On November 4, people from across the country will gather in Washington, DC for the 15th Annual March to the White House organized by the Black is Back Coalition. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chairman Omali Yeshitela about the theme of this year’s march, building an anti-colonial free speech movement in solidarity with peoples who struggle around the world. Yeshitela is one of the Uhuru 3, who are facing 15 years in jail for their activism. Yeshitela speaks about the historic ties between the black and Palestinian liberation movements. Then, Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, joins the program to speak about a new legal brief on the complicity of the United States with Israel in its commission of genocide and other war crimes.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela – In 1972, Yeshitela formed the African People’s Socialist Party which he chairs. He built the worldwide Uhuru Movement and the African Socialist International with branches now active in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean and on the continent of Africa.Many of the most critical and legendary campaigns of the African community over the past 40 years have been led by Chairman Omali and the Uhuru Movement.The campaign to free Dessie Woods, an African woman sentenced to 22 years for killing a white attempted rapist with his own gun in the 1970s, reverberated throughout the world with its slogan, “Free Dessie Woods, Smash Colonial Violence!”The historic Measure O, the Community Control of Housing Initiative placed on the ballot in Oakland, CA as a land and housing reform measure in 1984, won 22,000 votes and raised forever the struggle for African community control of housing.In 1996, the Chairman united and mobilized the African community following the rebellions sparked by the police murder of 17-year-old TyRon Lewis just four blocks from the Uhuru House in St Petersburg, FL. The Chairman launched the demand for “economic development, not police containment,” forcing the U.S. government to send in the Civil Rights Commission for hearings.
Chairman Omali succeeded in making reparations a household word with the establishment of the International Tribunal on Reparations for African People which was first held in Brooklyn, New York in 1982. Hearings of the tribunal, which determined that U.S. owes African people in the U.S. $4.1 trillion in reparations for stolen labor alone, have been held thirteen times.
In 1976 Chairman Omali formed the African People’s Solidarity Committee, the organization of white people under the leadership of the Party. Chairman Omali also founded several mass organizations including the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (INPDUM), which for more than 20 years has been in the forefront of defending the African community from police violence and other colonial attacks.
Other organizations created by Chairman Omali include the All-African People’s Development and Empowerment Program (AAPDEP), the African National Prison Organization (ANPO) and the Black is Back Coalition (BIB). Read more here.
Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she taught from 1991-2016, a former criminal defense attorney, and past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures, writes, and provides commentary for local, regional, national and international media. Professor Cohn is cohost of Law and Disorder on WBAI radio in New York and heard on 150 stations nationwide and online. She is founding dean of the Monique and Roland Weyl People’s Academy of International Law.
Professor Cohn has served as a news consultant for CBS News and a legal analyst for Court TV, as well as a legal and political commentator on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and Pacifica Radio.
The author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and co-author of Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice (with David Dow) and Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent (with Kathleen Gilberd), Professor Cohn is editor of and contributor to The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse, and Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.
One of her books was cited in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion and her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as Fordham Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, and Virginia Journal of International Law, as well as The National Law Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Chicago Tribune. Her frequent columns appear on Huffington Post, Truthout, Truthdig, Consortium News, CommonDreams, Counterpunch and ZNet.
She has been a criminal defense attorney at the trial and appellate levels, and was staff counsel to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Professor Cohn is the U.S. representative to the advisory board of the Association of American Jurists, and a member of the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Read more here.