Uhuru Solidarity Movement responds to the recent rise of police shootings

Stop the criminalization of the African community in the US and support the right of African people to resist colonial occupation

Come to the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement International (InPDUM) Convention on February 19-21, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA.

Stop the US war against the African community inside the US! Support African resistance, reparations and liberation!

As the bourgeois media whips up public furor over the recent spate of shootings of police officers across the US, the Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM) challenges the white community, North Americans and other potential allies of the African Liberation Movement to understand this resistance through the eyes of the oppressed community which experiences a colonial occupation inside this country.

USM believes that our greatest interest is in taking an active stand to defend the right of the African community to resist the brutal war being waged against them right here.

The ruling class has expressed alarm over the growing resistance of the African community, publishing headlines such as Fox News’ “’War on Cops’ Feared After 11 Officers Shot in 24 Hours.”

What the headlines do not mention is the reality that the US war against the African community—America’s “other” war—is estimated to have claimed more victims of police murders and wounding of civilians in the US in the past several years than US casualties in Afghanistan.

Throughout North Africa and the Middle East, massive popular rebellions are erupting in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Jordan, many led by the exploited and oppressed working class with demands to stop the police terror against their people and for democratic rights and economic justice.

The people of Egypt are engaged in street battles aiming to overthrow the neocolonial Egyptian government that receives $1.3 billion in military funding from the US annually to torture, maim and oppress the people with US-made weapons and tear gas canisters.

But as the US is openly and covertly waging wars of colonial occupation in Afghanistan and elsewhere throughout the world, it is waging a brutal full-scale war of occupation inside this country against African and Indigenous peoples. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the fiscal year 2006 (the latest data available), federal, state and local governments spent an estimated $214 billion for police protection, corrections, and judicial and legal activities.

The long list of police murders of primarily young African men reveals the staggering frequency of state-sponsored violence committed against the African community on a daily basis. Cases such as Oscar Grant, whose murder by a BART policeman was caught on cell phone cameras in Oakland, CA in 2009, or Sean Bell, gunned down by New York policemen on the morning of his wedding are infamous.

But such police murders of African people are taking place day after day in back alleys or dark isolated streets all over the US. On January 23, 2011, school police from Skyline High School in Oakland murdered 20 year Raheim Brown who was sitting in a car outside of the high school during its annual winter ball. The murder of Raheim marked the fifth police shooting in the San Francisco Bay area in the past five weeks.

The story is the same all over the US.

  • In Miami, FL, Decarlos Moore, 36-years-old, was shot in the head by a police officer during a “routine traffic stop.”
  • In St. Petersburg, FL, Javon Dawson, 18-years-old, was shot in the back by the police at a graduation party. Marquell McCullough, was shot 14 times by police before they admitted they “had the wrong guy.” Jarrell Walker was shot in the back as he lay on the couch in his home.
  • In Atlanta the police shot and killed a 92-year-old grandmother in her home.
  • In Detroit the police shot and killed 7-year-old Aiyanna Jones in her home.

This type of state-sponsored terror and violence does not happen to white people in the U.S. It shows that under the U.S. government, the life of an African in this country has no value.

African people in the US are facing colonial conditions of poverty and occupation similar to Palestine

In the US, the median net worth of the average African household is more than 14 times less than that of the average white household. The average black household has only 10 cents for every dollar owned by white households. The total loss of wealth from the African community through the subprime mortgage scam was up to $213 billion — the greatest loss of wealth for “non-white people” in modern US history.

Although Africans make up only 13 percent of the US population, over half of the 2.5 million people currently locked up in US prisons are African. One in eight black men in their 20s is now in prison or jail on any given day. African men are incarcerated at rates eight times higher than white men. There are more Africans tied to the prison system today than there were Africans enslaved in 1850. The statistics prove that the conditions imposed on the African community are even worse today than they were after black people’s “civil rights” were supposedly won in the 1960s.

The people of Occupied Palestine face similar disparities and conditions of colonial poverty and violence. Sixty-three percent of Palestinian Arabs live below the poverty line. The Israeli unemployment rate is 6.4 percent, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 16.5 percent and 40 percent in Gaza. Just as Africans in the US are harassed, beaten and killed during “routine traffic stops,” Palestinians are subjected to similar violence at any of the 160 Israeli military checkpoints on the roads between Palestinian cities.

On January 24, 2010, under the orders of the vicious St. Petersburg mayor, William Foster, the police bulldozed the home of Hydra Lacy, an African who had resisted police terror, allegedly shooting two police officers and one U.S. marshal. Bulldozing of homes is a tactic that is used often in Palestine by the illegitimate settler state of Israel.

Hydra Lacy’s house during bulldozing. The house was completely demolished and all evidence that a house ever existed there removed.

Palestinians run in front of an Israeli bulldozer as it destroys houses next to the border of Egypt at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip (2004)

In Palestine the bulldozing of homes is done as an exemplary collective punishment when a member of the family who owns a home is involved in resistance.

From St. Pete to Palestine, the white North American and European population amasses tremendous wealth and power at the expense of the suffering and poverty imposed on Africans, Arabs, and other oppressed peoples of the world.

North Americans, no matter how wealthy or poor, directly benefit from the gentrification and police containment of the African community. The prison industry functions as a source of economic stimulus for rural white populations and corporations, providing cheap labor and myriad spin-off jobs that benefit the general white population. The police containment policies themselves enrich the North American population and ensure the maintenance of the wealth in the hands of the white community.

Resistance of the African community is righteous and justified

Just as the occupied people of Iraq and Afghanistan are resisting, African people in the US are resisting their occupation and brutal repression. This is why within the same 24-hour period at least 11 cops were shot across the US.

On January 20, 2011, two Miami police officers were killed while occupying the impoverished African working class neighborhood of Liberty City in Miami, FL. Four days later on January 24, 39-year-old Hydra Lacy, in the African community of South St. Petersburg, allegedly killed two local police, wounded a US marshal and held off more than 100 police from various state and federal police agencies for several hours before his home was razed to the ground and he was executed with two bullets to his head.

On Sunday, police were attacked during traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon. Also on Sunday, 38-year-old Lamar Moore shot and wounded four officers in a Detroit police station shooting before he was killed by police.

The shooter of the two Miami officers was Johnny Simms, a 22-year-old African resident of Liberty City. Simms’ mother Lorraine described her son’s final moments: “As I watched my son laying outside dying, my son told me, `Mom, they were going to kill me anyway.’ He felt like he had no choice.” In the last nine months the Miami police force has murdered seven Africans in the two communities of Liberty City and Overtown.

These incidents do not occur in isolation; they are part of a growing trend. They are directly related to the intensification of the occupation of the African community in Miami and throughout the United States under the Obama administration as the economic crisis of imperialism deepens.

In Oakland, CA on March 21, 2009, two weeks after the blatant murder of Oscar Grant, when a young African man named Lovelle Mixon was pulled over in a “routine traffic stop” by two police officers, Mixon shot and killed the two officers and was held responsible for killing two additional officers following a police raid that also ended his life.

In Tampa, FL on June 29, 2010, a young African named Dontae Morris is now on trial after two police officers got shot and killed during a “routine traffic stop.”

In 2009, there were 117 police deaths. In 2010, the number increased by 37%.

The media and public officials praise the police officers as “fallen heroes” who “sacrificed their lives for our safety,” and demonize the African community just like they do for US soldiers in Afghanistan, where they praise the US military and portray the people as terrorists or criminals. Like US soldiers in Afghanistan, the police in the war against the African community serve as an occupying army and may be the targets of the community’s resistance to the brutal occupation.

The media and the ruling class in the US work to maintain our allegiance to the US State, the main perpetrator of violence against occupied, oppressed populations. The police, like the military, are the frontlines of the institution of the State that exists solely to maintain the wealth and power of the white ruling class that comes at the expense of African and oppressed peoples here and around the world.

The US State was born from the genocide of the Indigenous people, the enslavement of African people and the colonial domination of oppressed peoples around the world. It created a pedestal on which our lives rest on their stolen land, labor and resources.

Increase in resistance in this era of the Final Offensive Against Imperialism

The increasingly common acts of resistance to police occupation that we are seeing in places like Miami, St. Petersburg, Detroit, and other communities around the world are exemplary of the current period that Chairman Omali Yeshitela has characterized as the “Final Offensive Against Imperialism.”

In Afghanistan, Tunisia, Egypt and other places, the masses of people are resisting US sponsored violence, occupation and repression and demanding self-determination and control over their own communities and resources. The majority of the people on the planet, many of whom live in profound enforced poverty at the hand of the US, are tired of seeing their resources stolen for our benefit. They are determined to feed their children, to regain control over their own lives and nations and kick the colonial occupiers out of their countries.

This same kind of resistance is happening in the African community in the US. Those of us who oppose US war and occupation abroad must take a stand to stop the same war and occupation right here.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement fully supports the right of African people to resist their colonial conditions of police occupation, massive imprisonment and dire poverty. We support the right of the African working class to build organized resistance and fight for the Revolutionary National Democratic Program, through the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.

We recognize that the real solution to the colonial conditions faced by African people and every contradiction faced by white people as well are not to be found in the Obama administration or the two main imperialist parties, but in a revolutionary movement for self-determination led by the African working class.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is calling on other white North Americans and Europeans to join the forward side of history and take a stand on the side of the oppressed and into a principled relationship with the African community. We reject life at the expense of African, Arab, Indigenous and other oppressed peoples. We stand for victory to struggling peoples around the world and reparations, liberation and justice for African people right here and worldwide.

We call on other North Americans to attend the upcoming International Convention of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, “Africans Have a Right to Resist! We Demand Freedom and Reparations Now,” which is being held in Philadelphia, PA on February 19-21, 2011. Go to inpdum.org NOW to register and make travel arrangements.

Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement!
Go to www.uhurusolidarity.org

Register for the InPDUM Convention!
Go to www.inpdum.org

The future for humanity is in the hands of the colonized African working class in unity with oppressed peoples everywhere.




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