Thursday, January 29, 2009

Torture: As American as Apple Pie

Barack Obama said, “The U.S. does not torture.”

The reality is torture of African, Mexican and Indigenous people in this country is an integral part of the U.S.—past and present. America was built and is maintained on slavery, genocide, theft of land and resources…and torture.


Lynching and genocide, the American legacy
Genocide and holocaust of Indigenous people

Photos of lynchings

Torture of children and youth

Police brutality against African and Mexican people
Hawaii police brutality

Uhuru African Liberation Day promo

Monday, January 26, 2009

The question of torture: national liberation is the real issue

One of Obama’s first actions as president this past week was to issue an executive order mandating the closure of the Guantanamo prison and making the statement, “the United States will not torture.”

Many people are appeased by this move, but if we are truly progressive we must go further.

The question of torture cannot be taken out of context of the larger issue: the U.S. has no right to invade other countries, occupy them, murder the people, steal their resources and take away the people’s self-determination, for the benefit of America and Americans.

When the U.S. or any imperialist power launches acts of domination, be they military invasions, covert actions, political attacks or deadly economic embargoes, the country, nation or people have a right to resist the hostile, colonizing force, to defend their sovereignty, to fight back on every possible front!

Under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Gen. Alexander Haig declared that henceforth all freedom fighters will be known as “terrorists.” Thus began the concerted U.S. campaign to criminalize all anti-colonial forces, for which the revolutionary era of the 1960s was so well known.

For us to simply focus on the issue of torture and not the human right to national liberation is to say that thieves should treat their victims better when they force their way into someone’s house and steal everything in it.

It is also hypocritical not to demand an end to torture of oppressed people inside the U.S!

Despite Obama’s rhetoric about “post racial” America, there are in fact two Americas. There’s white America and there are the “others.” There are colonies inside this country.

Indigenous people, to whom land this rightfully belongs, are forced to live a Gaza-like existence on their own stolen land, on “reservations” with life expectancies in their 40s.

Indigenous resistance fighter Leonard Pelletier, who has been held as a political prisoner for a generation, was just recently beaten and tortured in prison.

There are nearly two and a half million people in prisons in the U.S., most of them African, Mexican or other impoverished oppressed people.

Mandatory minimums and discriminatory sentencing have millions of black people in and out of prisons—many locked up for life—for things most white people never serve a day for.

African communities live under martial law and war conditions imposed by a government policy of police containment that is popularly endorsed by the majority of white people.

Where is Obama’s condemnation of policeman Jon Burge in Obama’s home base of Chicago? Obama has yet to make a statement about the terror inflicted on hundreds of African men by Burge’s forces in Chicago for over 20 years.

Locked up inside the brutal U.S. prisons African and Mexican people are regularly tortured. Pelican Bay and Corcoran prisons in California are notorious. Angola in Louisiana and Parchman Farm in Mississippi are brutal plantation work camps continuing the system of slavery.

In every state African men, women and children are locked up and brutalized more often than in any other country on the planet, including those puppet countries that carry out U.S. torture through “extraordinary rendition.”

Some of the army guards at Abu Ghraib were prison guards in predominately African prisons in Pennsylvania. They were well trained in torture methods in U.S. prisons for their Iraq duty.

Here too, the question is not how to wage a nicer war against the black community, but to support the right of African, Indigenous and other oppressed peoples to resist, as Malcolm X said by any means necessary.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stop & Frisk is part of Philadelphia's Billion Dollar War against the black community!

The Stop and Frisk Policy put forward by Mayor Michael Nutter is another violent tactic in the unjust war the city of Philadelphia is waging against the African community. It is always impoverished black and Puerto Rican neighborhoods that are targeted for Stop and Frisk, which violates basic democratic rights by allowing the police to treat every person walking down the street as a criminal suspect.

Can you imagine the outcry if they Stopped and Frisked people in Rittenhouse Square or on the Penn campus?

This divisive policy was cynically put forward by then candidate Michael Nutter to show the white community that he would lock up more black people than any other candidate. The reality is that Philadelphia already has the highest rate of imprisonment in the entire country, and the US has the highest rate of imprisonment in the world! Philadelphia also has the highest poverty rate of any major US city. The mass imprisonment of an impoverished population not only does not solve any social problems it create terrible new ones. The African community in THIS city is living under the same military occupation experienced by the Iraqi people! This is a terrible human rights violation that every citizen should be outraged by. We have a responsibility to speak out when the people in power are the ones committing the crimes.

Over 1 billion dollars, an astounding 35 % of the budget of the entire city goes to the police and the system of locking up more and more young black men in prison. The Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM is an organization based in the white community) unites with the In ternational Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement’s program for real change. We support the call for an immediate end to the Stop and Frisk Policy and that reparations be paid to the African community which has lived under this policy of police containment.

The African community is calling for the billion dollars to be used for positive economic development in their own hands. That would solve community problems by upgrading housing conditions, making quality health care available, and putting resources into libraries and schools.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement calls for an end to the anti-African Stop and Frisk and the divisive social policy that which creates jobs, condos, wealthy universities and a prosperous lifestyle for white people at the expense of oppressive conditions of povert y and police terror in the African community.

The only way forward to a united Philadelphia is through justice and reparations to the African community.