Why Every USM Member Must Build the National Convention

by Jesse Nevel, USM Chair

We are building the National Convention of Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM), which is what gives meaning and definition to everything else we do throughout the year. The National Convention is our biggest event — and I know that some of the comrades on this committee are new, and that is not an accident. This convention is for every single member, new, old, whatever. It’s for every single member of USM. If you just joined yesterday, it is your convention; if you joined decades ago, it is your convention. And it is that place where every single member of USM can participate in shaping and breathing life into the strategy that has been laid out for us by the brilliant, genius leadership of Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP). The Party created the African People’s Solidarity Committee, of which USM is the voice of APSC in the white world. It is the voice and the face of the APSC speaking to the masses of white people: looking at the masses of white people in the eye and winning them to join like we have under the leadership of the Party and organizing in the white community for reparations to African people.

This year’s Convention is taking place in a period of escalation of counterinsurgency efforts against the African population. It takes place in the period that Chairman Omali Yeshitela has been summing up for years as being the uneasy equilibrium between the past and the future: the crisis of imperialism. The crisis of a social economic order that was constructed and sustained through the assault on Africa, the theft of Africa’s resources, the enslavement of African people, and the exploitation of African labor, as well as the genocide against the Indigenous people that continues today — where you have the Indigenous people living on concentration camps, euphemistically referred to as reservations; where the average life expectancy is 42 years old. Where you have the Indigenous people of occupied Mexico gunned down and forced into mass graves on a false, illegitimate, colonial border that white people drew to cut Mexico in half in the 1850s. And then we call the Mexican people illegal aliens for coming across a false border to reclaim access to their own land, when obviously the only illegal aliens on this continent are white people.

And in this period of the crisis of imperialism, we’re seeing that a system — that requires sucking the blood of the vast majority of humans on the planet in order for it survive — is going into a death spiral because of the resistance of oppressed people. We see it in the form of resistance in the Middle East, where insurgency reigns supreme; where it is impossible for the U.S. to do anything right. Even if the U.S. finds some force that they want to temporarily arm and use strategically to advance their own agenda, at the end of the day, that force, whether it’s ISIS or whatever, has no loyalty to the U.S. No one is loyal to the U.S., even the neocolonial puppets that were set up to carry out the will of the U.S., are ultimately not loyal to the U.S.

The U.S. is a dying world power and, as Chairman Omali Yeshitela has said, it is not committing suicide; it is being killed. It is being killed by African people in this country and around the world. Whether it’s in Ferguson or Congo, African people are fighting back against the pedestal of oppression built on their backs to feed the white world for the past 600 years. It’s being killed by governments like Iran and Venezuela, Syria and Cuba and other countries and governments throughout the world, even China and Russia — governments who refuse to bow to the supremacy of the U.S. in the political and economic sphere any longer. The U.S. is being killed at an escalating rate.

But of course imperialism is not going to go gently into the night; imperialism is going to die fighting. It’s gonna die vicious, it’s going to die desperately lashing out, as Chairman Omali Yeshitela has said, driven to lunacy by the scent of its own blood. And that’s what we’re seeing right now — often mistaken by some as a display of power. Imperialism is engaged in all these wars. Donald Trump is always talking about blowing up DPRK, always talking about escalating Obama’s war agenda (which was itself an escalation of Bush’s war agenda). It’s easy, if you are not armed with African Internationalism, to mistake these expressions of violence as expressions of power; but they are not. As Chairman Omali Yeshitela has always so clearly been able to see, they are expressions of desperations and weakness. This makes it a very dangerous time to be alive. This also makes it the most important and exciting time to be alive in world history. Even more so than the movement of the 1960s, where, as the Chairman has summed up, revolution and resistance were the main trends in the world. Everyone was talking about revolution.

But there was one thing that did not exist in the 60s: The African People’s Socialist Party. Now it exists and it also has a 45-year track-record of building concrete tangible institutions. African Internationalism is not something that just sounds good on paper; African Internationalism is something that has, for 45 years, been translated through democratic centralism into tangible concrete examples of African self-determination and self-government. And the latest example of that is what is emerging in St. Louis with the Black Power Blueprint, which each and every person on this call has been doing such excellent work in raising resources for and building reparations towards, in the form of a new Uhuru House: an African community cultural and political center that is being built in St. Louis, and in the form of Uhuru Jiko community commercial kitchen.

In the form of so many other institutions, like housing, that the APSP, under the leadership of Chairman Omali Yeshitela and Deputy Chair, have been able to go into the city of St Louis — where the entire political terrain has been shaped by the resistance of African people in Ferguson — and transformed it, and made it possible for that rebellion, that took place in Ferguson, to be more than something irritating to the white ruling class. The Party has made it possible for the rebellion in Ferguson to go beyond an irritation to white power and to become a foreshadowing of the African Revolution. That is what the Party is building right now.

A new world is emerging right before our eyes in St. Louis, and we are part of it. We are not allies. We are not fundraisers for the Uhuru Movement. We are a component of the strategy of the African revolution to reclaim their resources and if you look at the crisis of imperialism, it’s a crisis of parasitic capitalism. Which means it’s a crisis of a parasite being denied its host. It’s a crisis that is caused deliberately and specifically by the ability of oppressed peoples to have victory and reclaim control of their wealth and resources; to transfer the resources that belong to them rightfully from the parasite back into their own hands. And guess what? That’s exactly what USM was created to do.

We were created to be part of that transfer of the wealth from the empire back into the colonies that are fighting for the liberation. USM is not a fundraiser, it’s not a sideline thing. It’s not some side committee that is in support of the Uhuru Movement. It’s a weapon of the Uhuru Movement to intensify the crisis of imperialism. To deepen the crisis of imperialism. To deprive imperialism not only of its resource base but its human resource base in the form of each and every white person we can win to defect from the white people’s state. And join in the struggle to create an African workers’ state under the leadership of the African working class. It’s a deadly lethal weapon to white power imperialism. That’s what this USM Convention committee represents; that’s what USM represents, and that is what our National Convention will represent, in St. Louis, in Uhuru House Number 3, being built right there as we speak. And we have an amazing comrade who was deployed by the party to go there, KC Mackey, and an amazing comrade Rhya there. Both will play a key role in building this convention.

This has to be the best and biggest Convention we’ve ever held.

I just want to close by saying again, this is a period of heightened counterinsurgency. Chairman Omali Yeshitela talks about the dialectics that take place in political developments – phenomena are related, and the rise of the Party, the generalized resistance in Ferguson, the Party emerging all over the world, will necessarily mean an escalation of counterinsurgency. It’s not an accident where in the place where the Party is building, the CIA is doing this whole surveillance technology installation to create this whole spy network in St. Louis and increase the gentrification of the black community there, while the Party is fighting it. It is no accident that as the Party has established itself as the obvious vanguard of the African working class and oppressed people throughout the world, that the FBI launches a whole new campaign targeting “Black Identity Extremists (BIE)” and defining BIE as the yearning of African people to reclaim their identity, to establish an independent black homeland and to create autonomic social institutions, which is exactly what the Uhuru Movement is doing all around the world and in the host city of USM National Convention. But unlike the 1960s — when white people abandoned the African Revolution and united in complicity with the vicious counterinsurgency designed to crush the Black Power movement — that is not going to happen this time around. They won’t even be able to get to the Africans because they will be too busy fighting the white people in the African revolution: the white “Black Identity Extremists” in the form of USM. That’s why solidarity forces are taking on that campaign this year.

All of that will be discussed and built upon in our National Convention. We have to make this the biggest one and we need full unity from everyone on this committee. Then the job of everyone on this committee is that you have to win every member of USM around you. We have to win all the white people around us. Because every USM member has to be involved in building the National Convention.

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