White people: Boycott racist Regions Bank for collusion with FBI attacks on the Uhuru Movement!

The African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) is the organization of white people formed by and under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP). APSC organizes in the white community for reparations to African people.

On Friday morning, March 31, 2023, Regions Bank executives looked out the windows of their high-rise in downtown Birmingham, Alabama to see a crowd of African people rallying with banners and signs, chanting, “Crash Regions Bank! Stop Regions’ racist sanctions on the black community!”

This history-making direct action at the headquarters of Regions Bank, organized by the Hands Off Uhuru! Hands off Africa! Campaign, also mobilized white people to stand in solidarity with the African community.

Members of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) and Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM) traveled from St. Louis, Missouri to participate. Local organizers from Birmingham Stands and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) also joined.

Over eight months since the FBI raided the North St. Louis home of African People’s Socialist Party leader Chairman Omali Yeshitela and six other Uhuru Movement homes and offices, the U.S. government has clearly seen that their threats of indictment, arrest and imprisonment have failed to intimidate the rising movement for African freedom.

Now, in their desperate frenzy, the colonial state is resorting to economic warfare. In March of this year a Regions representative sent APSP Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela an insulting and unprofessional email stating that Regions would be abruptly shutting down all of the Uhuru Movement’s bank accounts and lines of credit earmarked for African community economic development and self-determination programs—with no explanation.

The Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa! Campaign, led by Chair Mwezi Odom, immediately initiated a fight-back in the streets to expose Regions Bank for imposing economic sanctions on the African community.

The Regions-FBI collusion has opened the floodgates for a deeper exposé of the bank’s brutal history of profiteering from convict leasing, also known as “slavery by another name,” and financing of private prisons. The Regions’ CEO makes an $8.5 million salary annually, raking in massive revenue from forcibly trafficking African people into the brutal death camps of the Alabama prison system.

The call to boycott Regions is already catching on. Former customers, including Africans and white people, have begun walking into branches throughout the country to withdraw their funds and close their accounts.

Regions’ stock is going down. When their stock value inevitably implodes, Regions will look back at that fateful “termination letter” they sent to APSP Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela as the match that lit the fuse.

Regions Bank Boycott honors history of African resistance

The Hands Off Uhuru campaign’s Birmingham action honored the heroic legacy of African resistance to colonial oppression and violence that pulses through the veins of that historic city.

Three blocks from the Regions headquarters is the 16th Street Baptist Church. In 1963 a group of white terrorists working with the FBI bombed the church, murdering four African girls named Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carol Denise McNair.

Across the street from the church is the park where African freedom fighter Mafundi Lake organized the first-ever African Liberation Day in Birmingham in 1983, shortly before he was arrested, tried and locked down as a political prisoner until his death in 2018.

Carolyn Lake, Mafundi’s wife, and family members attended the protest outside Regions. Carolyn Lake stated, “This racist Regions bank and these FBI attacks are nothing new! My family was attacked by FBI. Mafundi was attacked by FBI. It’s nothing new to us. We stand with you!”

Kundai Bajikikayi of the APSP in Birmingham delivered the press statement from the Hands Off Uhuru campaign, exposing Regions bank’s blood-soaked “balance sheet” of profiting from the oppression and imprisonment of African people.

“Regions thinks it can return to the days of convict leasing when our grandparents were captured, re-enslaved and worked to death,” stated Comrade Kundai.

“It is telling that Regions Bank funds the private prison corporations and is a trustee for the state of Alabama’s bonds to build two new prisons in this state, where African people are still captured and locked up for decades!”

Dr. Aisha Fields, Director of the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project, gave an electrifying statement, stating “They’ll take our money to build prisons but won’t do business with us if we want to do for ourselves. Crash this bank! No black person or person of conscience should put their money in this bank!”

White people stand in solidarity with the African liberation struggle

Penny Hess, Chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, organizing in the white community for reparations to African people under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, spoke to white people with the powerful call to “stand up in solidarity with the right of African people to be free, to have what belongs to them.”

“The leadership of the struggle is African people. We can join if we want to see a world without Regions Bank, convict leasing, mass imprisonment of African people, the wealth gap, poverty, and all of the conditions that we see inside this country today,” said Chairwoman Penny.

“The stand of reparations from white people is returning the stolen wealth so that these racist banks become unnecessary, so that African people can build for themselves and meet their own needs to be free and liberated. This system must go!”

Jesse Nevel, Chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, also spoke: “We pledge today that no white person who believes in the right of African people to control their lives and destinies should put a cent in a bank account with this filthy racist bank!”

Comrade Stephanie from Birmingham SURJ said in a moving statement of solidarity: “Today I learned that Uhuru is the Swahili word for Freedom. We support this fight for freedom!”

The rally was followed by a teach-in which brought together community members to join the Hands Off Uhuru campaign in Alabama.

The struggle is not over! USM calls on white people to join this campaign to bring down Regions bank. Plan an action in your city. Donate to the Hands Off Uhuru legal defense fund and plan a fundraiser in your community.

Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa!
Unity through Reparations!

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