Hands Off African Youth! APSC Statement from Dec 8th Demo in Philadelphia

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The following is a statement given by Alison Hoehne, Philadelphia Chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, at the “Hands Off African Youth” demonstration & press conference, organized by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, at Philadelphia’s Gallery shopping center on December 8th, 2010.

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African People’s Solidarity Committee STATEMENT FROM THE International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement-led “HANDS OFF AFRICAN YOUTH!” DEMO & PRESS CONFERENCE


Philadelphia PA – December 8, 2010

Uhuru!


On behalf of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, the organization of white people working under the leadership of the Uhuru Movement, we are here to say that we give our unconditional support to the demands of this demonstration of HANDS OFF AFRICAN YOUTH!!

We demand that the gallery security guards and the Philadelphia police must immediately stop the daily harassment, arrests and attacks on young Africans and that the city government, corporations and businesses that profit from their brutal extraction of resources from the most impoverished sectors of the city – African and Latino people – must give reparations, billions of dollars for economic development for African communities to use for their own benefit on their own terms.

We want to say to the white community that we know there would be mahem, a total outcry if the tables were turned, if we experienced the reality that African people face in this city and country. Can you imagine the outrage if our children and youth were treated as African youth are?

• if white student dorms at Penn and Drexel were raided nightly by police & ski-masked narc squads, kicking down their doors, tasering them, shooting, arresting, beating and imprisoning them for some weed?


• If white teens had waterhoses turned on them by police at a house party, or even killed by the police at their graduation party as Javon Dawson was in St. Petersburg FL.


• If the hundreds of Drexel students who swarmed at 30th St. station at rush hour to do a meaningless mass action were beaten to the ground, thrown into paddy wagons and given felony sentences, ending their dreams for a happy and prosperous future.


• What if one out of nine white youth were in prison? If almost ¼ million white kids were stopped by the police every year in Philly for no reason other than being young and white? If over half our children were expelled or left school before graduating because the schools are no different than prisons, treating the children as criminals?


• There is no way to even imagine the horror if white youth were prevented by security guards from shopping in the malls and stores in center city! Shopping is the American way of life, and seen as our basic democratic right!

The reality is that there IS a two-tiered system, one experience for white people and a completely different reality for Africans. This isn’t the ‘50s, but it might as well be in that we have Jim Crow laws right here in Philly! When the Uhuru Movement stood up to demand that the Nutter administration stop the billion dollar war against the African community and fund genuine economic development, InPDUM President Diop Olugbala was gagged, chokeholded, attacked by the police and found guilty of felony charges for just speaking out in the interests of the oppressed African population.

We have to challenge ourselves to say why is that we can stand against apartheid in South Africa, but not against the same war on African people’s rights in South Philly? Why is it we can support the flotilla bringing material support to the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza, but not to the African community in North Philly where three out of four people live in crushing poverty and hunger?

Because we profit from this war on the African community too. The economy, our jobs and lifestyle couldn’t exist without the drug and prison economies, bringing trillions of dollars to the white population as well as to the banks, corporations and government! This system was built on the slave labor of African people on the land stolen from the indigenous people! Right here, Market St was named for the slave market of Africans brought in chains to work for 250 years for free to build the capitalist system and white wealth.

We’re out here shopping for Christmas and we’ve been told that all the wealth and goodies brought to good white children come from a fat, white man called Santa Claus living in the North Pole. But we know the truth, that the wealth in the US and Europe comes from the stolen labor, land and resources of African and other colonized people.

This is the time for us to take a stand in solidarity with the organized resistance of African people, organizing for liberation and self-determination, and to end this vicious colonial terror and exploitation by US imperialism.

41 years ago the US government assassinated Fred Hampton, a courageous 21 year-old leader in the Black Power Movement of the ‘60s. But as Fred Hampton said, you can kill a revolutionary but you can’t kill the revolution! Today we have the Uhuru Movement and President Diop Olugbala, a courageous young African freedom fighter and leader. We have JOMO and powerful leaders like Calvin and so many others.

If we want peace and unity in this city it’s up to us to join with the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, to stand up and say:

•Stop the war on African youth and African communities!

•Free Diop!

•Hands off African youth!

• Reparations, economic development and justice must be given to the entire African community!

• Police out of the African Community!

• Victory to African and all oppressed people!

UHURU!


White people and other allies of social justice for African people can come to the 2011 International Conference on White Solidarity With Black Power, in St Petersburg Florida — the City of African Resistance — from January 9-11th, 2011! Register HERE today!

To get in touch with the African People’s Solidarity Committee and Uhuru Solidarity Movement in Philadelphia, call 215-387-0919 or email philly@uhurusolidarity.org

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