Diop Olugbala, InPDUM President
We have arrived here in St. Petersburg, FL, to participate in the International Convention of the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), on March 23-24, 2013. The theme of the convention is “One Africa! One Nation! Build Revolutionary Organization to Protect and Defend Our Own!”
With the exception of our Founding Convention, this will be the most important convention InPDUM has held. It is important because it is being held during a time when the crisis of imperialism—the vicious, blood-sucking social system responsible for the misery of African and the world’s oppressed peoples—has become deeper than it has ever been.
It is a convention being held during a period where resistance has become the main trend around the world.
From the Middle East to Latin America, oppressed people are rising up to challenge imperialism. Africans must rise up as well and join humanity as we struggle for our freedom.
Your participation is a statement of unity in helping to build the resistance of the oppressed and exploited international African nation against this foul social system.
Through this convention we will understand that, in many ways, we have reason to celebrate the fact that our oppressor is dying, and the resistance of the oppressed is the reason why it is dying.
However, as it has been said many times by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), imperialism is a dying but not yet dead social system.
Therefore, this convention is also, more importantly, a process designed to build the revolutionary mass organization capable of dealing imperialism its final and decisive death blow. And we, its membership, are the striking fist that will smash colonialism!
InPDUM is the revolutionary mass organization of the APSP that was created to serve as the primary instrument through which the Party leads mass resistance.
Through the leadership and spirit of the APSP, InPDUM has determined this convention to be the process through which we take the organized resistance of the African nation to a higher level.
In the months leading up to the convention, InPDUM has been engaged in a rigorous organizational campaign known as the “One People One Party One Destiny” (OPOPOD) campaign.
The OPOPOD campaign has mandated that all organizations under the Party’s leadership place scientific methods of recruitment at the forefront of our agenda and create the iron-clad infrastructure to bring thousands of new members into a highly functioning organization.
InPDUM has been entrusted by the Party with the task of being the mass front of the African Revolution.
Today, under the OPOPOD campaign, InPDUM is shifting from a campaign-based organization to a power base of the African Revolution.
We are following the mandate of Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of the APSP and founder of InPDUM, to transform from a defensive stance into an offensive position based on the participation of thousands of members around the world.
InPDUM is executing our mandate to make sure that no African “falls through the cracks.”
This convention-building process has resulted in many new leaders emerging from the ranks. It has had us spend many late nights working on plans of action, travelling across town to do outreach and participating in several meetings a week. Although a grueling process, it has been fruitful!
We are here! We have the manuals, the protocols, and the strategy and, by the end of this convention, we will have the united will and discipline required to kill this beast once and for all!
Through this convention we will introduce our “Protect and Defend Our Own” campaign that reaches out to every sub-group of the African population to come home under the banner of the African Revolution, from African women to Africans of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, students, teachers, veterans, seniors, workers, mothers of police murder victims and many more.
We are saying today that not only must we resist, but we must resist as One African! One Nation!
All must assume their true African identity and find their place and safe haven in the African Revolution.
InPDUM’s goal for the next year is to build scores of strong, active, influential branches across the U.S., Canada, Africa and Europe.
We plan to expand our membership roles exponentially, and we are working to popularize and extend the influence of the Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) to build a huge worldwide camp of those who identify with the Party-led movement to unite and liberate Africa and African people everywhere.
The RNDP is critical because it shows African people and our allies around the world how to struggle, what we must demand and expect and how to begin to move towards self government in a mass way.
We unite with the understanding of our chairman, Omali Yeshitela, that the work of the revolutionary mass organization is not just about winning members, but in winning territory as we move into the period when we take dual and contending state power into the hands of the African working class right here in our towns and cities as we build the worldwide fighting force capable of winning African independence in our lifetime.
There’s a war goin’ on that no African is safe from!
This convention was themed “Protect and Defend Our Own” because we understand that African people are under attack.
All over the world, everywhere African people are located, we are catching hell as a consequence of a war being waged against our people by U.S. and European imperialism.
We are catching hell because, as Chairman Omali Yeshitela tells us, we live under a system of parasitic capitalism.
That means the whole capitalist edifice was built on our backs—on our enslavement, which kidnapped us from our land of Africa, our culture and civilization and our resources. Capitalism was built on the backs of African people, indigenous people.
Europe would be nothing but a barren wasteland without the wealth, labor and science stolen from us. The U.S. attacks us because they say we are on welfare, when the fact is white power has lived off welfare from us for the past 500 years.
This is why the Chairman says that the problem is not racism, the problem is colonialism right here in the U.S. and around the world.
We don’t need to change the ideas in white people’s heads, we need to get power over our own lives, land and resources! We need reparations for our stolen labor and culture.
The way in which this war manifests itself in our lives here in the U.S. was stated well by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations in its promotional call for the Break the Silence mobilization held in Washington DC in November 2012:
“At the time when the U.S. is declaring an end to its wars against the peoples in Iraq and Afghanistan, our people are enduring oppressive conditions that can only be likened to a state of warfare in every community where we are located within the U.S.
“We are being violently attacked by state-imposed poverty and joblessness, intensified by the mass incarceration of our young people that takes away potential breadwinners through imprisonment and the subsequent denial of work because of past convictions.
“We suffer an economic embargo as intensive as those imposed on declared enemies of the U.S. government that leads to economic sanctions that deny bank loans and trade opportunities—such as we have seen imposed on Zimbabwe, Cuba, Iran and Syria.
“Our children are forced to endure brutally mind-numbing indoctrination that is euphemistically referred to as education. They are stuffed into institutions that crush their spirits and punish their curiosity with the support of police agencies that normally push the students into the cavernous jaws of a U.S. prison system that is the largest in the world; half of whose inhabitants are black.
“This is the same prison system that has swallowed up some of our best men and women who have voluntarily put their lives on the line to struggle for the freedom of our people during some of our darkest days of oppression. These are political prisoners, the existence of which is denied by a U.S. government that postures on the world stage as a messenger of freedom and democracy, sometimes as justification for attacking and occupying other countries and peoples.
“We must break the silence surrounding the fallacious idea of a “post-racial” America that is used to muffle the cries of the dispossessed from Hurricane Katrina, of the mothers and loved ones of black men shot down every 36 hours by the police, of thousands of our young people brutalized in children’s prisons, of the millions unjustly stopped and frisked and the thousands sentenced to life without parole while criminal bankers walk free.
“We must protest the dispossession from the foreclosures caused by the subprime mortgage fraud created by prestigious financial institutions and supported by the U.S. government with the explicit intent of looting the meager resources of already impoverished black and Latino communities.”
This war is not only waged on Africans in the U.S. It is warfare that we experience all around the world.
Millions of Africans are held hostage within the current borders of imperialist centers such as the U.S., Canada and numerous European countries. However, the prosperity and freedom shared amongst the general white population in these places is no more accessible than the protection we seek from the police who hunt us down like animals.
Oury Jalloh, an African from Sierra Leone was burnt to death in a German police station. Before the austerity protests, Africans were demonstrating in the streets of Madrid, demanding justice for African police murder victims like Aliou Djob.
Many of InPDUM’s members are familiar with names like Ricky Bishop and Mark Duggan, two young African men who were murdered by the police in London.
Crisis of imperialism based in resistance of the oppressed
In addition to the colonial police forces occupying our communities around the world, Africans continue to be robbed of our resources.
When we say that imperialism is experiencing a deep and profound crisis, we are saying that the ability of imperialism to continue to steal the resources of oppressed people around the world is being seriously threatened.
While white ruling class and so-called “progressive” economists explain the crisis imperialism is suffering through as ineffective policies or money going into wars of aggression, InPDUM understands that the true basis of the crisis is the resistance of the oppressed people worldwide who are determined to permanently overturn the parasitic relationship that this foul, exploitative social system has imposed on us.
Thus the crisis cannot be traced only to the board rooms of Wall Street financial gangsters (they are and have always been gangsters). The crisis can also be traced to the streets of Cairo; Caracas; North London; East Oakland, CA, and Brooklyn, New York, where resistance against U.S. imperialism, in one form or another, has become the main trend.
This trend was not the case when the “sun never set on white power imperialism.”
Such resistance can be found in the Middle East, where the heroic people of Palestine have maintained an ongoing offensive against the settled colonial Israeli state. It can be found in the unflinching stance against U.S. imperialism taken by Iran, as represented by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Such resistance reared its head in last year’s Venezuelan elections, where the masses of the people, also faced with U.S. threats of imperialist aggression, made a statement of resistance by voting in now-deceased President Hugo Chavez, a staunch anti-imperialist.
We see the resistance occurring on the Continent of Africa—and we mean all of Africa, including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc. —from which white power steals the vast amounts of resources to enrich itself at the expense of African people.
Such African resistance can be found in Occupied Azania, otherwise known as South Africa, where we are engaged in a serious struggle against parasitic capitalist exploitation of African workers in the platinum and gold mines.
There, African miners have been holding numerous strikes in the gold, platinum and silver mines, demanding better pay and working conditions.
This is resistance that has severely challenged the economic interests of imperialist powers who control the South African economy.
It is a resistance that occurred despite the relentless assaults made against the mine workers and general population by the vicious South African neocolonial police and state apparatus.
Such resistance is happening in the domestically colonized African communities within the imperialist centers of North America and Europe. The resistance is Lovelle Mixon, a 26-year-old African who, in 2009, killed four cops who were part of the death squad that subsequently assassinated him.
The resistance is Hydra Lacey and Nicholas Linsdey – two Africans from St. Petersburg, FL, who engaged in armed resistance against the colonial occupying army that is the St. Petersburg Police Department. The resistance is the Black August Rebellions of 2011 in London that mobilized thousands of young Africans after UK police murdered Mark Duggan, an African man.
The resistance is in Brooklyn, NY, where, as this report is being written, masses of young African workers are in the streets engaged in hand-to-hand and other forms of combat with the New York Police Department (NYPD)—a rebellion that was sparked by the NYPD murder of a young African named Kimani Grey—although the keg was filled with the powder of decades of police murders and repression of Africans in that city.
This resistance occurring throughout the world has become the trend, and it is undermining the ability of U.S. and European imperial white power to maintain its control over the lives and resources of oppressed people around the world.
Obama and neocolonialism is evidence of imperialist crisis
One of the ways in which imperialism has resolved to prevent the spreading of the resistance of oppressed people is through neocolonialism, or white power in black face.
Right after its military defeat of the Black Power Revolution of the 1960s, U.S. and European imperialism began to prop up neocolonial governments and heads of state throughout the African world as a means of preventing the people from looking to the revolution for political leadership.
This is the significance of Barack Obama.
Selected as the president of the biggest imperialist government the world has ever known, Obama was put into place to obscure the colonial relationship that the U.S. has with African and oppressed peoples.
Just months before Obama announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidential elections, Africans were in the streets throughout this country protesting this government’s oppressive treatment of African people. Jena 6, Hurricane Katrina, the murder of Sean Bell and the sub-prime mortgage scheme (in which greedy banks managed to rip off the black community for billions of dollars’ worth of real estate) were just a few of the attacks Africans responded to with militant resistance during that period.
With the emergence of Obama onto the scene, the U.S. white ruling class was able to obscure its ongoing attacks on the African population, pretending that the “race problem” had been resolved through the placement of an African as president.
However, a denouncement of the reparations demand, a $100 billion-a-year military occupation of Afghanistan, a few drone bombings in Pakistan and over $26 trillion in bailout payments to the auto industry and finance banks later, Obama’s true loyalty to white power and imperialism is becoming exposed.
Growing sectors of the African population in the U.S. and worldwide are becoming more hip to who and what Obama really represents.
With every such political lesson learned by the African community, the neocolonial strategy withers away.
And as Kwame Nkrumah once stated, “neocolonialism is the final stage of imperialism.” After white power in black face, there is nothing left to disguise or protect white power from the masses.
Imperialism’s insatiable appetite for African blood has also served to expose the true, dictatorial nature of the U.S. colonial state and other colonial states like it. Such is the case in the story of Christopher Dorner, an African man who was won over hook, line and sinker to the ideas of Americanism and white nationalism (which are one and the same).
Dorner subsequently joined the U.S. imperialist military through the Navy and then the Los Angeles Police Department.
It was during his tour of duty as a pig that Dorner came face to face with the sheer disregard the U.S. imperialist state has not only for African people, but for its own constitutional policies as they relate to its treatment of African people.
As a pig Dorner learned that the police treat Africans, whom he mistakenly thought were Americans (including himself), in the same manner that the U.S. military treats the people of Afghanistan or Libya.
Dorner also learned that, at that point when he attempted to criticize the State (Los Angeles Police Department, LAPD) for its treatment of African people, he would be dealt with by the state in the same fashion that any other African is dealt with.
Subsequently, Dorner declared war on the LAPD, targeting specific forces from among its ranks with whom he had had immediate conflict.
Dorner’s actions not only represented a direct military assault on the same U.S. colonial state that wages constant war on African and Mexicans in the U.S., but it also exposed and sharpened contradictions between those African and Mexicans who are a part of the State, their white counterparts and the State itself.
Now the white cops must constantly worry about what the black cops are going to do behind their backs.
All of this instability is contributing to the crisis of imperialism.
InPDUM must teach, organize and lead resistance!
Through this convention, we will learn that it is not enough to simply resist. The resistance must be organized under revolutionary leadership and informed by advanced revolutionary theory.
This is evident in the current state of resistance throughout the African world.
A perfect example is the case of the African mine workers who have been organizing strikes throughout South Africa in demand of better pay and working conditions.
Even if the demands of the striking workers in South Africa were to be met, the real problem would remain.
The real problem is colonialism, which manifests itself in a thousand different ways besides the poverty and poor conditions that the mine workers face.
Colonialism and neocolonialism in South Africa, just as it is everywhere throughout the African world, is a consequence of African people having been stripped, through violence and coercion, of our ability to be a self-determined and self-governing people.
The fact that the same African National Congress neocolonial government of South Africa, which has always united with white power against the masses of the people, is still in power is a result of colonial domination over our African lives.
If all we demand in South Africa is better pay and conditions, then we would be allowing for the power to remain in the hands of neocolonialism and white power.
The overall horrific conditions we suffer would remain.
Under such a situation, 80 percent of the useable land would remain in the possession of white exploiters, and 50 percent of the adult population would still be unemployed.
The same police and State that murdered more than 30 African miners in the Lonmin strike and then charged the miners with murder would continue to attack the masses.
In fact, should we not engage in a struggle for black power, white power would be able to strip away any gains we may have won during the strikes, returning the workers to the same—if not worse—conditions they endured prior to the strikes.
In the U.S. and other imperialist centers, the resistance against colonial oppression and exploitation must be equally as organized and conscious as it must be in Africa.
Forces like Lovelle Mixon, Hydra Lacey and countless other Africans who rebel against imperialism every day would be 10 times more effective if their resistance were organized.
This is not to condemn or denounce that resistance that is disorganized.
The fact is we want to see two, three, many Lovelle Mixons emerge from our communities. The more generalized the resistance becomes, the riper the conditions become for African people to gain freedom from our oppressor.
We welcome instability for imperialism!
Counterinsurgency destroyed the organizational capacity in African communities – InPDUM must rebuild it!
The scarcity of revolutionary forces in the community today can be directly tied to the U.S. counterinsurgency against the Black Power Revolution of the 1960s that resulted in the assassination, imprisonment and exile of the broad sectors of our Black Power struggle.
They killed Malcolm.
They crushed the Black Panther Party.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the State pumped drugs into our communities.
Consequently, the African working class, in particular, and the African community as a whole have been forced out of revolutionary political life.
Today, the primary means through which the masses of Africans in the U.S. and around the world participate in political life at all is through the imperialist electoral process, and increasingly individual acts of resistance against the State and sometimes spontaneous mass rebellions.
However, we understand that these forms of struggle alone will not result in real freedom for African people.
This is particularly true regarding the imperialist elections process. Therefore, the African community has been all but completely removed from political life.
The effects of this removal from political life have undermined the revolutionary process. As a consequence of this counterinsurgency against the African community, Africans have been trained to look to our oppressors to solve the same problems that have been created in our lives by our oppressors.
When the pigs murder us, we are told to go to internal affairs to file a complaint.
When the neocolonial politicians betray us, we are told to vote smarter in four years.
When our children do not learn in the schools, we tell them to pay more attention.
When we are hungry, we wait for our EBT card to fill up so we can go shopping.
When we are sick, we go see the dope man at the city or county hospital to give us a fix.
Meanwhile, the concept of fighting for community control of schools, police, healthcare and every other institution in our own community has been forgotten.
We have forgotten how to organize politically under our own leadership.
This contradiction has also impacted InPDUM’s development, up and down the ranks.
While many people join the organization, eager to fight for the people, they soon encounter the reality that to fight will require organization and discipline, in addition to the will to fight.
Based on the past 40 years of being stripped of the ability to solve our own problems on our own terms, many Africans are surprised by the notion of doing it ourselves.
Others leave the organization after they realize that work and accountability is required in order to see real transformation occur in our communities.
However, as we stated earlier in this report, the current crisis of imperialism is deepening in such a way that the same resources we may have once been able to rely on for colonial programs like food stamps, education and public housing are being slashed and cut left and right by the U.S. government.
Increasingly, we have nowhere to turn but to each other to secure our most basic and fundamental needs as a community.
To do requires that we become organized.
InPDUM is the primary revolutionary mass organization for African Liberation since the military defeat of Black Power Revolution of 1960s
The bourgeoisie thought they had taken us out militarily.
They thought they would never have to worry about the African community rising up and demanding our liberation again.
That was, of course, before the African People’s Socialist Party emerged from the ashes of defeat in 1972 and later established InPDUM in 1991 as the fighting organization of the African working class.
Since then InPDUM has been fighting for the democratic rights of the oppressed and exploited African community.
At the same time, we have struggled tooth and nail to rebuild revolutionary organizational capacity capable of representing the genuine interests of our oppressed people.
It has been a road of struggle that has taken us into every imaginable venue, from the chambers of the city halls of various major cities, where we challenged neocolonial politicians who sell out the black community for crumbs, to the courtrooms in which our people are railroaded by the U.S. injustice system.
InPDUM has been there, fighting every step of the way.
We have made it impossible for imperialism to know peace within its own centers.
We have done so by raising our Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP), a program which speaks to the genuine interests of the broad sectors of the oppressed and exploited African community.
The RNDP has served as our revolutionary “ten commandments,” the basis for all political activity we carry out as an organization.
We have not struggled simply for justice for one person, but to win reparations, economic and political power for the entire African community.
In Philadelphia we have fought for justice for the victims of police violence for the past 20 years.
In London, we fought for justice for Ricky Bishop and Mark Duggan, the African man whose murder by the London police sparked the heroic Black August Rebellions of 2011.
In Oakland, we stood courageously in defense of Oscar Grant, Andrew Moppin, Lesley Xavier Allen, Casper Banjo, Jose Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez, Mac “Jody” Woodfox and Anita Gay, all murdered by police violence.
We were the lone voice of the organized defense of Lovelle Mixon, a 26-year-old African man who killed four Oakland police officers before being assassinated by the police death squad.
We support the struggle for justice for Oury Jalloh, a young African man who was burned to death while in police custody in Germany.
We have fought for community control of education while protesting the budget cuts and school closures in our communities.
We have held tribunals (courts) to put the U.S. government on trial for the murder of African victims such as Sean Bell.
It was InPDUM who led the defense of the heroic African youth in London after they set the city ablaze in response to the police murder of Mark Duggan there.
We supported the movement to free Fred Hampton, Jr., framed up in Chicago in the 1990s.
In 1996, InPDUM represented organizational leadership for the African working class when young Africans from the south side of St. Petersburg rose up in resistance against the point-blank police murder of 18-year-old TyRon Lewis during a traffic stop in the community’s main thoroughfare.
Three weeks later, following the grand jury’s exoneration of the police, the community again rose up to defend the Uhuru House from a military attack by 300 highly armed police forces during a regularly scheduled InPDUM meeting.
Because of our stance of defending our people, the cops attacked our headquarters in an attempt to crush our movement.
They failed—we prevailed!
The community rose up to defeat the police in what has come to be known as the Battle of St. Petersburg.
The Battle of St. Pete proved to be so significant that then U.S. president, Bill Clinton, sent a member of his cabinet to St. Petersburg to develop a strategy to quell the resistance.
In 2008 it was InPDUM who led a protest against then U.S. presidential candidate, Barack Obama, during a town hall meeting he held at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg.
In that action InPDUM raised up the question heard around the world: “What about the black community, Obama?”
We have a fighting history. We have a track record.
Just in the last year, InPDUM has continued to serve one defeat after another to the U.S. colonial state.
In Bronson, Florida, InPDUM led a powerful struggle to free Eric Oliver, an 18-year-old African who was arrested and charged with assault for defending himself and his family by beating down a white lynch mob who came to lynch his younger brother.
InPDUM led and won the intense struggle to free Bakari Olatunji, a veteran of the Uhuru Movement who was arrested for leading a contingent of forces from InPDUM’s Oakland branch to serve the People’s Subpoena to the chief of police.
InPDUM started the year 2013 off the right way after having waged a successful campaign to free Baby Dillen from the clutches of Pennsylvania Hospital.
Dillen Nelson was a newborn infant whose mother has sickle cell anemia.
To deal with the pain of sickle cell, Dillen’s mother took an occasional dosage of morphine.
When Dillen was born, Pennsylvania Hospital staff unilaterally made the decision to give Dillen morphine, claiming that he was addicted.
The hospital initiated the morphine treatment without even conducting tests to see if he was addicted or not.
When Dillen’s family attempted to take him to another hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital issued an Amber alert and threatened to have any family member who goes near the baby locked up.
Subsequently, the family called on InPDUM for leadership.
InPDUM immediately built a campaign exposing the colonial treatment of Dillen and his family by the hospital, while raising the demand for his immediate release.
A few phone calls, press conferences and demonstrations later, the hospital released Dillen, unharmed and unaddicted.
That would not have happened unless we were organized and unless we fought for Dillen to be freed.
There are thousands of Dillens catching hell in the colonial healthcare system around the world.
We must build InPDUM wherever they are to free them.
InPDUM knows that liberal organizations, whether they function in the community, in city hall or in the white house, will never fight for black power to the African community.
InPDUM knows that it takes revolutionary organization to protect and defend our own, wherever we may be, whoever we may be.
Campaign against colonial occupation to deepen the resistance
The primary responsibility of InPDUM is to teach, to uphold, and to organize and generalize the resistance.
We are in a constant struggle to increase our ability to do that.
This is why we held up the resistance of Eric Oliver and lent as much organizational support and leadership as we possibly could to the African community of Bronson, FL, to ensure that Eric would not be isolated in his righteous stance of resistance.
This is why, as we speak, we are raising up the case of Crystal Scott, an African woman from Houston, TX, who is currently facing murder charges after having shot and killed a white man named Jonathan Ables who tried to physically attack her after running into the back of Crystal’s car.
Crystal did the right thing by pulling out her pistol and shooting Abels, ensuring that he would never bully anyone else ever again.
Now the colonial court system is trying to lock Crystal away for resisting her white attacker.
This is a clear-cut case of colonial violence, that African women in particular have experienced at the hands of white power for hundreds of years.
It is a violence that she faced not only from Abels, but, as we see, she is currently in a position where she must resist the State’s attempts to lock her away for life.
InPDUM stands in full unity with Crystal Scott, a courageous African woman who took a righteous stance of resistance.
It is our hope that we will be able to fully adopt Crystal’s case, to politicize it and take it to the masses of Africans around the world.
In this process, we aim to give even more significance to the call to “Protect and Organize the African Woman” that we are raising up in the convention.
This is why, as we speak, InPDUM is organizing the Court for Black Justice in Brooklyn, NY, on Saturday, April 13, at which we will put the NYPD on trial not only for the assassination of Kimani Grey, but for the overall colonial occupation of the African community and violation of our democratic right to self determination.
In the tribunal process we unite with the already occurring resistance in Brooklyn, while taking it to a higher level, by elevating the demand for State power.
We raise InPDUM’s Revolutionary National Democratic Program which calls for “the removal of the police and all U.S. military forces from the African community and their replacement with African liberation forces, whose struggles in defense of our community against our oppression demonstrate their loyalty to our community and their willingness to serve in its interest.”
Through our introduction of the theory of African Internationalism and principles of revolutionary organization, we elevate the consciousness of the people and show the people how to become an army fighting for revolutionary goals.
Through this convention InPDUM will formally initiate the Campaign Against Colonial Occupation (formerly known as the Campaign for African Community Self Defense), with which we will engage in various forms organized resistance against the colonial military occupation of our community.
Through this campaign the struggle against the NYPD in Brooklyn becomes part of an internationally coordinated effort to overthrow colonial domination of African people worldwide.
This is because we understand that imperialism, even as it has internal conflicts all the time, is united on a worldwide scale against African people.
In fact, the NYPD is a textbook example of that unity, or, as the Chairman put it, “police internationalism.”
The NYPD has sent forces throughout the imperialist world to reproduce the tactics of counterinsurgency that it perfected on the African population in NYC.
It was the NYPD that brought stop-and-frisk to London and is on verge of doing so in Oakland, CA, through former New York transit police chief William Bratton.
InPDUM’s resistance against colonial occupation campaign will result in internationally coordinated demonstrations, marches, tribunals, cop watches, wanted posters, know-your-rights classes and various political education classes raising up the demand for the removal of colonial military forces from the African community worldwide.
At its height British imperialism bragged about being the empire upon which the sun never set, meaning that there was no time zone on the planet where the British did not have slaves and colonial subjects.
Because of the resistance of oppressed peoples around the world, the British can no longer say that.
Now, the British, the U.S. and all of imperial white power are on the defensive.
Today, InPDUM must claim the title as the leadership of mass resistance upon which the sun never sets.
That means that we must be fighting in every time zone on earth—from Sierra Leone to Australia, to Oakland to New York! Touch One! Touch All!
To do this would surely undermine the ability of imperialism to attack us anywhere.
For example, in 2005 an article in the NY Times quoted the U.S. Pentagon to have recognized that the U.S. military could not deal with another “conflict” of the same magnitude of Afghanistan and Iraq anywhere else in the world.
U.S. imperialism was confronted with a similar contradiction in the 1960s, when the Black Power Movement was increasingly demanding U.S. military intervention, thus providing more space with which the heroic Vietnamese people were able wage their successful struggle for liberation.
InPDUM must lead and organize a resistance so powerful, covering so many fronts of the world, that imperialism will not have the capacity to crush it.
RNDP and “Protect and Defend Our Own” Campaign to put InPDUM on the offensive
Through campaigns like the one against colonial occupation, InPDUM will advance our mission for this period, as laid out in the political report to the Fifth APSP Congress.
In this report Chairman Omali Yeshitela states that InPDUM’s mission and identity has undergone transformation from the defensive character we assumed during the period of our founding in 1991 to the offensive stance during the current period that can be best characterized by the deep and profound crisis of imperialism as a whole.
To take the offensive means that InPDUM must not only engage in relentless organized resistance, but also in a way that facilitates the rapid growth of our organization.
The primary guide, the framework in which we carry out this resistance of the African community against imperialism and colonialism, is the Revolutionary National Democratic Program.
As its preamble, which was adopted at the 2009 National InPDUM Convention, states:
“The RNDP responds to the colonial conditions experienced by African people inside the U.S. and throughout North America, and recognizes that African people in North America and throughout the world are part of a dispersed African nation that must reunite with Africans on the continent to liberate Africa.
“The Revolutionary National Democratic Program is a program that distinguishes the interests of the vast majority of African people in North America from the interests of the U.S. North American ruling class and State, and from the interests of reactionaries and opportunists within the African nation itself.”
The RNDP responds immediately and directly to the harsh and brutal conditions that U.S. imperialism increasingly imposes on the African community.
Police containment, gentrification, anti-African schools and the mass imprisonment of our people are imperialist-created crises to which InPDUM must respond through organized resistance carried out through InPDUM’s structure.
The RNDP and the Party’s Fifth Congress lays out for us the political and strategic basis for the “Protect and Defend Our Own” (PADOO) campaign.
Through this campaign we will organize every sector of the African community, from women, to the elderly, to youth, to workers and intellectuals, to gays and everybody else under one anti-colonial struggle for black power.
Through the PADOO campaign we will recruit entire sectors of the African nation into InPDUM, based on their desire to be rescued from the particular ways in which they experience colonial oppression.
Women have a particular reality, as do youth, students, gays, workers, etc.
However, what unites us all is that our reality has been shaped by imperialism. And the only way to transform our reality is to destroy imperialism.
Through the PADOO campaign, we will unite the resistance led by African women with that of Africans who are gay.
We will unite African workers to march side by side with intellectuals.
Our strength is in our unity. However in order to unite, we must join and build InPDUM!
At this convention we will hold several workshops designed to initiate certain aspects of the PADOO campaign, including workshops that will deal with African women, LGBT and victims of colonial occupation and state violence.
Our goal in each of these workshops is to establish international commissions whose responsibility will be to go out and organize the entire sector of the international African population whose interests that commission was formed to represent.
By the end of this convention we should have an international African Women’s, LGBT and Healthcare commissions, all united under the banner of Black Power!
One Africa! One Nation! Powerful!
Branch building is an absolute necessity in the struggle for power base
Alongside the PADOO recruitment campaign is the struggle to build the branches and the liberation of territories throughout our colonized communities.
However, even as we talk about recruitment of various sectors of the community, we must always remember that they are part of a community that is composed of all types of force, all of whom must be organized.
It is not enough to have a lot of people in the same city join InPDUM.
Those people must become organized around InPDUM’s principles, to function in a coordinated manner, to carry out the mandates of the InPDUM convention as well as the International Executive Committee (IEC) between conventions.
This is what it means to be a branch.
The local InPDUM branch, the most basic organizational unit of InPDUM, bears the responsibility of being the primary front on which the masses are brought into InPDUM and through which organized resistance is carried out all of the time.
Led by the local executive committee, the branch is required to have the following four members: President, Membership Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
Branches who are newly established must sign a branch contract that holds them accountable to specific protocols and procedures.
Regular outreach and Burning Spear Newspaper sales, fundraising, membership and recruitment work, basic door-to-door knocking on Saturday mornings fishing for members and political action are among the routine activities of the branch.
Most importantly, the branches are the instrument through which InPDUM begins to claim territory in our oppressed and exploited communities throughout the world.
Under the leadership of the branch, the entire community will get organized to resist, to become fighting soviets that are impenetrable by any artillery the state may try to launch at us.
Branch leadership must be conscious of its duty to organize the broad sectors of their immediate community.
The branches must be on top of the political terrain in which they work and should aspire to be the most influential force on the ground.
The branch is the most concrete manifestation of InPDUM’s exercise of political power.
It is the branch that must gain the power and influence on the ground necessary to say, “ain’t nothing goin’ down unless we say it’s goin’ down!”
Through building branches we will build a genuine revolutionary movement.
This is not to say that branches are islands accountable only to themselves. For the branches to achieve their maximum potential, they must work in unison with one another, under the direction of the IEC and this convention.
Through this convention we aim to deepen the understanding among our membership about the organizational protocol of InPDUM, including the constitution, the written law of the organization.
The constitution defines all organizational activity and relationships amongst members and varying levels of organization within InPDUM. Too often InPDUM leaders attempt to make decisions that are not informed by constitutional policy.
However, the constitution says concretely what the basis of all organizational decisions should be.
In addition, through the OPOPOD campaign, InPDUM has developed an organizational manual which will be discussed in detail during day two of this convention.
This manual states concretely how to build a branch and how a branch should function once it has been established.
Our constitution and manual have taken the guessing game out of our work. If we follow these important documents we can’t lose!
This is not to say that all of InPDUM’s membership will be held accountable to the same level of organizational discipline. This is a standard we are setting particularly for our leaders, on all levels, to uphold.
For those of our members who are leaders and who function in the leadership structures of InPDUM, it is important that they be held accountable to revolutionary principles that ensure that the organization is being ran in a manner conducive to our success.
InPDUM is a militant activist organization that has our forces out in the streets in constant motion and resistance against our oppressors.
This type of organized struggle requires high level of discipline and organization amongst those who are struggling.
The urgency of this demand is laid out in the political report made to the plenary of the APSP held in February 2012. In this document Chairman Yeshitela raises the necessary criticism of the then organizational state of InPDUM:
“InPDUM was not created to be a loose connection of branches acting as they see fit. It is a single organization that must be powerfully led worldwide. There has to be a fight to fill all leadership offices on all levels and to build branches that function according to the constitution.”
At the same time, InPDUM must carry out concrete political work to advance the overall aims and objectives of the APSP and ASI – as the RNDP calls on it to do. As the Chairman indicated in his report to the plenary:
“When, for example, rebellions broke out in London where the London branch was in the thick of struggle, InPDUM should have held press conferences and directed its branches worldwide to act through sister demonstrations and other actions.
When the Chairman and our Party were under attack in St. Petersburg by white nationalist forces, InPDUM should have held national and international press conferences, etc.”
Centralized Leadership Requires Strong IEC
The struggle made by the Party to transform InPDUM has begun with its international leadership, the International Executive Committee (IEC).
With the exception of the International President who is appointed by the National Central Committee of the African People’s Socialist Party, all other IEC members are democratically elected by the membership of InPDUM at the international convention.
In the absence of a strong IEC InPDUM will be reduced to a bunch of members scattered around the world, with no cohesive leadership or strategy that informs their day to day work.
On the IEC are international leaders responsible for directing the work carried out by the organization around world, as it relates to their particular realm of responsibility.
Currently the IEC is required to have the following forces:
International Membership Coordinator
If there are vacancies in any one of these offices then essentially that means that the work of that particular office will not be carried out effectively anywhere – locally or internationally.
InPDUM has been able to arrive at this convention only as a consequence of the hard work and steadfast leadership of its IEC. International Membership Coordinator Ushindi Watu, International Secretary Waleeah Brooks and International Treasurer Baye Moye have all made major contributions to the organization in this last period.
We have certainly come a long way in developing organizational capacity within the IEC. In fact, at the last convention held in 2011, there was no IEC at all.
But we still have a long way to go! The fact is that the demands of this period are far greater than they were in February 2011. IEC forces that were effective in the last period will have to step their game up in order to move the work forward.
Further, it is our belief that the current mandatory positions of the IEC cannot provide sufficient leadership to the organization in the manner that this period is demanding it to do.
In this convention we will be proposing that InPDUM adopt the following changes to its constitutionally mandated IEC structure:
- Establishment of the International Office of Economic Development and Finance (OEDF). At the same time the office of the treasurer would be absorbed by the OEDF.
- Establishment of an International Political Action Coordinator (PAC) that would assume responsibility for development and implementation of the strategy to advance the RNDP in the world. This would include special events and mobilizations. This PAC would also oversee the work of the various international sub-committees that we aim to consolidate in this convention. It is under the Political Action Coordinator
- Establish the International Department of Information and Education
We believe that these changes will enhance the capacity of InPDUM to take the offensive stance that this period requires us to assume.
At this convention, all InPDUM members will participate in the election either accept or reject these proposals, as well as the election to choose the international leadership of the organization for the next year.
During this convention we will also bring more clarity to what the role and responsibilities of each international department are, in relationship to InPDUM’s overall strategy, a strategy which is informed by the need to bring thousands of Africans into InPDUM.
Membership and Recruitment must win thousands of members
The key to InPDUMs success politically, organizationally and economically is in winning thousands of members. Membership must not just be seen as a question of getting people to join. InPDUM must create a base of broad support and reserve force for the Party and the revolution. The larger our membership the more effective we are in achieving this capacity.
Through the OPOPOD campaign, InPDUM has established for itself concrete goals, objectives and protocols for handling of contacts that will ensure rapid growth in membership while increasing the size of our general base of support.
This means that we must develop relationships with our members, to bring them from the status of contacts to members, from members to cadre and from cadre to leaders!
To achieve this goal, our membership department has developed a process known as the SELLS follow-up process, which requires rapid follow-up calls made to all new contacts gained through outreach and events.
They include the goal of each branch and LOC
(Local Organizing Committee) winning at least five members every month immediately following the convention.
The membership department has created new membership levels that will make it easier for the masses to join InPDUM, from prisoners to unemployed workers to students.
The Membership and Sustainable Funding (MASF) process is the key tool for development of members and contacts.
The MASF is a multi-faceted and multi-phase process in which InPDUM organizers and supporters identify regular members of the community, not necessarily people experiencing some deep crisis, but regular working people who have the ability to be involved in the organization based on objective reasoning.
Through the MASF these community members are invited to a series of different events that assume the appearance of socials, mixers, etc. However, through short, hour-long dynamic presentations, the people are introduced to the work and politics of InPDUM.
Through the duration of the process, the goal is not only to win members based on their unity with the vision of InPDUM, but also to commit to being ongoing financial contributors to the organization.
The MASF must become a staple of our membership and recruitment, as well as economic development work.
Information and Education Department must become InPDUM’s face and voice
Much of the task of membership and recruitment is tied to the question of ideological work.
As Chairman Omali stated in his report to the 2007 National InPDUM Convention:
“InPDUM organizers have to present the organization to masses of people – especially to the workers, democrats and intellectuals – in a way that justifies membership based on revolutionary democratic principles.
“This is going to be the test of the organizers and the key to building the anti-colonial camp and winning members to InPDUM on a much higher level that will eventually contribute to liberation.”
To do this ideological work effectively means that we must have a strong Information and Education Department (“Info-Ed”), a team of propagandists who specialize in the development of materials, through various different media, that will give InPDUM a presence in the world for the purpose of winning Africans to our organization and our program.
Among the new fronts on which we have begun to carry out Info-Ed work is the internet; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networks are media with mass appeal that give us even greater access to masses of people at a relatively low cost.
Through the OPOPOD campaign we have just begun to use social networking in a scientific and organized way.
However, the struggle continues to win our entire membership to the need to transform their social network accounts into portals for promotion of InPDUM’s program.
This must change.
Another internet-related aspect of our Info-Ed work is InPDUM’s Uhuru Radio show “African Resistance Now.”
African Resistance Now gives us the opportunity to get up-to-date reports on the work coming out of different areas.
We also have the ability to interview guests on the show who may become valuable allies to our struggle for self determination.
We have also established the InPDUM Resistance blog which, for the first time, gives InPDUM the ability to report on its work on the internet in a way that brings people back to a website that we control.
Info-Ed must also build a newsletter for our membership to update them on the current happenings of the organization. It would also feature a “member of the month” and a regular statement from the President and other IEC leaders.
Most importantly, we must build a fully staffed Info-Ed department. We need not only an Info-Ed director, but an entire staff that functions under the director’s leadership and the leadership of subcommittees such as graphic design, press, internet outreach, web design and videography.
InPDUM must be economically self-sufficient
As the organization that has as its role the achievement of black power within current U.S. borders, we must assume responsibility for funding ourselves.
This means that we do not have to rely on any other organization to let us hold our meetings in their buildings.
It means we have Uhuru houses across the country where InPDUM can do and say whatever we choose.
It means that we achieve the ability to provide a salary for our President.
It means that we generate enough resources to distribute our press and other forms of literature to promote recruitment.
In his report to the Fifth Party Congress, the Chairman wrote on the question of fundraising and economic development:
“The Office of Economic Development and Finance must be bold in its vision and competent in its ever-expanding capacity.
“This is the office that must acquire the expertise to anticipate the emergence of an independent African economy growing out of processes and programs of our Party that are developing now as instruments of contending and dual international economic power.
“The African petty bourgeoisie, where most of the expertise we need for such development is located, is not readily accessible to us at this time. It is also true that without ideological transformation, the expertise gained through imperialist institutions is not immediately useful to us. However, this will change.
“The conscientious work by the Office of Economic Development and Finance will result in the development of the needed expertise within our ranks, the growth of our Party and the movement under its influence will result in class suicide by elements of the African petty bourgeoisie who have such expertise. They will abandon the interests of the petty bourgeoisie, which is a dying social force, and adopt the interests of the African working class as their own.”
InPDUM unites with this summation of the role and significance of the Department of Economic Development.
InPDUM will be duplicating this approach in our own process of building our Department of Economic Development and Finance.
This office will also be adopting many of the projects of Black Star Industries, the main economic engine of the African People’s Socialist Party.
We must also not lose sight of the call that the Chairman and the APSP have been making since InPDUM’s inception: the organization must be funded through its recruitment of members.
With the anticipated influx of thousands of new members around the world into InPDUM, our ability to generate resources should also increase.
To do so would ensure a regular, at minimum $35 per year contribution from each of those members to the movement. If we had 1000 members we would take in $35000 per year.
This can be done.
Serious branch-building work must be done in Africa
The task of building branches and of the PADOO campaign must not be limited to organizing Africans colonized within the imperialist centers of Europe and North America. No! We must organize Africans all around the world into our structure.
This includes Africa itself, our homeland.
InPDUM’s Africa work must been seen as a top priority, as the RNDP clearly states that the colonial status of African people outside of Africa is a result of a colonial war against Africa itself.
To liberate African people requires, first and foremost, a struggle for the liberation and unification of Africa herself.
Right now we have comrades in Sierra Leone who have been holding down the fort for several years now, since our organization got swindled by a hustler posing as a revolutionary leader.
We must establish the concrete resolution of consolidating a branch in Sierra Leone once and for all and developing the organizational protocol by which our forces in Africa must function.
This is in light of the difficult circumstances under which we must work and live in many parts of Africa that will not always allow for the open distribution of propaganda, establishment of bank accounts, internet communication and other resources that branches in Europe and North Americacurrently have access to.
Further, at this convention we will develop our Revolutionary National Democratic Program to a higher stage of development so that it would not simply speak to the interests of Africans in particular regions of the world, as the current RNDP does.
Our newly developed RNDP must do, as Marcus Garvey’s “Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World” did in the 1920’s: speak to the conditions and interests of Africans around the world.
Leadership of the revolutionary Party of the African working class critical for victory
This entire report was informed by the revolutionary practice that InPDUM has been engaged in for the last year and more.
The worldview with which this practice has been explained is that of African Internationalism, the revolutionary theory of the African People’s Socialist Party.
It is a worldview that was developed by Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of our Party, over the last 40 years of relentless resistance against imperialism.
InPDUM was created by the Party as the instrument through which the Party leads this mass resistance.
Without the Party, there could be no InPDUM and no RNDP. For this reason point number 39 of the RNDP states:
“We unite with building the African Socialist International as the revolutionary advanced detachment and general staff of the international African working class that is the essential requirement for the African working class, working in its own self interests, to lead the struggle for the liberation and unification of Africa and African people worldwide.”
The African Socialist International is the international revolutionary party that is represented as the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) in various countries around the world.
Each of the national APSP organizations is required to hold a congress every 3 years, which functions in a similar fashion as the InPDUM convention does.
The congress is the process through which the leadership of the Party is elected, where policy is debated and decided upon and where the entire organization comes together to achieve a united understanding of the way forward.
APSP-USA will be holding its next and Sixth Congress in December of this year. The theme of the Congress is “One Africa! One Nation! One Party! African Workers and Peasants of the World Unite!”
It is in the deepest interests of all InPDUM members to see to it that the Sixth Party Congress is a success, for a strong Party will naturally result in a strong InPDUM.
Therefore, in this convention, I will be proposing a resolution that calls on InPDUM to dedicate all available efforts to the building of the APSP-USA Sixth Party Congress.
WE WILL WIN!
ONE AFRICA! ONE NATION!
BUILD REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR OWN!