Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Philly Weekly Coverage of Uhuru Movement-led March Against the Youth Curfew August 20th

Mayoral Candidate Diop Olugbala Leads Anti-Curfew Campaign

By Michael Alan Goldberg, Aug. 23, 2011

“Uncle Tom trio”: Demonstrators say Mayor Nutter and his cohorts are guilty of racializing crime.

Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg

Bullhorn in hand, 34-year-old Diop Olugbala—the tall, thin, resolute leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and, as of Aug. 11, independent mayoral candidate—made it clear it wasn’t just happenstance that the corner of Broad and South streets was the gathering point last Saturday night for a protest against the city’s recently instituted youth curfew in Center City. “When the Phillies won the World Series, right where we standing, white kids were running up and down, turning over cars, tearing down street lamps, but you didn’t hear a press conference come from Michael Nutter like this specific attack being waged against African youth,” shouted Olugbala, who’s running under his birth name, Wali Rahman.

“That’s right!” someone in the crowd of about 60 protesters circled around Olugbala—split evenly between blacks and whites—yelled out.

Some applauded. Others hoisted brightly colored signs: “African Youth Are NOT Criminals!”; “White People Demand An End To The Jim Crow Curfew”; “Phila Police Are The Flash Mob.”

Characterizing the recent youth-mob violence that’s led to the curfew as noble resistance to “the violence of poverty,” Olugbala gestured toward City Hall, and then at the dozen or so bicycle cops lined up across the street, reinforced by more officers in police cruisers and vans stationed along the block. “They know these youth have the capability and potential to get organized and overturn this rotten, filthy system,” he said. “We defend these youth. They’re not a flash mob.”

The protest—which got under way half an hour before the 9 p.m. curfew was set to be enforced, and included members of Uhuru, the Philadelphia Coalition of the Heart and others—was part of the Black is Back Coalition’s “International Day of Action Against the Wars on Africa and African People.”

Demonstrators unfurled a banner with images of Nutter, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams behind bars with the word “Guilty!” stamped across each of their faces, and “The real Flashmob is in City Hall!” written underneath.

“You have here what we call ‘the Uncle Tom trio,’” said Olugbala.

One after another, protesters grabbed the bullhorn to shout their grievances.

“They can spend $56,000 to pay overtime to the pigs [to enforce the curfew] ... but they can’t give a damn dime to our schools, but they gonna arrest our children?” one woman hollered. “Hell no, Michael Nutter, your ass gotta go and this curfew needs to go.”

Harris Daniels, Northeast regional representative of the African Peoples’ Solidarity Committee, implored other white people to join the cause. “We’re taking a stand with this march, not only against the curfew policy but also against a system that criminalizes and locks up African youth and tells us that we’re supposed to be afraid of an 11-year-old,” said Daniels. “We reject that notion. They can’t just count on us to go along with the program because they don’t care about us, either.”

As protesters spoke, ringed by news cameras, passers-by stopped to see what was going on. Gregory Lee, 28, holding a bag of leftovers from Johnny Rockets as he walked toward his South Philly apartment, had mixed feelings about the curfew.

“I don’t condone the violence, [kids] shouldn’t be runnin’ up and beating up on random people,” said Lee. “But people gettin’ shot and killed every day out here,” he continued. “They worryin’ about people gettin’ rolled on? Somebody gets sucker punched walking home from work and this is what happens. Forget Center City … go across Washington Avenue and worry about all them other neighborhoods where real shit happens.”

A little past 9 p.m., Olugbala and his fellow demonstrators began swiftly marching east along South Street, chanting slogans.

“We need schools, not the curfew!”

“Fight for teen jobs, not the flash mobs!”

“Who run South Street? Not the police!”

Bicycle cops rode alongside, occasionally barking at protesters to stay on the sidewalk. A police captain and two sergeants, radios in hand, walked even with the group on the opposite sidewalk. Reactions from shoppers, people smoking outside bars and restaurants, and others along the atypically sedate South Street was varied. Near 10th Street, one couple set down their bags to cheer on the throng. “They want to protect their civil liberties to walk down the street without getting harassed by the police,” said the woman. Others stared and laughed, snapped photos, or shook their heads. Near the corner of Eighth and South, two neighbors—a man and a woman, both 44—stood against the bars of their gated courtyard and watched the procession go by. The man took a flier from a female protester bringing up the rear. “Oh, it’s the People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement—these guys are left of left,” he said to his neighbor. “I want the curfew indefinitely,” said the woman. “It has been a hard past three years where we felt like prisoners in our own homes. Swarms of kids, some of them literally pulling old people out of cabs and beating the bejeezus out of them.” Since the curfew took effect, she said, “It’s night and day here. It’s phenomenal. We have our neighborhood back.”

At Fourth and South, the chanting protesters crossed the street and headed back to their starting point with police still slowly bicycling along. Back at Broad and South, Olugbala reiterated his demand for an immediate end to the curfew and rallied his supporters to keep up the fight. Across the street, a police captain smiled and glanced around the block. “No problems at all,” he said, shaking hands with fellow cops. “It was very peaceful.” Afterward, his voice hoarse from chanting, Olugbala told PW he was happy with the turnout, and glad to see whites marching together with blacks in solidarity against the curfew. “It’s of the utmost importance because part of Michael Nutter’s strategy was to isolate the black community by racializing the issue of crime, by saying this is a question of certain black youth who are a so-called ‘disgrace to their race,’ as opposed to Michael Nutter himself taking responsibility for the failure of his own policies,” he said. Olugbala reiterated that the recent youth mob violence has “everything to do with the violent attacks of poverty and budget cuts, and police repression like stop-and-frisk.”

“I plan to become the mayor,” he added, “and do away with the police containment of our community and usher in a new period where economic development—led by the community itself—can be the way to resolve so-called violence in the city of Philadelphia.”

Read more: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/Mayoral-Candidate-Diop-Olugbala-Leads-Anti-Curfew-Campaign.html#ixzz1VusAC1uL

Monday, August 22, 2011

Media Coverage of August 20th Philadelphia Community March Against the Youth Curfew

On Saturday, August 20th, 2011, as part of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations International Day of Action Against the Wars on Africa and African People, the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, Independent Mayoral Candidate Diop Olugbala, and Uhuru Solidarity Movement participated in a coalition-led demonstration and rally on South Street to oppose the anti-African, anti-democratic 9pm youth curfew imposed by Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and the city.

Here is some media coverage of the mobilization:

Philadelphia Weekly Video:

Diop Olugbala Leads Anti-Curfew March Down South Street Saturday Night



Philadelphia Metro Article & Videos:
"Curfew longer, concerns aside"


Citypaper Coverage:
Protesters challenge, not violate, curfew. Spark conversation, confusion, on South Street


Newsworks Article:

Community groups protest Philadelphia curfew



CBS 3 TV Video and Article:

Community Groups Take To South Street To Protest Philadelphia’s Crackdown On Flash Mobs



Philly Daily News Article:

Gathering tonight objects to curfew



Philly Inquirer Article:
Down with curfew, says mayoral candidate


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Video: Black is Back Coalition-led March Against the Curfew in Philadelphia, August 20, 2011

Solidarity with the demands of the Black is Back Coalition-led Philadelphia Community Walk Against the Curfew:

Point #1: We demand an end to the Jim Crow curfew.

Point #2: We demand the right of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly for the Black community.

Point #3: We demand an immediate end to the policy of stop and frisk.

Point #4: We demand an immediate end of DHS intervention in the affairs of the Black community.

Point #5: We demand economic development for the Black community and an immediate end to police containment.

Point #6: We call for the development of an independent movement for self determination and self governance for the Black community and all oppressed communities.

Point #7: We call for the immediate release of the more than 70 youth who have been detained as a result of the anti-democratic curfew.

Point #8: We defend the right of Black youth and youth of all oppressed communities to resist the government imposed violence of increasing poverty, budget cuts, and police brutality.

Point #9: We reject the government and media criminalization of the resistance and creativity of Black youth and their labeling of them as “flash mobs”.

Point #10: We demand an end to the U.S. and Europe’s war on Africa and Black people in Philadelphia, London, Congo, Haiti and anywhere else in the world where Black people are.

Point #11: We declare that Michael Nutter and forces like him do not represent the best interests of the Black community in Philadelphia or anywhere in the world. They represent white power in Black face.

Point #12: We call on white people to stand in principled solidarity with the demands of this document.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A call for genuine solidarity with African resistance in the UK

Africans protesting at the British Embassy in DC

Below is a statement released by the Uhuru Solidarity Movement on the rebellions in London and a call for genuine solidarity with the struggles of African people for freedom and social justice.

A call for genuine solidarity with African resistance in the UK and around the world

Over a week after the police murder of 29-year-old African man, Mark Duggan, sparked a series of rebellions in Tottenham north London, the British white power government is scrambling to contain the resisting African population who are courageously rising up to challenge the status quo of a social system built on the exploitation and oppression of African people.

Over 1000 people have been arrested in the rebellions, and of those 371 have been charged.

In addition to deploying heavily armed police forces to quell the just resistance of the insurgent African masses, the British government and media have launched an ideological counterinsurgency campaign to criminalize the African youth of Britain.

The British ruling class and their lackeys have worked overtime to convince the general white population that the rebellions are in no way political in nature. Several mainstream news outlets have excluded from their reportage the fact that the rebellions were instigated by the murder of a young African by British police.

The British government has dismissed the rebellions as “riots” carried out by “mobs” of “looters” who are motivated by nothing more than a desire for a free flatscreen television.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has openly denounced the resisting African as “thugs,” “thieves,” “looters,” “spoiled brats,” “villains,” and condemned African youth culture as “a culture of violence.”

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is calling on white people and other allies of black liberation in the UK and throughout the world to see the London rebellions from a different perspective – through the eyes of the poor and oppressed African working class.

We in the USM understand that the real “culture of violence” is white power imperialism, a culture of genocide and slavery in which the British government has historically played a key role.

African people in the UK, whose very presence on British land is the result of the British enslavement and colonization of Africa, are an oppressed community who are colonized (dominated by a foreign power for the purpose of political and economic advantage) by the British government inside of British borders just as Africans are colonized on the continent of Africa and throughout the world wherever Africans have been dispersed.

Africans are an oppressed and colonized population inside the UK

The colonial division between whites and Africans in the US was exposed in a recently released study of the “wealth gap” between black and white households. Just like in the US, in the UK there is a huge gap between the wealth of whites and African people. The UK’s Department of Work and Pensions has found that 60 percent of African households have no savings at all, compared to 33 percent of white households. The UK’s first Wealth and Assets Survey in 2009 reported that while the average white household had £221,000 (roughly $350,000) in assets, African households had only £15,000. Only 28 percent of Africans own their own homes, compared to 72 percent of whites. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2011/04/08/the-racial-wealth-gap-not-just-an-american-problem/

A report released by the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed that African people in the UK are incarcerated at almost seven times greater to their share of the population. Five times more African people than white people per head of population in England and Wales are imprisoned. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/oct/11/black-prison-population-increase-england

In the UK, the rate of unemployment for Africans at 14 percent is twice the rate of white unemployment, according to the Office for National Statistics. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=462

The British government has no real program to change these conditions. Instead they occupy the black communities with police. The British police wage a war of occupation against the African communities of London through counterinsurgency programs like “Operation Trident,” the specialized “gun crime” operation responsible for the cold-blooded police murder of Mark Duggan on August 4, 2011. In 2008 alone African people were subjected to 145,000 stop and searches by police. African people constitute less than 3% of the population, yet made up 15% of people stopped by police. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/oct/11/black-prison-population-increase-england

Under the rule of the British white power government, there is no future for the African youth who are forced to bear the brunt of the so-called “austerity measures” that provide an economic safety net for the white population and the British elite who continue profiting on the ever-deepening economic crisis.

The British government has written off this generation of African youth as a generation with no future, no prospects – in short, disposable.

We reject the vicious slander and criminalization of Africans that is being put forward by British PM Cameron and the white ruling class media.

The real looter is the British Empire! Reparations Now!

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement stands in unconditional solidarity with the African masses who are taking to the streets of Britain and fighting back against the system that profits off of their misery and oppression.

We know who the real looters are. The real looters are the British Empire, along with the US and the rest of Europe that raped and looted Africa, the Americas, Asia and the rest of the world for 500 years.

We know who the real thugs are. During the many years when English “bobbies” carried no guns inside Britain, the UK used guns and other violent weapons to wage brutal colonial occupation and genocide against the majority of the world's peoples The British Empire dominated so much of the planet earth that it was characterized as the empire “upon which the sun never set.”

We know who the real thieves are. It was the colonialism, slavery, rape, plunder, pillage, brigandage, and genocide by Europe and North America who ripped off the resources of the rest of the peoples of the world that made them the richest and most powerful countries on the planet.

It is not the impoverished and starving African masses who are the “thieves” and “thugs” and the “looters,” nor is it the African community who are responsible for a “culture of violence.” The real culture of violence is white power. It is a culture of violence carried out by white people for the benefit of white people at the expense of Africans and other colonized peoples.

We want nothing to do with that. We are on the side of the African masses struggling against the white imperialist system.

Imperialism is in a state of profound crisis, caused by the just resistance of the oppressed people of the world who are fighting back to reclaim their land, resources, and self-determination.

As Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the African People's Socialist Party has said, “Anyone who tries to stand up and protect imperialism will meet the fate of imperialism, because the people will be free!”

We support the right of African people everywhere to build an organized resistance and a revolutionary movement for freedom and reparations.

Take Action! Join USM and build "A Day in Solidarity with African People" in your area!

We are carrying out an international campaign to build events throughout the US and Europe called “A Day in Solidarity with African People” as a way to raise resources and support for the African liberation struggle.

Any white person who wants to see a new world must break from complicity with imperialism and join in solidarity with the African Revolution by building “A Day in Solidarity with African People” in your area, wherever you are located.

There's no future in this dying system. The future is in the hands of African workers and oppressed peoples everywhere.

If you are a white person who wants to live in a world without slaves and slave masters, then join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and work toward a future in solidarity with the African Revolution.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is an organization of Euro-Americans and other allies of African liberation who organize under the leadership of the African People's Socialist Party to build principled and material solidarity with African people's struggle for freedom.

Get involved today by joining the international campaign to build “A Day in Solidarity with African People” in cities across the US and throughout Europe – wherever you are located, there is a way for you to jump in to the work of building this movement!







Monday, August 8, 2011

Solidarity with the rebellions in Britain! From the UK to the US, Africans have the right to resist!

On Thursday August 4, 2011, London police shot and murdered 29-year-old, Mark Duggan, an African man and father of four. This incident along with the videotaped police beating of a 14-year-old African girl, sparked a series of rebellions throughout north London that sent 26 police to the hospital and brought a number of banks, police cars, council offices and businesses down in flames.

Africans have the right to resist!

Heavy-handed police forces moved in on several black neighborhoods with armored vehicles, helicopters, and riot vans.

At least 200 Africans have been arrested. Meanwhile, the rebellions have spread to at least five neighborhoods and into the city of Birmingham. African youth marching through Woolwich were videotaped chanting the slogan, "Fight Back!"

We support the right of the African community to fight back against the injustice and oppression imposed on their communities by the British white power government.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is in unconditional solidarity with the African population of Britain who are courageously resisting the oppression and colonial domination of their communities.

The USM is an organization of white allies of black liberation who work under the leadership of the African People's Socialist Party to organize in material solidarity with the struggle for African liberation and self-determination.

We recognize that African people are colonized inside of the UK by the colonial white power State just as they are colonized inside of the US and throughout the world.

APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela explains that the State is a repressive organization used to maintain the status quo when a society is split between haves and have-nots.

The State works through various institutions from the prison and court systems to the police departments to protect the haves who possess all of the resources that they have stolen from the have-nots.

The State functions to protect the parasitic relationship of the white population to the African working class. It is this relationship between colonizer and colonized that is at the root of what is happening right now on the streets of London.

London is a part of what used to be called the British Empire, an entity that was characterized as the empire upon which the sun never set.

As one of the main players in imperialist white power, the UK enriched itself and its general white population through a process of enslaving and colonizing the African world.

Therefore, we in the USM reject the white media's portrayal of young African men as "criminal thugs," nor do we consider it "looting" for an African person to appropriate their stolen resources from a parasitic business as we are seeing in the streets of Tottenham.

We know that the real "looters" are the European invaders who rescued themselves from feudal poverty by assaulting and enslaving the mineral and resource-rich African continent.

The real "criminals" and "thugs" are the military and the police. The same police who murder young Africans on a regular basis with impunity.

The real thugs are the British and US soldiers who are massacring African children in Libya today as part of the vicious imperialist NATO invasion led by the US.

The police are the first line in the counterinsurgency war against the African population who are oppressed by white power wherever they have been dispersed throughout the world, whether it's in London or Haiti or St. Petersburg, FL.

African people in London face conditions of life marked by poverty, unemployment, police violence, mass incarceration, and denial of quality education.

An article published last year in the Guardian exposed that 333 people in the UK have died in or following police custody over the past 11 years, but no officer has ever been convicted.

These conditions are not unlike those faced by African people inside the US, such as in the city of St. Petersburg, FL, where 71% of Africans live at or below the poverty line, and where Africans are regularly harassed, beaten, arrested, and murdered by police who never face charges.

The images of the rebellions in London are reminiscent of what happened in St. Petersburg, FL in 1996 after an 18-year-old African, Tyron Lewis, was murdered by police.

The African community of St. Pete rose up in a heroic rebellion against the State that garnered national media attention and, due to the political leadership of the Uhuru Movement, catapulted the question of black community economic development into the public policy debate.

We unite with the position of the Uhuru Movement that a heavy police presence is a cynical response to the conditions of poverty and misery in the African community.

The only genuine solution is African self-reliance and economic development for the African working class.

The rebellions in Tottenham represent the ever-deepening crisis of imperialism. As African Internationalism the philosophy of the Uhuru Movement makes clear, it is the oppression of Africans, Indigenous peoples and the rest of the world's colonized peoples that forms the basis, the pedestal upon which the entire US capitalist system resides.

We live in an era where the system born from colonial violence, slavery, and genocide is quickly dying as a result of the resistance of the very peoples whose oppression is the necessary basis for the continuation of imperialism.

Oppressed people are tired of imperialism, and are waging a just and courageous fight to reclaim control over their own land, labor, and resources.

Another example of this just resistance occurred on the same day as the London rebellions when a NATO helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of over 30 US imperialist soldiers.

It is said that most of the down soldiers were on the team of Navy Seals who carried out the brutal assassination of Osama bin Laden, a cold-blooded murder that was denounced by oppressed peoples around the world as a counterinsurgent attack against colonized people's resistance.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement supports the struggle of the people of Afghanistan to expel the imperialist occupiers from their land and to regain control over their own land and resources.

The USM supports the African people of Britain who are also struggling for the same thing.

We call on other white people to join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement. The time has come to turn our backs on parasitic capitalism and join in solidarity with the worldwide movement for social justice and economic development for African people that is being led by the African People's Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement.

Any Euro-American person who wants to bring down this oppressive system and join in creating a new world free from exploitation must join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and take the stand against colonialism and white power and in support of Black Power.

Our future is to be found in solidarity with the African revolution. There's no future under this dying system.

Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement today and organize in your area as part of the international campaign to build "A Day in Solidarity with African People."

Take the pledge of solidarity today!


Join us!
We organize under the leadership of the African People's Socialist Party.
Check out the article on Uhuru News on the African rebellions in the UK.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chairman Omali Yeshitela speaks at "Beyond the 60's: Supporting the Ongoing Struggle for Black Community Self-Reliance in 2011" - Uhuru Solidarity Movement Event

Chairman Omali Yeshitela speaks at "Beyond the 60's: Supporting the Ongoing Struggle for Black Community Self-Reliance in 2011," an Uhuru Solidarity Movement Event held at the USF St. Petersburg campus on July 26, 2011 as part of the Uhuru Movement's 2011 Freedom Summer Project in St. Petersburg, Florida. Check out the Summer Project events at uhurusummerproject.org