“We Intend to Govern”: Black People’s Grand Jury an example of dual and contending power

 
ST LOUIS, MO–The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) led by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), convened the Black People’s Grand Jury (BPGJ), on January 3 – 4, 2015. 
 
The BPGJ was not a “mock” grand jury proceeding. It was an expression of black self-determination and the ability for the African community to govern ourselves. 
 
There have been no clear demands or leadership to represent the emerging and growing movement against the police, the first line of defense of U.S. domestic colonialism. 
 
Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the APSP have stood up to bring direction to this movement.
InPDUM was compelled to convene our own grand jury proceeding after a State grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson for the August 9, 2014 murder of Mike Brown.  
 
The entire white grand jury process led by St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch was rotten with prosecutorial misconduct. The grand jury in the hands of the white ruling class, generally speaking, is a tool for the prosecution to secure an indictment. 
 
The purpose of the Black People’s Grand Jury was not to indict Darren Wilson. It was an indictment on the grand jury process led by the imperialist State. 
 
We understand that our grand jury would give the black community confidence that we can deliver a more democratic process than the State and capture the imagination of our people, showing them that we will one day soon control the State to enforce any decisions we make in our black people’s courts.
 
The Black People’s Grand Jury – a truly democratic process
 
There was a demand from the African community for Missouri governor Jay Nixon to appoint a special prosecutor to the case who was not swayed by public pressure and did not have a history of antagonism against the African community as Robert McCulloch had.
 
InPDUM also understood this sentiment and appointed several prosecutors from various regions. The Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, Omali Yeshitela, served as the lead People’s Prosecutor.
 
 Zaki Baruti of the Universal African People’s Organization, who is a long-time activist in the St. Louis African community, served as a People’s Prosecutor. Alex Morley and Aaron O’Neal, who are practicing attorneys, were also prosecutors.
 
BPGJ example of dual and contending power
 
The BPGJ set the terms on what is possible throughout this country when police murder our people.   The Black People’s Grand jury served as competing power to the colonial court system and de-legitimized the State.
 
Chairman Omali Yeshitela says, “dictatorship is rule without regard for law.” This explains why Darren Wilson can shoot and kill Michael Brown without penalty, though multiple eye witnesses testified that Michael was surrendering with his hands up. 
 
This explains how a New York cop can kill Eric Garner, on video with a chokehold banned by the New York City police department. This explains how Cleveland police can kill 12- year-old Tamir Rice in a playground less than 5 seconds after reaching the scene.
 
This explains why, in this country, every 28 hours an African is killed by a cop or somebody acting like a cop and why one in eight prisoners in the world is an African in the United States. All of this explains why we must take control of our own community.   
 
InPDUM, at the conclusion of the BPGJ, stressed the need for black community control of police, where the community has the ability to hire and fire police and where police will have to reside in the community in which they police.
 
The African People’s Socialist Party intends to govern!
 
History shows that the African People’s Socialist Party intends to seize state power and govern our African nation. The BPGJ is not the Party’s first foray to convene our own courts and hold imperialism accountable for its crimes.
 
 It was the African People’s Socialist Party that held the first World Tribunal for Reparations tHistory shows that the African People’s Socialist Party intends to seize state power and govern our African nation. The BPGJ is not the Party’s first foray to convene our own courts and hold imperialism accountable for its crimes.o African People and made reparations a household word amongst the masses of our people. 
 
We have convened over a dozen sessions of these tribunals in our 42-year history, articulating that the colonial ruling class owes the African community reparations for the theft, miseducation, rape and murder of African people that has gone on for five hundred years and continues to this day. 
 
Many are looking for unity amongst the protestors regardless of national or class differences, in the throes of the emerging movement. 
 
They are without clear ideological direction and do not understand the importance of the revolutionary party. The African People’s Socialist Party is figuratively in a similar situation as the Bolsheviks in 1917, lead by V.I. Lenin after the tzar was overthrown.
 
Leftist groups pulled together a provisional government and held the First Congress of Soviets. The discussion below is telling about the role of the revolutionary party.
 
“The Menshevik leader Tsereteli had the floor. He chastised the Bolsheviks for their strong-arm tactics and reminded them that no single party had a divine right to rule: ‘Only by pooling our efforts can we achieve democracy and victory. Today, Russia has no political party which would say: Give us power, go yourselves and we will take your place.’
 
Suddenly, from among the Bolshevik delegates at the back of the auditorium, a voice rang out; it was Lenin: ’There is such a party’, he shouted. ‘It is the Bolshevik party!’ The stunned silence was broken by a ripple of derisive laughter.”
 
The Bolsheviks had seized state power by October 1917 and Lenin was named Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars.
 
The African People’s Socialist Party, analogously, has always accepted the responsibility to lead the African nation. 
 
If it is asked if there is an organization that can give the burgeoning movement through the country political direction, we proclaim “There is such an organization, the African People’s Socialist Party.”

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