On October 2-4, 2009, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) led the Weekend of Resistance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This three day process began with the October 2nd March on City Hall and ended with InPDUM’s annual International Convention on October 3-4.
The weekend was an act of self-defense against an all out colonial war being waged against the poor and oppressed African community in Philadelphia. This war is articulating itself through government imposed budget cuts on essential services and employment to the poor and oppressed African community, as well as a $1.1 billion budget for police and prisons that keep us separated from our resources.
In addition, the weekend was organized to thrust InPDUM and the African community into a new period of struggle in Philly and elsewhere – a period where the struggle against neo-colonialism, or white power in black face, will reach its sharpest point.
Even before the Weekend of Resistance, InPDUM had been making intense struggle with the neo-colonial government in the city of Philadelphia. This struggle has included everything from organizing the masses through candlelight vigils, rallies and marches for Africans slain by the police, to holding a tribunal where we put the city on trial for crimes of genocide against African people.
The struggle has brought us toe to toe with the State on numerous occasions. During one candlelight vigil the police hovered just above the people’s heads in an unsuccessful attempt to intimidate us. Of course, there is also the case of the City Hall 2, where InPDUM organizer Diop Olugbala and comrade Shabaka Mnombatha were attacked and arrested by police for holding up signs of protest against mayor Michael Nutter’s war budget during a City Council meeting in March 2009.
When we first set out to hold the weekend, InPDUM sought to unite as many forces as possible with the goals and objectives of both the march and the convention. The most significant objectives were the immediate impeachment of neo-colonial Philly mayor Michael Nutter and winning unity with the Revolutionary National Democratic Program of InPDUM.
Despite our extensive attempts to unite as many forces as possible with the demands of the Weekend of Resistance, InPDUM found itself among just a handful of forces. InPDUM alongside the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Anarchist Peoples of Color was able to challenge the Nutter regime. Only these organizations were able to unite with the demands of the march and rally. This is clear evidence of the political air thinning in the ascension of the African revolutionary democratic forces to power under InPDUM’s leadership.
Clearly stakes are high on both sides of the struggle. The crisis of imperialism is forcing the masses of African people into even deeper poverty and desperation. At the same time, the threat of African resistance that is born out of our imperialist-imposed misery makes it necessary for imperialism to develop even more cunning strategies to maintain our oppression, and recruit sellouts who are even more merciless and eager to do the bidding of their white masters.
The Weekend of Resistance served as a line of demarcation in the period of revolutionary African democratic struggle in Philadelphia. However, by no means does it represent the victory our suffering people so desperately need. The real victory will only come when neo-colonialism has been completely smashed and African people achieve self-governance. In order to seize and wield political power the African community must be organized in our own interests, under the leadership of the revolutionary democratic forces. This is the significance of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement. We are the revolutionary democratic mass organization of the African People’s Socialist Party, the vanguard of the entire African liberation struggle – both in theory and in practice.