ST. PETERSBURG, FL––Eritha “Akilé” Cainion threw her hat into the race to become the next councilperson for District 6 in St. Pete on Monday, March 6, 2017. The 20-year-old African woman made the announcement during a press conference held in front of the recently shutdown Walmart with her proud parents and a group of enthusiastic supporters.
Eritha’s participation in the local white ruling class electoral process of St. Pete is different from any other election in recent U.S. history due to her committed relationship and work within revolutionary organizations.
Eritha is a member of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), a member organization of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. This means that her campaign is tied to the strategy of a revolutionary Party and a Coalition of African self-determination which has revolutionary objectives and aims.
The Black Is Back Coalition has put forth a 19-Point National Agenda for Black Self-determination and has called on all Africans and others to unite with these objectives of the Coalition. This is exactly what Eritha’s campaign has done.
A platform based on black community power
Eritha’s youth and revolutionary stance sets her apart from the other mostly-white bourgeoisie candidates in the running. Unlike the other candidates, Eritha puts forth a platform that will actually change the oppressive material conditions that exist in the African community of St. Petersburg.
The local electoral system of St. Pete is designed in such a way that the African candidate must gain the approval of mostly-white voters. (Primaries are by districts however during the general election Africans are greatly outnumbered.)
Previous African candidates, more often than not, put forward a mild platform of opportunist reform which does not address the questions of the colonial conditions in the African community and necessity of African self-determination.
This is not the case for Eritha’s campaign.
The candidate declared during her announcement for candidacy, “I am 20 years old and for all these 20 years I have lived in this city, specifically in this neighborhood. In all these 20 years, the St. Petersburg city government has done nothing but work against the black community. I have entered this election because the black community is and has been under assault by the leaders of this city.”
Eritha denounced the city’s policies that impose poverty and police containment on the black community. She called for new positive policies of economic development, public safety through black community control of the police, reparations to the black community and an end to gentrification.
The candidate’s demands for reparations to the African community comes as a response to the destruction of African centers of social, economic and political growth and stability in the interest of parasitic white economic development projects.
Her demands for Black Community Control of the Police, is based on giving the oppressed African community the power to hire, train and fire the armed agents that the State allows to murder Africans with impunity and militarily occupy African communities.
“I am knowingly and willing running against a rigged election system that they have painted as a single member district where our democratic rights are insulted. Where our community is under the impression that we have the ability to vote in the leadership of our districts in the primary elections until the general elections are opened up to the entire city and the final vote is cast by the white community. This is a farce and strips this community of every ounce of political power,” Eritha explained.
She continued, “The economy of St. Pete was built from the labor of black people. Reparations are owed to the black community because this city has destroyed thriving black neighborhoods, crippling this community and restricting us from being economically self-reliant.”
Eritha’s supporters range from family to boxing great Winky Wright
During the press conference, the young candidate’s Campaign Manager, Ona Zené Yeshitela, praised her work as leader of the “Three Drowned Black Girls” campaign. The campaign seeks justice for three black teen girls who were forced into a pond by Pinellas County Sheriff’s department deputies, who stood on the scene watching as the young girls screamed for their lives, their car sinking into the pond.
Eritha’s father, Ntambwe Bhekizitha, a local barber, and her mother, Miezi, stood by their daughter and spoke of her strong leadership skills and love of service to the people, exhibited since she was a little girl.
Other supporters at the announcement included St. Petersburg local International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) president, Liu Kwayara and St. Pete boxing great, former undisputed light middleweight world champion Winky Wright who praised Eritha’s campaign platform. He expressed that “St. Pete needs a new light on the City Council and Eritha is the person to do that.”
Eritha “Akilé” Cainion closed her announcement statement by calling on all residents of St. Pete to be sure to register to vote in time for the August 29, 2017 primary election. She declared, “Radical times call for radical change. This community will win. I will win. I will be your next District 6 City Councilwoman!”
The bourgeois electoral process has always been seen as the only legitimate means of struggle to change policy affecting our community. Eritha’s campaign believes that they cannot concede this democratic space to candidates that do not represent the people. This will give her an opportunity to educate the African community and expose the lies of these candidates all the while raising up demands that speak to the interest of the black community and carry these demands to the city council after our electoral victory.
“There are no holds barred! Everything we can think of that would move us toward a free people and undermine the power of the colonial State to control the African community, that’s what we’re going to do,” explained Chimurenga Salembao, Eritha’s Co-Campaign Manager.
We encourage all freedom loving people’s to support Eritha “Akilé” Cainion’s campaign for City of St. Petersburg District 6 Councilperson! Visit www.facebook.com/eritha.cainion or call 727-914-3619 to join the campaign committee.
Go to blackisbackcoalition.org to see more on the 19-point program for self-determination.
Radical Times Call For Radical Change!