Nearly one year ago, on July 29, 2022, the FBI simultaneously conducted a heavily-militarized raid on seven facilities associated with the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement in Missouri and Florida. The federal government seized computers, phones and archival material. This was later used to fabricate federal charges against three members, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Penny Hess and Jesse Nevel. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chairman Yeshitela about the raid and prosecution and the new anti-colonial free speech coalition launched this month. Chairman Yeshitela explains why the coalition is specifically anti-colonial and why this broad movement is necessary to protect our First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. He also urges everyone to support Black is Back’s November 4 March on the White House. For more information, visit HandsOffUhuru.org.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela has never stopped fighting for freedom for African people everywhere. Mobilized in his youth by anti-colonial movements around the world and the struggle for black liberation inside the U.S., Yeshitela dedicated his life to uniting and liberating Africa and African people everywhere.In the heat of revolutionary struggle and during his early years as a political prisoner, Yeshitela was driven to discover the reasons why black people all over the world are impoverished and oppressed. Yeshitela developed the political theory of African Internationalism that understands the world through the eyes of the African working class.
Through African Internationalism the Chairman exposes the significance of Marx’s concept of the “primitive accumulation of capital,” the starting point of capitalist wealth accumulation, playing in “political economy about the same part as original sin in theology.”Breathing life into Marx’s analysis, Yeshitela noted that “African Internationalism recognizes that the process of slavery and brigandage that consolidated the political economy, national identity and general well-being of what came to be known as Europe is the same process that results in the wretched, divided, impoverished and exploited lot of Africans and much of the world.”
Yeshitela contends that the leading force of struggle is the African and oppressed working class throughout the world against “parasitic capitalism,” embodied in U.S. and Western imperialism built on enslavement, genocide and colonialism.In 1968 Chairman Yeshitela founded The Burning Spear newspaper that continues to be published today. Throughout the years Yeshitela has authored numerous books, pamphlets and articles, including his latest book, An Uneasy Equilibrium: The African Revolution versus Parasitic Capitalism.
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. Read more.