Update from Sierra Leone on Nov. 19, 2009: Thieves

Well, it hasn't been 24 hours since the end of the conference, and I almost just got locked up by the Freetown police. This of course is the second time since I've been here (See the November 13 entry for the first).

This time, I'm sitting outside the house where I'm staying, and suddenly a truckload of police pull up. They get out and start heading past us and up the hill. Then another truckload pulls up. I notice rifles in the hands of some of these cops.

After they've passed, I pull out my phone and snap a quick picture. Immediately a police in plain clothes who apparently stayed behind rushed me demanding my phone. He threatened to lock me up for interrogation. But then several comrades crowded around to deal with the cop and diffuse the situation. I later learned that the cop was likely attempting to get a bribe.

I also learned that the police claimed to be there to arrest some Africans accused of being "armed robbers." I'm reminded of a Fela Kuti song called "Authority Stealing" in which he talks about how people in the streets of Nigeria were being chased and attacked after being accused of being thieves, rogues and armed robbers while the African petty bourgeois president and ministers were stealing everything from the people and nobody was chasing them.

It seems to me that the ones who need to be chased and arrested are these white people all in this place who are here taking all of the resources from our Africa. The real thieves are these British and American "contractors" and mercenaries.

If they were looking for armed robbers, they might need to knock on the door of the FBI headquarters here and take all of them away.

They'd be missing the target if they didn't go to the government building and holler at President Ernest Bai Koroma and his ministers who facilitate the theft of all the people's resources that cause people to rob to try to eat.

No the real thieves steal the livelihood of every African here through handing over all our resources to imperialism. The two Africans the police took away at gunpoint are the victims of these thieves.

As the African workers and poor peasants win power for themselves, we will see real thieves brought to justice.

Izwe Lethu I Afrika!

Binga

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