Friday, September 10, 2010

A Day in Solidarity with African People

Come out to the Oakland event for the Campaign for a Day in Solidarity with African People:

Beyond Obama:
Seeking Real Solutions to the Growing Racial Divide in the U.S.

Sunday, September 19th
1 to 5pm Humanist Hall
390 - 27th St., Oakland
$10 to $25 suggested donation.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds. (510) 394-1780
A $35 donation (or $20 for students) includes a one-year Uhuru Solidarity Movement membership.



Keynote Speaker, Omali Yeshitela
Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party-USA
and leader of the Uhuru Movement.

Speaking throughout Africa, Europe and the U.S., Yeshitela continues the unfinished legacy of Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah. A brilliant theoretician, he has authored several books including One Africa! One Nation!

glen ford

Glen Ford
Executive Editor of the Black Agenda Report and a
leading member of the Black is Back Coalition for Peace, Social Justice and Reparations

Ford has had a long career as a radio host and commentator. He is the author of "The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion" and of countless articles and radio editorials on the oppression of African people and exposing the truth about the Obama administration.

Penny Hess

Penny Hess
Chairwoman of the African People's Solidarity Committee (APSC)APSC builds support from the white community for the call for reparations to African people and for the movement for the liberation of Africa and African people.

Hess is author of Overturning the Culture of Violence, a book telling the true story of America’s history built on slavery and genocide and exposing white complicity with the oppression of African people.

1 – 1:15 Opening and Cultural Performance

1-2 Presentation by Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People's Solidarity Committee
and Author of Overturning the Culture of Violence

2 - 2:45 Presentation by Omali Yeshitela, Leader and Founder of the Uhuru Movement and
Chairman of the African Socialist International

2:45-3 Fundraising

3-3:30 Glen Ford, Executive Director of Black Agenda Report and member
of the Black is Back Coalition,

3:30-3:45 – Video - Solidarity with African Liberation

3:45-4:40 Panel Discussion on Oakland's War on the African Community with Jabari Shaw,
Member of the Campaign for Justice for Oscar Grant, Orlando Johnson, Campaign Manager
for Don Macleay for Mayor, Sealli Moyenda, International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement and others.

4:30-4:45 – Uhuru Pies and Uhuru Solidarity Movement

4:45-5 Culture and Close Out

5-7 Dinner

Based on the strategy and campaigns of the African People’s Socialist Party, the
Uhuru Solidairty Movement organizes in white communities.
We call on white people to unite with our true human interest in recognizing that
the struggle of African people for liberation and justice has a relationship to the
fact that our lifestyle rests on a pedestal of African oppression. APSC organizes
forums, demonstrations, studies and events to educate other white people about
the true history of this country, founded on slavery and genocide, and what we can
do to support the struggle of African people

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Justice for Oscar Grant: Verdict Sparks Outrage and Police Containment by the City

“We could not even get six hours of deliberation. My son was murdered. He was murdered. He was murdered. My son was murdered. And the law has not held the officer accountable the way that he should have been held accountable,” Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant

On July 8th, after less than six hours of deliberation, a jury in Los Angeles found former Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop Johannes Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the murder of 22 year old African Oscar Grant. The charge of involuntary manslaughter with a weapons enhancement is expected to result in a maximum sentence of eight to ten years.

Oscar Grant was killed by Mehserle, who is white, at point blank range during the early morning hours of January 1, 2009, after having been made to lie on his stomach in submission on the Fruitvale BART station platform in Oakland, CA. The murder of African people by police is an all too common occurrence in the U.S. government’s undeclared war on the African community, which faced the colonial policy of police containment on a daily basis. The murder of Oscar Grant was only significant in that it was caught on video by BART passengers for the world to see.

The historic resistance of the African community of Oakland forced the arrest of Mehserle, the first time in history that a police officer has been put on trial for murder in the state of California. Immediately, the state worked overtime to ensure that Mehserle, if convicted, would face minimal jail time.

The state succeeded first in moving the trial three hundred miles away from Oakland to the city of Los Angeles to lessen the impact of the resistance of the African community on the trial. Next, the defense was able to dismiss all potential African jurors due to either their affinity with the case of Oscar Grant or their experience with being targeted by the police or “racial profiling.”

In the end, the jury who made the decision to give Mehserle a mere slap on the wrist for the crime of murder was made up of seven whites and five Latinos. Four of the jurors were reported to have police officers among their friends and family.

The lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter should be of no surprise in a system that treats the murder of African people by the police as a commonplace and necessary occurrence in the containment of our criminalized and colonially occupied community.

To be expected, the jurors sympathized with Mehserle’s crocodile tears as he performed the rehearsed narrative on the stand that he had mistaken his gun for his taser when he shot and killed Oscar Grant. Even though the defense showed Mehserle’s prior handing of a taser minutes before the killing and also showed the difficulty in firing a weapon “by accident,” the jurors bought the former white cop’s lies and please for mercy.

In preparation for the potential rebellion, the state set up "Operation Verdict" in Oaklnad, mobilizing police agencies from throughout the area and putting the National Guard on alert. The city of Oakland and police department held a press conference, collaborating with local non profits to put forward the reactionary message of "violence is not justice," further criminalizing the African community by condemning the potential African resistance and sanctioning the state's colonial violence and containment that maintains the relationship between the white ruling class and neo colonial government and oppressed African and Mexican working class.

In spite of neo-colonial Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' expressions of pride in how crowd gathered peacefully initially following the verdict, te people had no right to freedom of speech and assembly since the rally was cordoned off within two blocks of the downtown area by thousands of police in riot gear and row police cars and helicopters overhead to ensure the farcical "freedom of speech" was contained and that no unsanctioned expressions of outrage could occur.

The fact is that the African community throughout Oakland was put on lockdown with twelve passenger vans of Oakland police patrolling the MacArthur corridor in front of the Uhuru House to quell any potential rebellion.

The media looked hard for a story that would justify the military style presence of the police; however, the fact is that when darkness fell in downtown Oakland a handful of people smashed windows, set fires and looted a Foot Locker store. The police had corralled hundreds of people and later declared "an unlawful assembly," putting on gas masks and taking out clubs to ensure that the police state was in full effect.

While the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant continues, the Uhuru Movement calls for the following demands:

1. Justice and reparations to the family of Oscar Grant and all victims of police violence from BART and the city of Oakland.

2. End the city of Oakland’s public policy of police containment of the African community carried out through police chief Anthony Batt's war on ‘gangs, guns and drugs’ and his recently imposed gang injunction.

3. Economic development for the African and Mexican communities.

We call on the community to:

• Support the right of the African community to resist the state violence.

• Join the Uhuru Movement.
Meetings of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement on Tuesdays at 7pm at the Niebyl Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Murder of Oscar Grant and the Continuing Struggle for Justice for the African Community

The news that former BART cop Johannes Mehserle will stand trial for the murder of 22 year old Oscar Grant III signals a victory for the African community and all those who stand opposed to police violence and injustice. 

During the hearings, BART cop, Anthony Pirone, who was caught on video punching Grant in the face just minutes prior to the deadly shooting, confirmed that Grant posed no threat to the officers.

We know that this is a rare occurrence to have a police officer stand trial for the "use of deadly force." History shows that police are systematically acquitted of murder.  In fact, the courts, crime labs and prison system all work together to ensure that police departments are rarely held accountable for their crimes. Case in point, the Oakland Riders, four cops accused of brutally beating suspects in West Oakland, falsifying police reports and planting evidence were acquitted time and time again.

Most recently, eleven Oakland officers were fired for falsifying search warrants that they utilized to raid peoples' homes in East Oakland. This is the same police department whose internal affairs chief was exposed as having killed Jerry Amaro III, after having kicked him to death in 2000. For nine years, this information was covered up by the Oakland Police Department. 

It should be as conspicuously clear to anyone who is paying attention that the police are a brutal presence in the African and other oppressed communities and that they lie to cover up their crimes. The mainstream media, for the most part, will only expose their crimes after the proverbial cat's body has completely jumped out of the bag. On a daily basis, the media works to justify the presence of the police in the black community, which is kept impoverished and under seige by the U.S. government imposed drug economy that in turn is used to justify more police. 

At this time in history, in spite of a black president, one million African people are locked down in prisons under this "war on drugs."  In California, even though African people make up just 5% of the population, they represent 50% of those incarcerated in the one of the largest prison systems in the world. 

While the city of Oakland spends nearly half of its general budget on this war, one in five households live on $5,000 or less per year and virtually none on economic development. Even their other budget that is supposedly earmarked for economic development is spent on police related services and gentrification efforts, buying banners and planters to superficially make a neighborhood look friendlier for shoppers using Community and Economic Development Agency monies that are supposed to go to alleviate the poverty in Oakland. 

The actions of Lovelle Mixon in Oakland, California on March 21st take place within this context. Mixon, having recently been released from prison in the fall of 2008, faced an unprecedented economic downturn. He was living in a city in which the public slaughter of Oscar Grant was captured on numerous phone and video cameras for the entire world to see. 

We will never know exactly what was in the mind of Lovelle Mixon on that afternoon when he was pulled over on a "routine traffic stop," but we do know that the events of the day took place within a political context of police terror, repression and violence against the African community. 

Recent revelations in the media also point to the coverup of lies that took place about exactly what happened in the apartment building where the Oakland SWAT team raid took place, resulting in the deaths of the third and fourth officers, so much that an independent panel will be called in for the investigation. 

We may never find out what exactly happened in the apartment where SWAT officers Erv Romans and Daniel Sakai and Lovelle Mixon were killed; however, we do know that that the same entities that reported the reported the police version of events also reported the state crime lab results that pinned a rape of a child on Mixon. This was a rape that, if it did happen, was not reported to the school that stands within a mile of the area where they say it occurred. These were lab results that came out after Mixon was killed. 

Time and time again, we see the war on the African community being carried out with the full support of the public and in conjunction with the media slander of an entire community. When Jody "Mack" Woodfox was killed by Oakland Police Officer Jimenez in July of 2008, there was no outcry from the public. Woodfox was killed by multiple shots to his backside while running away from the police.   Oakland police officer Hector Jimenez is also responsible for the shooting death of 20 year old Andrew Moppin, on New Year's Eve, 2007. 

When Jose Luis Buenrostro was killed in mid day just a block away from his house, the media reported the police version that the 16 year old had hidden a sawed off in his pajamas. They also came out with subsequent articles that insinuated that the Oakland Aviation High School student was somehow affiliated with a gang, assigning a low price to his life. 

When 71 year old Casper Banjo, a pillar in the Black Arts Movement had an epileptic seizure and was surrounded and shot right in front of house near Eastmont Mall, there was dead silence on the part of the general public and media. So far there have been no consequences for any of these deaths. 

It is time for those of us who say that we are about social justice to fully understand the role of the state, the organized system of violence that arises in society when there exists haves and have nots, colonized and colonized, oppressor and oppressed. 

For too long, white progressives, who may come out for a big march against the U.S. war in Iraq have stood silently where the African community faces this police terror, in the name of safety, in the name of diversity, with the celebration of a black president and in our name.

No longer can we afford to stand silently by while young people like Lovelle Mixon face no future. The African community has been the hardest hit by the economic collapse. No longer can we seek the means for our own survival - whether it be eco-friendly, DIY, gay friendly or in some other way alternative - if it does not include the complete and total transformation of a system based on genocide and slavery. 

The problems that African people face - in the U.S., on the continent, and around the world - are our problems to face, embrace and address. Let's support the African Village Survival Initiative and its collective response to the economic crisis. Let's say yes to collective and community gardening, rainwater harvesting, solar and wind energy, economic self-reliance, but it has to be under the umbrella of African self-determination, not within a system that robs self-reliance from the peoples of Africa and all over the world.

Come out on next Thursday, June 11th to hear from Omali Yeshitela, the brilliant leader of the Uhuru Movement addressing "Why We Must Organize to Stop Police Terror Against the African Community."  The first of two events will take place at 7pm at the Humanist Hall at 390 - 27th St. in Oakland with a second event on Sunday, June 14th from 4 to 6pm at the Uhuru House, 7911 MacArthur Blvd in East Oakland. 
To hear Yeshitela speaking on the situation in Oakland, you can listen to this broadcast:

Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People's Solidarity Committee will present a slide show on The Crisis of Imperialism and the Question of the State
You can read her blog entry, "African People Have a Right to Resist."
Email for more info

Monday, June 1, 2009

From Oscar Grant to Lovelle Mixon: Why We Must Organize to Stop Police Terror Against the African Community

Two Events This Month!

Thursday, June 11th, 7 to 9:30pm
Humanist Hall, 390 - 27th St., Oakland

Sunday, June 14th, 4 to 6pm
Uhuru House, 7911 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland

$5 to $25 sliding scale 
No one turned away for lack of funds

Building the Movement for Economic Development, Reparations & Justice
Find out what the Uhuru Movement's solutions are for police violence, poverty and injustice and get involved in work that supports the African Village Survival Initiative, because environmental justice, gay rights, women's rights and the rights of all people must be addressed through the overturning of the culture and system of violence and genocide and the building of a new world where all people can live. 

With Presentations by: 
Omali Yeshitela, Leader and Founder of the Uhuru Movement 
on the movement for economic development, reparations and justice 
Penny Hess, 
Chairwoman of the African People's Solidarity Committee 
presenting a slide presentation on Environmental Justice Through African Liberation

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WE DID IT! Uhuru Foods Will Be at the Maker Faire

Thank you to all Supporters! Visit our booth at Maker Faire 

A huge "Thank you!" to all the supporters of Uhuru Foods from Massachussetts to Florida to California who sent heartfelt e-mail letters of deep unity with the Uhuru Movement and Uhuru Foods. Thanks to everyone who made phone calls, as well.

Because of the broad base of support for the Uhuru Movement, we were notified this morning by Ovations that Uhuru Foods' booth location and contract has been reinstated at the Maker Faire. If you plan to be at Maker Faire, sign up to volunteer at our booth, stop by to make a donation or get your meals from Uhuru Foods. This important fundraiser for African self-determination will be a great success with all of your support.

To find out more about Uhuru Foods and the African Village Survival Initiative, to join the AVSI solidarity committee or to make a donation, go to or

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Urgent Call-in: Demand Uhuru Foods is Included at the Maker Faire

Dear Uhuru Foods and Uhuru Movement Supporters,

We are calling on people to write letters and make calls to express shock and outrage at the decision by Ovations, the food coordinators for the Maker Faire 2009 to terminate the contract of Uhuru Foods, without explanation, just 7 days prior to the event

(See sample letter)

As you may know, Uhuru Foods has been coordinating popular food concessions at fairs and festivals for 30 years to raise resources in support of the Uhuru Movement programs for African genuine economic development and self determination. The booths have offered good quality natural foods, and the opportunity for thousands of volunteers to concretely demonstrate their support for genuine economic development for the black community.

On Friday, May 22nd, Nancy Davis of Ovations notified Uhuru Foods that they were terminating our contract just one week prior to the faire. She refused to give a reason for excluding Uhuru Foods. Uhuru Foods has had an excellent relationship with Maker Faire promoters in the past.

We believe that excluding Uhuru Foods runs counter to the mission of the Maker Faire. The Maker Faire focuses on generating thought and action towards building a sustainable future.
The predominantly white middle class community that produce and attends the Maker Faire have always appreciated being able to support Uhuru Foods. Excluding Uhuru Foods ensures that the festival is an exclusive enterprise that does not include the voice, perspective and struggle of the African working class.

Without any explanation from Ovations for the cancellation, we can only assume that they do not support the independent voice and self determination struggle of the black community, They are choosing to exclude African led programs for true sustainability and justice that African people are leading through the Uhuru Movement. Just as during the early 1960s, some opposed the leading struggles of black people in the South who challenged the status quo with such bold actions as the lunch counter sit-ins.

Read more and participate in the Call-in

Monday, May 18, 2009

Uhuru Solidarity Movement Meeting, Tues, 5/19 at 7pm

When: Tuesday, May 19th, 7 to 8:30pm
Where: Humanist Hall, 390 - 27th St., Oakland
What: Uhuru Solidarity Movement meeting

Come out to participate in the work of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, a part of the African Liberation Movement building a movement on the ground against the policy of police containment and terror in Oakland and beyond. We will study the legacy of Malcolm X on his birthday and the COINTELPRO program that destroyed the Black Power Movement of the 1960's. Find out how to get involved with the African Village Survival Initiative and support the work to build sustainability, justice and programs led by and for the black community. Uhuru means freedom!