An appeal to the Occupy Wall Street movement
Uhuru! We begin our letter with this greeting, “Uhuru,” because it is a Swahili word that means freedom and it is the slogan of the Uhuru Movement, an international African working class movement led by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) that is uniting African people in the U.S. and around the world in the revolutionary struggle for self-determination.
We are the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, an organization of white people and other allies of black liberation who work under the leadership of the APSP to organize in our own communities for material solidarity with the African Liberation Movement.
We Stand Against the Thieving Bankers on Wall Street
Several of our members traveled to New York City during the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations where they did outreach for the national campaign to build A Day in Solidarity with African People and signed people up to participate in the upcoming “Stop the Wars, Build the Resistance” march led by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.
We unite with the enthusiasm of the participants in protesting the profound injustice of this government and system that we see all around us. We believe it is a sign of the ever increasing and deepening crisis of imperialism. For the first time since Obama was elected, we are seeing thousands of North American/white people taking to the streets to express discontent with the current state of the U.S. economic system.
But we want to seriously and sincerely call on the Wall Street protesters and all progressive minded North American people everywhere to look deeper at the problem and recognize that capitalism is not “broken”—it was born this way. It cannot be reformed. And as millions of oppressed peoples around the world are rising up to prove: the entire capitalist system must be overturned.
The world system of capitalism—for which the U.S. is the leading state power, and Wall Street its economic epicenter – was built on the enslavement of African people and the genocide of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the theft of their land.
Capitalism is a parasite, sucking the blood of the majority of humanity, waging unending wars of plunder and occupation, terror and genocide around the world in order to control natural resources necessary for the high standard of living in the Western world, justified by an ideology of racism and white nationalism.
This system has wreaked havoc on the majority of the world—the true 99 percent—for 500 years, destroying whole continents of people, decimating civilizations, terrorizing nations, imposing poverty and repression and even destroying the ecosystem of the planet itself to provide the white population with a pedestal for our assumed lifestyle that is unattainable except for the most wealthy in other parts of the world.
Who is the Real 99 Percent?
While it is true that one percent of the U.S. population controls the majority of the wealth, to equate ourselves with those suffering profound poverty and repression around the world and inside this country simply flies in the face of reality. You and I know this is true.
Just because we are not all bankers, Rockefellers or Bill Gates does not mean we are “all in the same boat.”
The fact of the matter is that even as white people are beginning to experience the effects of the economic crisis, we are still living the highest standard of living in the world at the expense of the real “99 percent” inside this country – African, Mexican and Indigenous people who live behind an invisible wall of colonial oppression right here in America.
Even as the economic crisis has begun to affect the entire U.S. population, white people are still earning an average income that is $20,000 higher than the average income of African families. The wealth gap between white and black families in this country has widened to a point where white people have 20 times the wealth of black people.
Yes, we are starting to feel the pinch. But why haven’t we been coming out in droves to demonstrate as black teenagers have been shot down by police all over the U.S.?
Where is the outcry about the mass roundups of African people in this country that now have more black men in prison than in college? There is a war going on inside these borders, but we walk right over the African community to get to Wall Street.
Where are the demonstrations calling for genuine peace, saluting the right of the African, Afghani, Iraqi, Palestinian and Indigenous peoples to have their land, resources and self-determination back in their own hands?
This Parasitic Monster Can’t Be Reformed
There is no such thing as “going back to the good old days.”
Parasitic capitalism is not going to go away simply because we reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act or repeal a Supreme Court decision about corporate personhood. You cannot overcome a disease by treating its surface symptoms. We must go to the heart of the problem—colonialism.
We have to see our future as inextricably tied to the rest of humanity who are struggling fiercely to get this monster off their backs so they can live and prosper on their own land and resources. In fact, this is the cause of the crisis in the U.S. and Europe today: oppressed peoples are fighting back, making it more difficult for the U.S. to steal the increasingly rare resources of the planet.
Any attempt to reform capitalism will prove to be futile. This system is going down. And the majority of the oppressed peoples of the world are the ones who are going to bring it down as they struggle to build a new world based on justice and equity, not one nation prospering at the expense of another.
Imperialism is the Enemy
We unite with struggles of the colonized, in solidarity, under their leadership. Their enemy—the U.S. and European governments, military and war machines, the Wall Street bankers and corporate bloodsuckers—is our enemy as well.
We must take responsibility for the legacy of the oppressor and the slave-master that we have inherited and build the movement for reparations from the white community to the African and oppressed peoples of the world.
We do not ask for more of the loot stolen by bankers and the U.S. government. We demand that the stolen resources—the basis of all imperialist war—be returned to the self-governing peoples of the world as the only possible basis for peace on this planet.
That’s the only thing that’s going to put this capitalist system into its grave. And we have a role to play in bringing this new world into existence by organizing in solidarity with African liberation.
Without resolving this fundamental contradiction between the oppressor nation and oppressed nations, it is impossible to resolve any of the contradictions that we face within our own communities—homophobia, sexism, the oppression of white workers, etc. All of these problems occur within the context of the colonial enslavement and mass exploitation of Africans and other colonized peoples.
What You Can Do
If you are truly committed to changing the world, then we call on you to do more than simply occupy Wall Street; we call on you join the movement for reparations and organize in solidarity with African liberation! Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement. Take a genuine stand on the side of the African community, going to heart of the problem to overturn this system.
The future is in the hands of the colonized. Our future, as well, is to be found in solidarity with the revolutionary struggles of African, Mexican, Indigenous, Arab, Afghan and other oppressed and colonized peoples of the world.
We unite with the demand for reparations to African and oppressed peoples everywhere.
If you believe that there will never be peace on the planet without justice, reparations and reconciliation for African people and all the countless victims of imperialism, past and present, against whom terror, genocide, exploitation were carried out in our name and for our benefit, then take the Pledge of Solidarity and contribute at least $10 to the African-led Uhuru Movement for liberation and self-determination for African people everywhere!
We call on all white people struggling for justice to hear the voice of African and oppressed people and to participate in the Black is Back Coalition demonstration to “Stop the Wars and Build the Resistance” in Philadelphia on November 5, 2011.
Victory to the African and Indigenous peoples of the world!
Death to imperialism! Down with Wall Street and white power!
Solidarity with African liberation!