attending this conference, I am not alone. It has been filled to the brim with important presentations and great participation by the masses in attendance.

The first day opened with APSP-SL Interim Leader Chernoh Alpha M. Bah. He was followed by the keynote presentation made by African Socialist International (ASI) Chairman Omali Yeshitela. Yeshitela set the tone for the entire conference explaining the significance of building the APSP-SL and the historic basis for the current condition of Africa and her dispersed people.

The Chairman was followed by the first session of the agenda moderated by Dr. Julius Spencer. In this session, solidarity statements were presented to the conference by the African People's Solidarity Committee (APSC), the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), the Sierra Leone Teacher's Union, the All-African People's Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), the Pan-African Union, and Culture Radio.

Following that session, ASI Chairman Omali Yeshitela returned to the stage along with ASI Secretary-General Luwezi Kinshasa for two of the most important presentations of the day. Earning his nickname "Mwalimu" (which means "teacher" in Swahili) SG Luwezi Kinshasa spoke on Neocolonialism and the Class Struggle, making it plain to understand. He explained that the African working class must lead the struggle to free Africa and how the African petty bourgeoisie has betrayed the African revolution consistently.

Then Chairman Omali Yeshitela spoke on the African identity defining Africa's dispersed nation.

After a session of high caliber questions and answers, the first day of the conference closed.

Comrade Alhaji S. Bah opened the second day of the conference with chants. Any latent energy in the crowd was awakened as this dynamic 10-year-old comrade demanded an answer to his calls of "One Africa (One Nation), "Izwe Lethu!" (I Afrika), "Smash Neocolonialism!" (Smash Imperialism), "Touch One!" (Touch All) and "Uhuru!"

The first session of the second day contained reports from the African world. Omowale Kefing, Editor of The Burning Spear newspaper made the first presentation on the conditions of Africans in the U.S. who are suffering at the hands of the U.S. State. Over 1 million Africans are held in prisons while those who are not face mass homelessness and daily police violence.

Kefing was followed by Madiou Diallo who, representing Guinea-Conakry, spoke on the conditions of Africans toiling under the repressive regime of Dadis Camara who came to power in a coup immediately following the death of neocolonial president Lansana Conte.

SG Luwezi Kinshasa returned to the stage to present the conditions of Africans in Britain. They are there attempting to follow their resources and are often held in prisons with their children for years waiting to hear whether their request for asylum has been accepted.

These reports were followed by a panel discussion on the Global Economic Crisis and its impact on Africa. Panelists included Chairman Omali Yeshitela, SG Luwezi Kinshasa and APSC Chairmwoman Penny Hess who clarified the question of the parasitic capitalist world economy and the fact that its current crisis is based in the struggles for national liberation around the world.

The dynamic breakout group sessions that followed dealt with the question of reparations, the Guinea-Conakry struggle and the plan of action of the APSP-SL Interim Leadership Committee.

There is so much more to say on this historic conference, but it is getting extremely late here and my brain is drained. I will say this: by the end of the conference, all the questions from the crowd were about "How do we join?" Sierra Leone will never be the same.

A lot has to be said about the excellent organizing work these comrades of the APSP-SL did around this conference. And Uhuru to the APSP-SL Interim Leadership Committee that was introduced to the crowd on the third day. Today is truly Africa's day.

No Compromise! No Surrender!

Binga

P.S. Shout-out to you comrades who cooked lunch for the three days! The food was bangin'!

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