Black Alliance for Peace Condemns Trump Administration’s Attempt to Impose U.S. Puppet Government on People of Venezuela

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns Trump Administration’s Attempt to Impose U.S. Puppet Government on People of Venezuela

Not satisfied with the orgy of violence successive U.S. administrations have imposed on the world over the last two decades in the Middle East and North Africa, the Trump administration—with the full support of a majority of Democrats and the liberal establishment—gave the green light to a coup action in Venezuela that promises to cause untold suffering to the Venezuelan people in the Americas.

In response to the news that a military coup was unfolding in Venezuela, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani welcomed the move as “a historic moment for the return to democracy and freedom in Venezuela.” Liberal defenders of democracy and human rights across Europe have given enthusiastic support to U.S. counterrevolutionary efforts, affirming why the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has identified the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination as the principal enemy of collective global humanity.

The real possibility of more death and destruction at the hands of the United States in Venezuela, and that significant sectors of the U.S. population supports it, reflects once again the moral hypocrisy of a society that pretends to be concerned about gun violence in the United States while giving full support to the ultimate expression of gun violence in the form of war. The hypocrisy continues with the bipartisan support for increasing the U.S. military budget by an astronomical $750 billion.

The people of the world want peace. But peace and global social cooperation to tackle and defeat the collective challenges of climate change, poverty, economic exploitation and oppression will be impossible as long as some nation-states have the ability to impose their destructive will on everyone else.

We are confident the Venezuelan people will prevail because after 20 years of dignity, of attempting to build a new society based on equality, cooperation, and empowerment of the oppressed, they will never allow themselves to be returned to the days when a rapacious oligarchy was able to deny them a democratic voice and steal the fruits of their labor and national resources.

In the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker, Claudia Jones, Malcolm X, Kwame Ture and Fannie Lou Hamer, BAP opposes the axis of domination and spreads the demand—Hands Off Venezuela!

Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: Reuters/Marco Bello

  Black Alliance for Peace Delivers to Congresspeople Thousands of Signatures Opposing U.S. Militarism in Africa

Black Alliance for Peace Delivers to Congresspeople Thousands of Signatures Opposing U.S. Militarism in Africa

APRIL 3, 2019—Members of the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) delivered about 3,500 signatures today, calling on the Congressional Black Caucus to hold hearings on the impact of U.S. militarization in Africa. Letters and petition signatures were handed to Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairperson and U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) as well as to U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a CBC member and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. A letter was delivered to U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), asking the CPC to partner with the CBC on a congressional investigation.  

BAP calls for an end to AFRICOM and to all foreign interference in the affairs of African countries. War, drone strikes and sanctions have devastated nations and millions of people—they must end now.

The letter to the CBC notes the U.S. government’s lack of consultation with all African peoples, a violation of the human-rights principles of self-determination and national sovereignty. “Despite fierce opposition from many African states and peoples, AFRICOM was established 10 years ago. And in those 10 years, our research indicates there has been very little oversight into the impact of AFRICOM on the people and states in Africa.”

Vanessa Beck, co-coordinator of BAP’s Research Team and a member of BAP’s Coordinating Committee, says the 60 percent of the U.S. budget that goes toward the military is the flip side of U.S. disinvestment in human-needs programs. “Whether we are talking about mass incarceration, police exchanges with the settler-colonial state of Israel, or the transfer of military weapons to local and state police departments, the most oppressed people suffer in genocidal conditions,” Beck says.

BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka says the CBC was once known as the anti-war conscience of Congress. “The collective voice of elected Black leaders has been muted and overtaken by war drums,” he says. “Not one drop of working-class and poor people’s blood should feed the capitalist dictatorship’s illegal wars abroad and in the United States.”

BAP kicked off the U.S. Out of Africa! campaign October 1, the 10th anniversary of AFRICOM.

A second campaign will educate the public on the connection between domestic repression and U.S. wars abroad. It will be announced at BAP’s second-anniversary event, “No Compromise, No Retreat in the Fight to End Militarism and War”, at 7 p.m., April 4, in Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 5301 N. Capitol St., NE, Washington, D.C.


STOP U.S. SUBVERSION AND LAWLESSNESS!
CLOSE U.S. AND NATO BASES!
U.S. OUT OF AFRICA—SHUT DOWN AFRICOM!


Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: Mid East News

Black Alliance for Peace Says Struggle in Haiti and Venezuela Connected

Black Alliance for Peace Says Struggle in Haiti and Venezuela Connected

FEBRUARY 18, 2019—The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) remains in steadfast solidarity with the people of Haiti, whose revolutionary spirit in 1791 showed the world what is possible when Africans organize and struggle together to remove their shackles and dispose of their oppressors.

The recent revelation that Haitian President Jovenel Moïse embezzled nearly $4 billion Venezuela had loaned the island nation a decade ago caused the popular uprising taking place in the country. And this is where we see where U.S. interventions in Venezuela and Haiti connect.

Moïse is nothing more than a puppet controlled by the U.S. government to disallow Haitian self-determination.

The Haitian people are no strangers to the tentacles of U.S. interventionism, which has been in place since the 19-year occupation commenced by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. The occupation included the seizure and relocation of Haiti’s financial reserves to the United States, as well as a re-write of the nation’s constitution, which allowed foreign entities to enjoy land-owning rights.

Over time, the actors associated with the U.S. stranglehold on Haiti and its right to self-determination may have changed—from Wilson, to Clinton, to Obama—but the strategy and modus operandi have remained consistent. The method involves financial manipulation, election rigging and racketeering. We are witnessing a parallel between 1929—when U.S. military forces suppressed a nationwide strike in Haiti and peaceful demonstrations by firing live ammunition on 1,500 people—and recently as Haitians have protested, demanding the ouster of U.S.-backed Moïse.

Moïse’s grip on power is being pried from his fingers as police officers continue to defy his orders, stand down and refuse to fire on protesters.

Continued U.S. oppression of Haiti was most recently demonstrated when U.S. sanctions against Venezuela made it impossible for Haiti to repay their loan as part of the PetroCaribe deal, thereby ending the arrangement in 2017. Moïse further demonstrated his loyalty to the United States when he directed his ministers to support a U.S.-engineered vote at the Organization of American States (OAS) that declared the illegitimacy of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

As internationalists who understand the interconnectedness of oppressed peoples’ struggles, BAP declares its solidarity with the people of Haiti in the struggle to end U.S. imperialism in Haiti, Venezuela and all republics of the Caribbean and Latin America. The people of Haiti are once again attempting to win back their nation. All who believe in principle of self-determination should stand with them.

Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: Hector Retamal/AFP

Black Working Class Will Never Abandon Venezuela!

Black Working Class Will Never Abandon Venezuela!

“The struggles of the Black working-class, united around a national program must have international solidarity and must be understood within the context of an anti-imperialist struggle against global capitalism and the US-led imperialist global economic, military and political infrastructure. For the Black working-class and the Black liberation movement not to struggle against capitalism, is not to be engaged in a struggle for Black liberation.” —Saladin Muhammad, Black Workers for Justice

We must remind our people that over 150 million Africans live throughout the so-called Americas. We especially must raise this reality at critical moments like this when the corporate media and establishment opinion is legitimizing U.S. gangsterism that could kill thousands of people in Venezuela.

Afro-Venezuelans contacted Black Alliance for Peace to ask us to remind our people in the United States that military forces will target Afro-Venezuelans if a military intervention occurs because they represent a core constituency of the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela.  

When a so-called opposition takes down the flag of its own country and raises the U.S. flag—after also displaying the Israeli flag on its podium during a demonstration—the true nature and interests of this element are exposed. This is an opposition that burnt Afro-Venezuelans alive because they assume all Black people support the government.

We know what will happen if a U.S.-led military intervention takes place. It will be a re-play of the 1989 invasion of Panama, where U.S forces turned the Black community of El Chorrillo into a “free fire zone,” resulting in the complete destruction of the community and the deaths of over 3,000 Panamanians.  

The U.S. state has demonstrated repeatedly that it has no regard for non-European life, from Iraq through Libya to Yemen and a dozen nations in between.

It is imperative we separate our folks from this naked imperialist move on Venezuela. It is important for African/Black people to be clear where we stand on these kinds of issues. The war and militarism being waged against us by the domestic military we call “the police”—along with the mass incarceration complex—is part of the global Pan-European Colonial/Capitalist White Supremacist patriarchy that is now conspiring against the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela. The European Union Parliament’s decision to recognize the puppet government being imposed on the people of Venezuela demonstrates why we have a common enemy in the U.S./EU/NATO “axis of domination.”

There can be no confusion—despite the sectoral fights inside the capitalist class that is currently playing out in their struggle against Trump, they are united when it comes to projecting the dominance of the Pan-European imperialist project. They are prepared to fight to the last drop of your blood and mine to defend their privilege.

That is why the Black Alliance for Peace is clear: We say “not one drop of blood from working class and poor to defend the interests of the capitalist oligarchy.” We want peace and People(s)-Centered Human Rights, but we recognize that there is no peace without justice. Real social justice, which requires radical structural change, cannot be realized without struggle. And there can be no effective social change without clearly identifying the enemy—the source of our oppression—and being able to imagine an alternative.

The people of Venezuela have made a choice. We will not debate the merits of their process—its contradictions or problems. Our responsibility as citizens/captors of empire is to put a brake on the U.S. state’s ability to foster death and destruction on the peoples of the world.

BAP is calling on all African/Black organizations to oppose U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Create public educational materials for the groups you are working with. You can pull from BAP’s statement on Venezuela, which raises the important principles we must defend: https://blackallianceforpeace.com/bapstatements/defendvenezuela

We are also joining with organizations from across the country to support a national day of action against U.S. intervention February 23. We will share more information on that on our site as that information is produced. If you might be interested in organizing actions on that day, please get in contact with us at info@blackallianceforpeace.com.

Also feel free to distribute this information on Venezuelan actions: https://blackallianceforpeace.com/newsletter/whitesupremacyofusinterventions

HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!

STOP U.S. SUBVERSION AND LAWLESSNESS!

CLOSE U.S. AND NATO BASES!

U.S. OUT OF AFRICA—SHUT DOWN AFRICOM!

Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Why We Must Oppose U.S. Intervention in Venezuela

Why We Must Oppose U.S. Intervention in Venezuela

JANUARY 26, 2019—We, the members of the Black Alliance for Peace, uphold our political stance in the face of aggressions waged by the United States. Two of BAP’s core principles are an unwavering commitment to self-determination for peoples and nations alike and opposition to imperialism in all its varied and brutal forms. Therefore, unlike so many who are confused about Venezuela, we say without equivocation that we oppose the illegal and immoral attempts by the United States and their Organization of American States (OAS) allies to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

No objective right has been bestowed upon the United States to impose its will on any sovereign people or nation. We categorically reject the arrogant and white supremacist assumption that the United States—itself a capitalist dictatorship—should arbitrarily take the liberty to presume leadership and rationalize its intervention into any nation by evoking a flimsy, laughable and ostensible argument that it is supporting democracy and/or human rights.

Were it not for the abject hypocrisy exercised by the United States, the irony in the case of Venezuela would be more laughable than tragic. On the one hand, a nation that annually pretends to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., skirts over the many people’s understanding that he was murdered because of his opposition to U.S. state violence. That the United States would unleash a plan to subvert Venezuela—which would cost thousands of innocent lives—reminds us as Black people of the same methodology applied during the murderous and draconian tenure of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who unleashed the COINTELPRO program in U.S. Black communities.Militarized U.S. police forces, many of whom have received training from the Israeli state, enjoy impunity for the state-sanctioned execution of our people.

Like the war party that it was during the Vietnam War period, the majority of Democrats have dropped their supposed fundamental opposition to Trump to line up in support of this criminal intervention. As always, the “party of the people” demonstrates its brand of subjective righteousness and justice.

We pose the question to progressive forces in the United States: How much more war, how much more death and destruction will you endure before you break with the capitalist duopoly of your government and say no more war, no more subversion, no more killings in my name by a state that by every definition has become a rogue state and threat to global humanity?

There can be no equivocation in the face of injustice and the psychopathology of white supremacist ideology that is unable to respect the rights and humanity of people of the Global Majority—Black and Brown people who are the ones who suffer from these imperialist adventures mobilized by the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination.

The idea of a benevolent hegemon might be a comforting myth that assuages the conscience of left and progressive forces who engage in open class/race collaboration with the white supremacist, colonial/capitalist patriarchy that is the Western European project. But for those of us relegated to what Frantz Fanon called the “zones of non-being,” we cannot afford any illusions about the nature of what we are up against.

We call on those principled individuals and organizations located at the center of empire to put aside your divisions, stop your collaboration with the rulers and live up to your responsibility to the people of the world who suffer at the hands of this mad, criminal state.

Now is the time to say no, now is the time to build our movement, now is the time for all of us who say we believe in peace to be ready to fight for justice!

HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!

STOP U.S. SUBVERSION AND LAWLESSNESS!

CLOSE U.S. AND NATO BASES!

U.S. OUT OF AFRICA—SHUT DOWN AFRICOM!

Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

While Happy for Freed Black Muslim Journalist, BAP Condemns U.S. State That Imprisoned Her

While Happy for Freed Black Muslim Journalist, BAP Condemns U.S. State That Imprisoned Her

JANUARY 23, 2019—The Black Alliance for Peace is elated that wrongfully imprisoned PressTV journalist Marzieh Hashemi has been released.

But no credit goes to the U.S. state nor the other characters who pretend to serve the people.

We condemn the hush that had fallen on the Black political class and most progressives during the nine days Hashemi had spent behind bars—including solitary confinement in a Washington, D.C., facility built on land stolen from the indigenous Piscataway people. This Muslim Black American journalist, who is distinguished by her hard-hitting coverage at an Iranian-funded news outlet, was not charged with a crime, but suffered great indignities, including being served pork and being forced to remove her hijab. As BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka says, Hashemi was seen as a “runaway slave.”

This move also was another U.S. effort to attack Iran, which has chosen not to surrender its sovereignty to the U.S. government. We cannot stress the threat Hashemi’s arrest posed to independent journalists and opponents of the U.S. state, as well as to the free flow of information.

The terror attacks of September 11, 2001, were the pretext for dispensing with the few constitutional rights people of the United States had left, such as the rights to be charged and to face one’s accusers in court.

As BAP Coordinating Committee member Margaret Kimberley says, “Being held as a so-called material witness is now the favorite way for prosecutors to get their hands on anyone they want for any reason they want and to hold that person indefinitely.”

We remain in solidarity with Marzieh and all remaining political prisoners!

Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

It's About Time for the U.S. to Exit Syria and Afghanistan

It's About Time for the U.S. to Exit Syria and Afghanistan

A real panic exists among the militarists and flunkeys of the military-industrial complex: They are concerned the U.S. president has gone completely off the ruling-class imperialist script. We find that hard to believe, since a move away from militarism and violence would indicate a fundamental departure from the very essence of the methods and strategy that created the United States. We are on land violently stolen from Indigenous peoples that was then used to execute a brutal super-exploitation of enslaved African labor to amass imperialist wealth. That wealth was used to elevate the United States to a world power after the second imperialist war in 1945.

But with Trump announcing U.S. troops will be pulled out of Syria and troop strength will be reduced in the never-ending war in Afghanistan, the ruling-class propagandists pretending to be journalists at CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the rest, have sounded the alarm of pending doom for the empire. These hacks feign concern that the president is abandoning the bipartisan commitment to international gangsterism.

We in the Black Alliance for Peace don’t praise a U.S. president for ending the illegal subversion, invasion and occupation of a sovereign state that should have never been allowed in the first place by the theoretical representatives of the people who now sit in the U.S. Congress. If the Trump administration is serious about the “full and rapid” withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, we say it’s about time. We demand a full withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Syria, including the mercenary components referred to as “contractors.” We also say troop reduction is not enough—end the war in Afghanistan with a complete and total withdrawal of U.S. forces.

We denounce those elements in the corporate press, the establishment voices in the duopoly, and liberal and left acolytes of the warmongering ruling class who have taken upon themselves to confuse and manipulate the public into believing that permanent war is both rational and inevitable. The $6 trillion of public resources transferred from the pockets of the people to the military-industrial complex over the last two decades to execute wars and occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, have also caused the destruction of ancient cities, unspeakable misery for millions of people that includes but is not limited to the displacement of millions of people and the so-called “refugee crisis”—not to mention the millions of lives that have been eliminated by U.S. bombs, missiles, chemicals and bullets. All who have remained silent or have given direct or even indirect support to these bipartisan war policies are morally culpable.

We are extremely skeptical about the administration’s announcement—we know from painful experience and from our understanding of the history of this state, that the United States has never voluntarily withdrawn from one of its imperialist adventures. Therefore, the Black Alliance for Peace will continue to demand that the United States withdraw from Syria until every U.S. asset is out of the country.

The final resolution of the U.S.-led war in Syria must be determined by Syrians themselves. All foreign forces must recognize and respect the sovereignty of the Syrian people and their legal representatives.

If peace is a real possibility for the people of Syria, it is only the most cynical who would undermine that possibility for partisan political purposes. But we know that the lives of people of color mean nothing for some of the loudest critics of Trump’s decision. Many of those same critics don’t see any contradiction in condemning Putin and the Russians while embracing Netanyahu and the Israeli apartheid state that fires live ammunition into the bodies of unarmed Palestinians.

But in the tradition of our ancestors who understood the infinite connection of all of humanity and who resisted systematic degradation, the Black Alliance for Peace will continue to raise our voice in support of peace. Yet, we know that without justice there can be no peace. We must struggle to obtain justice.

U.S. out of Syria!

U.S. out of Africa!

Shut down AFRICOM and all NATO bases!

Reallocate the people’s resources from funding war to realizing the human rights of all people, not just the 1 percent!


Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: Hassan Ammar/AP

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns John Bolton's Speech on Africa

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns John Bolton's Speech on Africa

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announcing a “Prosper Africa” initiative was no departure from U.S. foreign policy toward Africa. He simultaneously threatened China and Russia, while heaping scorn upon African nations. Our siblings in African nations struggle to overcome the destruction caused by European colonization, as well as the American interventions exemplified by the destruction of Libya, the destabilization of Somalia, and the fomenting of conflict in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Bolton’s bluster against Chinese and Russian influence in Africa was borne of panic and was full of bald-faced lies. He made no mention of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which has put most African nations under the military control of the United States. But even so, the United States lags behind China, which is investing in African infrastructure and forgiving debt demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Bolton charged China and Russia have predatory designs in Africa, but it is Europe and the United States that have committed the greatest thefts ever since the 19th-century scramble for the continent kicked off at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85.

Bolton warned African nations to ally themselves to the United States or risk the threat of intervention or the end of foreign aid. He lied about Russia and China, projecting onto them the wrongdoing that the United States has committed across the globe. In calling them “corrupt,” he exposed the United States’ own corrupt intention onto its rivals for economic and military power.

Based on his statements, it is clear Bolton believes African nations have no sovereignty and no agency to act upon. It is clear he views them as pawns in a superpower game, pawns that are incapable of making any decisions on their own. He further insulted African nations by mentioning “wasted U.S. tax dollars” on seemingly corrupt and incompetent African states. According to Bolton, Africa has no rights that white-run nations need to respect.

China and Russia have the right to engage with African nations and Africans have every right to do business with or ally themselves with the states of their choosing. They are already victimized by post-colonial interference, and the strong men that Bolton referenced wouldn’t be in power unless the United States and European countries wanted them in place. Numerous attempts at independence have been thwarted for decades as leaders such as Patrice Lumumba and Thomas Sankara fell victim to Western meddling.

Bolton’s threats are proof that the United States has nothing to offer except the kind of hyper-militarization that sent Rwandan and Ugandan proxies into Congo, which resulted in the deaths of 6 million people.

Donald Trump is no outlier. His administration is continuing the work of past presidents. His predecessor Barack Obama and other U.S. presidents practiced the same politics of military and economic aggression against African nations.

John Bolton’s screed proves the need for the Black Alliance for Peace’s demand that the United States disband AFRICOM and remove its influence from the continent. BAP and other progressive, Pan-African forces are stepping forward to challenge the deadly policies of the United States. If China and, belatedly, Russia are expanding their influence, it is because Africans themselves see the advantage in these alliances.

The Black Alliance for Peace calls upon the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to hold hearings on the impact of U.S. militarization in Africa. BAP calls for an end to AFRICOM and to all foreign interference in the affairs of African nations. War, drone strikes and sanctions have devastated nations and millions of people, and must end now.

Sign our petition to shut down AFRICOM: tinyurl.com/ShutDownAFRICOM

Learn about our U.S. Out of Africa! campaign: blackallianceforpeace.com/USoutofAfrica

U.S. Out of Africa!

End AFRICOM!

Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

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Photo credit: Esam Omran/Reuters

Black Internationalists Demand Closure of Hundreds of U.S. Military Bases

Black Internationalists Demand Closure of Hundreds of U.S. Military Bases

NOVEMBER 21, 2018—The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), a founding member of the Global Campaign Against U.S./NATO Military Bases, joined 300 attendees from 36 countries at a historic conference last weekend that re-committed anti-war activists to closing U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military bases throughout the world.

The Global Campaign Against U.S./NATO Military Bases held its first international conference November 16-18 at Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland. The conference’s Unity Statement was endorsed by more than 700 individuals and organizations. The Dublin conference convened several months after the U.S.-based Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases held its first conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States. Ireland was chosen because of its neutral position, having never joined NATO.

The United States operates more than 1,000 military facilities on six continents. This enormous presence embodies the U.S. policy of Full Spectrum Dominance, which threatens democracy and self-determination for other nations.

BAP reaffirms our commitment to this world-wide initiative and to our recently launched campaign, U.S. Out of Africa!, to shut down U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). This military program is present in 53 out of 54 African countries. BAP is circulating an online petition that makes these demands:

  1. The complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa,

  2. The demilitarization of the African continent,

  3. The closure of U.S. bases throughout the world, and

  4. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) must oppose AFRICOM and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent.

After recent U.S. midterm elections, the Democratic Party now makes up the majority of the U.S. Congress and owes that status to Black U.S. voters. As colonized subjects on stolen land, the U.S.-based Black diaspora wants the nations of their ancestral continent to live freely and independently, which means AFRICOM must be dismantled. The BAP petition calls on CBC members to act as true representatives of their constituents, who are among the most peace loving in the country.

There can be no peace or democracy when a group of nations and their proxies can wage violent action against people around the world. BAP’s mission to re-capture and re-develop the historic anti-war, anti-imperialist and pro-peace positions of the radical Black movement will play a crucial part in the Global Campaign Against U.S./NATO Military Bases.

U.S. out of Africa!

Shut down AFRICOM!

Close all U.S. and NATO foreign bases!

The Joint Communiqué adopted by participants at the First International Conference Against U.S./NATO Military Bases can be found here: https://blackallianceforpeace.com/movement-news/firstconferenceagainstusnatomilitarybases

Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

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Statement on the 17th Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan

Statement on the 17th Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan

This statement was delivered by Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) member Jose Monzon at an anti-war rally held October 7, 2018 in New York City commemorating the 17th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The rally also demanded an end to all wars.

On behalf of the struggling Black peoples who are a part of the Black Alliance for Peace, we bring you revolutionary greetings.

We want to thank the organizers of this event for not allowing this date to pass without demonstrating people in this nation are still woke, still struggling, and still determined to defeat U.S. imperialism in all of its manifestations.

Seventeen years ago this weekend, citing the Doctrine of Self-Defense, the United States initiated a brutal war against the people of Afghanistan. And once again, the people of that nation found themselves expendable, no more than collateral damage for the Bush administration’s ideological objective of conditioning the people in the United States to support their real intention: the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  

But like so many other empires and nations that invaded Afghanistan, the United States found it could smash a government, but it could not defeat the people of that small nation who were determined to defend their national dignity.

Today, 17 years later, the United States has been defeated. But in its imperial arrogance, it is prevented from admitting that fact to itself, the people and the world—and so the suffering of the people continues.

We in the Black Alliance for Peace say that in the war that should have never been, the war has been lost!

Bring the solders out, close the U.S. bases and provide reparations to the people of that nation who have unnecessarily suffered.

But if you continue to wage war, if your greed for the over $1 trillion worth of precious metals and oil and gas deposits seduce you into believing that you can remain, we pledge today that we will return to the streets, we will continue to resist you and to stand with the people to force you out of Afghanistan, out of Yemen,  to force you out of all of the national territories where you attempt to impose your will.

End of the war in Afghanistan!

Stop the slaughter in Yemen!

Close all U.S. and NATO bases worldwide!

U.S. out of Africa and shut down AFRICOM!

Photo credit: Reuters

Black Alliance for Peace Calls on U.S. Government to Shut Down U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Black Alliance for Peace Calls on U.S. Government to Shut Down U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

October 1, 2018—The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has launched U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM, a campaign designed to end the U.S. invasion and occupation of Africa.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of AFRICOM, short for U.S. Africa Command. Although U.S. leaders say AFRICOM is “fighting terrorism” on the continent, we believe geopolitical competition with China is the real reason behind AFRICOM’s existence. AFRICOM is a dangerous structure that has only increased militarism.

When AFRICOM was established in the months before Barack Obama assumed office as the first Black President of the United States, a majority of African nations—led by the Pan-Africanist government of Libya—rejected AFRICOM, forcing the new command to instead work out of Europe. But with the U.S. and NATO attack on Libya that led to the destruction of that country and the murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, corrupt African leaders began to allow AFRICOM forces to operate in their countries and establish military-to-military relations with the United States. Today, those efforts have resulted in 46 various forms of U.S. bases as well as military-to-military relations between 53 out of the 54 African countries and the United States. U.S. Special Forces troops now operate in more than a dozen African nations.

Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, first and former deputy of AFRICOM, declared in 2008, “Protecting the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market is one of AFRICOM’s guiding principles.”

We say AFRICOM is the flip side of the domestic war being waged by the same repressive state structure against Black and poor people in the United States. In the U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM campaign, we link police violence and the domestic war waged on Black people to U.S. interventionism and militarism abroad.

"Not only does there need to be a mass movement in the U.S. to shut down AFRICOM, this mass movement needs to become inseparably bound with the movement that has swept this country to end murderous police brutality against Black and Brown people,” says Netfa Freeman, of Pan-African Community Action (PACA) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). Freeman represents PACA, a BAP member organization, on BAP’s Coordinating Committee. “The whole world must begin to see AFRICOM and the militarization of police departments as counterparts."

It costs $267 million to fund AFRICOM in 2018, according to Vanessa Beck, BAP research team lead and Coordinating Committee member.

“That money is stolen from Africans/Black people in the U.S. to terrorize and steal resources from our sisters and brothers on the African continent,” Beck said. “Instead, that money should be put toward meeting our human needs in the U.S. and toward reparations for people in every African nation affected by U.S. imperialism.”

BAP makes the following demands:

  1. the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa,

  2. the demilitarization of the African continent,

  3. the closure of U.S. bases throughout the world, and

  4. the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) must oppose AFRICOM and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent.

We ask the public to join us in demanding an end to the U.S. invasion and occupation of the continent of our ancestors by signing this petition that we will deliver to CBC leaders.

This campaign is BAP’s effort to help shut down all U.S. foreign military bases as well as NATO bases. BAP is a founding member of the Coalition Against U.S Foreign Military Bases.

Visit blackallianceforpeace.com/USoutofAfrica for resources.

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Media Contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Local and National Activists Gather to Address Problem of Police Militarization and Violence in Baltimore

Local and National Activists Gather to Address Problem of Police Militarization and Violence in Baltimore

Press Release                    

Contact: Vanessa Beck: 312 607-0304

August 17, 2018

Local and National Activists Gather to Address Problem of Police Militarization and Violence in Baltimore

“Impunity is defined as “exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action,” and is precisely what defines the war on poor black and brown people being waged by the frontline troops in that war – the police forces – from Baltimore to Birmingham, Alabama,” according to Vanessa Beck, the Baltimore representative of the Black Alliance for Peace. To address the issue of impunity and state violence perpetrated by the police and U.S. state violence in the form of war and militarization in Africa, a forum with local and national activists will take place August 18 from 2p to 4pm at the Walbrook Branch Library, 3203 W. North Ave, in Baltimore.  

Planned before the latest incident in which a Baltimore police officer was caught on tape physically abusing Dashawn McGrier, The Black Alliance for Peace, a new national anti-war alliance, along with local and regional organizations will discuss the issue of police violence in Black communities and U.S. war in Africa.  Titled “Military Occupation of the U.S. Black Communities & the Age of AFRICOM,” the forum will also include a performance by local artist Son of Nun.  The list of speakers includes:  

• Tawanda Jones, Justice for Tyrone West
• Brittany Oliver, Not Without Black Women
• Kelly Davis, Team Keith
• Netfa Freeman, Pan-African Community Action (BAP member organization)
• Maurice Carney, Friends of the Congo (BAP member organization)
• Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace (BAP)

“The forum in Baltimore is an important event not only for Baltimore but for the nation because Baltimore represents ground zero for official police impunity with cases like Freddie Gray, Tyrone West and others but Baltimore is also a site of resistance to the systematic assaults on the collective human rights of Black people,” according to Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer for the Black Alliance for Peace.   

The event is endorsed by: Ujima’s People Party, Not Without Black Women, Pan African Community Action (PACA), Friends of the Congo (FOC), Baltimore-Palestine Solidarity, Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Bases and the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC).

 

This panel discussion was livestreamed on our Facebook page (https://facebook.com/blackallianceforpeace) on August 18, 2018, in Baltimore's Wallbrook Library. The goal was to educate the public on the U.S. government's use of its vast military power to re-colonize the African continent and to subject Black people within its borders to police repression.

                   

On Anniversary of Nuclear Attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Black Alliance for Peace Supports Demand for Immediate Global Denuclearization

On Anniversary of Nuclear Attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Black Alliance for Peace Supports Demand for Immediate Global Denuclearization

On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, followed three days later by an attack on Nagasaki. Tens of thousands perished within seconds. For some who died, the only evidence they existed was a radiation shadow found on a concrete wall. The stated justification for this horrific crime was the need to hasten the end of World War II. But not only was Japan already attempting to surrender, it made the final decision to do so because the Soviet Union declared war—Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not need to be bombed.

The United States is still the only nation to use an atomic weapon against human beings. Yet it reserves a self-declared right to determine which nations can and cannot develop the same capability. The international community has spoken out in opposition to that arrogant position by demanding the “denuclearization” of all nations that possess these inhumane weapons of mass destruction. After 72 years of agitation in favor and opposition from all nations that possess nuclear weapons, the United Nations General Assembly voted last July to adopt a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) supports this treaty, and calls on all peace and anti-war activists to publicize the existence of this treaty, as well as demand the United States join with the sentiments of the world and eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

Peace loving people around the world must be united in working for a nuclear-free world. Even Ronald Reagan declared after he and Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to significantly reduce their arsenals, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Yet presidents Obama and Trump have and are proposing to spend over $1 trillion on nuclear weapons “upgrades.”

The right to life is the ultimate human right with war being the ultimate violator of that right. Yet, contemporary policymakers in the Obama and Bush administrations, who had made the Dr. Strangelove character seem rational, had quietly engaged in discussions about the tactical feasibility of limited nuclear war, as if a nuclear war could possibly be contained. The need for peace, for a world free from the nuclear threat, has never been clearer. The somber anniversary of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are an opportunity to remind the world of the horror of nuclear war and to make sure opposition to war includes its most psychopathic expression—nuclear war! 



Photo credit: Reuters/U.S. Army

Black Alliance for Peace Welcomes Outcome of Meeting Between the United States and North Korea

Black Alliance for Peace Welcomes Outcome of Meeting Between the United States and North Korea

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) calls on the people of the United States to ensure the leaders of the U.S. state remain committed to continued diplomacy to end the U.S.-Korea conflict. The meeting between Kim Jong Un and the president of the United States was a positive step toward a peaceful resolution of the 68-year Korea war. The decision on the part of the U.S. occupying power to end the provocative and illegal war games with the South Korea state is a necessary concession to demonstrate a commitment to easing military tensions on the Korean peninsula. As the foreign power with 32,000 soldiers and a nuclear umbrella over the North from its bombers and submarines, the United States was correct in responding to North Korea’s unilateral decision to halt nuclear tests and testing of ballistic missiles with the decision to end the U.S.-South Korea military drills.

BAP is concerned with the irresponsible and reckless comments by various political leaders who are opposed to ending the military exercises and are characterizing the outcome of the summit as a win for North Korea. For BAP, the winners of the summit are the South Korean people and all those who cherish peace and an international community committed to law and the principles of the United Nations charter.

As the state primarily responsible for the division of the Korean Peninsula and the subsequent war of annihilation waged against the North, it is only natural that the United States would need to demonstrate a good-faith commitment to a peace process.

The use of sexist and patriarchal imagery along with subtle appeals to white supremacy emanating primarily from Democrats to goad the administration into taking a more aggressive position on North Korea demonstrates once again that Democrats offer no alternative to the politics of domination and aggressive imperialism that has defined U.S. behavior for decades.

BAP considers both parties to be war parties that are committed the use of war, repression and various forms of violence, including economic sanctions, to maintain the global hegemony of the United States. That is why any political space that is created that might move the United States away from its preferred method of using violence to advance the interests of the 1% is positive and must be supported by the people. Left to their own devices, the bought-and-paid-for politicians will never pursue peace when militarism continues to make their patrons rich!

Keeping pressure on the politicians who represent the interests of the capitalist oligarchy requires the re-building of an anti-war, pro-peace and anti-imperialist movement in the United States. The demands for peace voiced by the people of both Koreas are what drove the leaders of North and South Korea to move toward a new relationship between the nations. If the Korean people did not have to deal with the reality of the United States as a foreign neo-colonial power, it would have been able to resolve their differences many years ago.

That is why the issue is not de-nuclearization but de-colonization. We must demand an end to U.S. occupation, withdraw all U.S. troops, close the military bases, and remove the nuclear threat posed by U.S. bombers and submarines.

The Black Alliance for Peace says, “Close all foreign U.S. bases”! Defeat the giant triplets of racism, militarism and materialism that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., identified. And commit to “not one drop of blood from the working class and poor to defend the interests of the capitalist oligarchy.”

For media inquiries, email info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: Reuters

The Black Alliance for Peace  Calls on Congressional Black Caucus and Leadership of Poor People’s Campaign to Demand the Dismantling U.S. African Command (AFRICOM)

The Black Alliance for Peace Calls on Congressional Black Caucus and Leadership of Poor People’s Campaign to Demand the Dismantling U.S. African Command (AFRICOM)

On May 25, African Liberation Day, the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) called on the United States government to dismantle the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) and withdraw all U.S. forces from the African continent. This demand is in line with the main objective of the newly formed Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases—of which BAP is a founding member—which was formally launched in January. The coalition demands the closure of 800-plus U.S. military bases in other countries, which would save more than $150 billion that could then be re-allocated to realize the economic human rights of the working class and poor in this country.

In our statement on African Liberation Day we called on the members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to publicly oppose the aggressive militarization of the African continent, ramped up by the Obama administration and being continued by the Trump administration.

During the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) actions to end the War Economy, Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence that began this week, BAP is calling on the campaign to take an unequivocal stance in opposition to AFRICOM. Just as we called on the CBC to take a public position against the aggressive expansion of U.S. militarism in Africa, we are also asking the PPC leadership and all activists supporting this week of actions to join us in demanding the United States pull out of Africa and close all U.S. military bases on foreign soil.

For BAP, it is clear the U.S war on “terrorism” in Africa was and remains a subterfuge to expand U.S. influence and its physical presence there. The destruction of Libya, the ongoing war in Somalia, the dismemberment of Sudan, the millions of lives lost in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the widespread political instability throughout the continent is the concrete result of U.S. policies and not some internal or externally motivated “terrorism” and therefore must be opposed by all who claim to represent the interests of Black people.

The PPC states “[t]he truth is that instead of waging a War on Poverty, we have been waging a War on the Poor, at home and abroad, for the financial benefit of a few.” There certainly has been a war. However, it is not “we” who are waging this war but them, the racist capitalist oligarchy that has been operating against the interests of the majority of the people in the United States and throughout the world.

BAP sees a clear connection between the war being waged against Black and poor people domestically through the Obama and Trump administrations’ Department of Defense 1033 program, which has resulted in the obscene militarization of the police, and the U.S. commitment to “full spectrum dominance” that translates into a permanent war against colonized people of color globally. That is why we agree with the PPC’s focus on gun violence, but we say the focus must be even more explicit.

Netfa Freeman, organizer with Pan-African Community Action (PACA) and a member of the BAP Coordinating Committee, points to both the internal and external on issues of militarism and gun violence: "The double standards and dirty-trick twists and turns of the U.S.'s industrial-police-military-intelligence complex has operated on two complementary and parallel tracks when it comes to war, repression, and militarism in Africa and in Black communities within U.S. borders,” he says. “Those tracks are militarized domestic repression in the form of over-policing, police murders and mass incarceration, and in Africa the phony war on terrorism.”

The PPC’s clear demand for “demilitarization of our communities” including “ending federal programs that send military equipment into local and state communities” is in sharp contrast to the support of repressive federal policies by a majority of Black lawmakers at the national level.

In July 2014, two months before the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, 80 percent of the CBC voted against ending the 1033 program; last July, a majority voted in favor of the obscene increase in the military budget that exceeded the $54 billion increase demanded by Trump; and just a week or so ago, a majority of the caucus voted in favor of a right-wing federal “Blue Lives Matter” bill, making “assaults” on police officers a federal hate crime!

The Democratic Party that vehemently opposed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he finally broke with the Johnson administration and the party establishment to oppose the Vietnam War, and which gave political cover to and justifications for the murderous assault against the Black Liberation Movement, is the same party that today supports the war agenda of the corporate and financial oligarchy. It is the same party that under Obama accelerated the 1033 program and prosecuted only one of the dozens of killer-cops that executed black, Latinx and Native people across the country.

BAP is not fooled by the diversionary politics of the Democratic Party. We are clear that opposition to war, militarism and all forms of gun violence requires taking on both parties representing the two wings of the ruling class. A bill providing a blank check to the Trump administration to wage war across the planet in the form of the new “authorization to use military force” is an example of the bi-partisan commitment to permanent war and repression as U.S. policy.

Moral stances also require explicit political positions. Opposition to war and gun violence requires that real political connections are made and concrete positions taken against policies that perpetuate the moral offenses that we oppose.

It also means that those who claim to represent the oppressed must be held to account. The members of the Congressional Black Caucus have failed to represent the interests of their Black constituents who have consistently opposed war and domestic militarism.

BAP applauds the effort by the PPC to recapture the moral ground lost to the right-wing counter-revolution of the 1970s and ‘80s as well as to the moral bankruptcy of the Obama presidency. However, we believe that in this era of right-wing ascendency represented by Trump and the liberal authoritarianism of the Democratic Party, it is important the interests and politics of the working class and poor are clearly delineated from those of the capitalist oligarchy. This means that our politics must be clear and our rhetoric devoid of liberal ambiguities in order to expose the nature and interests of the oppressive system and state.

Our task today is even more pressing than it was 51 years ago when Dr. King called on the oppressed and their allies to defeat “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism.”

That is why during this week of action called for by the PPC, BAP is making a clear call for the U.S. to leave Africa and for the people to control the police in their communities. Nothing short of this would reflect the morality and politics of the original Poor People’s Campaign and the revolution of values advocated by Dr. King.

 

For media inquiries, email info@blackallianceforpeace.com

On African Liberation Day, the Black Alliance for Peace Demands U.S. Out of Africa!

On African Liberation Day, the Black Alliance for Peace Demands U.S. Out of Africa!

No U.S. bases in Africa, shut down U.S. African Command (AFRICOM)

 

African Liberation Day (ALD) grew out of the attempts to establish the continental unity of Africa and all African people 55 years ago and is now celebrated every May 25th around the world.

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), a project that centers a radical approach to the fight for collective people(s)-centered human rights that centers self-determination, the right for revolutionary change and anti-imperialism is commemorating ALD by demanding without equivocation that the United States close all U.S. bases and withdraws its forces from the African continent.

Why this Demand?

The African continent will never be free to develop its enormous potential as a revolutionary force for the advancement of all African people and all of humanity as long as U.S. imperialism is allowed to operate without restraint.

Today the U.S. is involved in an aggressive military re-conquest of Africa though its United States Africa Command, AFRICOM, formed in 2008 with the goal of enhancing U.S. influence throughout the African continent. AFRICOM has made African nations vassal states following the dictates of U.S. foreign policies, which are antithetical to the needs of African people.

According to Maurice Carney, executive director of “Friends of the Congo” and BAP member, "Due to the US and Europe's inability to compete with China economically on the African continent, the U.S. launched AFRICOM to protect its strategic interests. Although AFRICOM representatives present a benign, humanitarian facade of building wells and training soldiers in human rights practices, its ever-expanding presence (estimated 2000 percent increase since its inception in 2008) has been devastating for the oppressed masses on the continent.”

Blocking the military expansion of the U.S. settler-colonial state must be seen by all serious revolutionary Pan-Africanists as a primary objective. However, BAP members understand that it also means that the internal contradiction represented in the collaboration of the comprador, neo-colonial criminals that run so many of the micro-states on the continent must also be targeted.

It means as well that we must call out the members of the Black elite in the U.S. who collaborate with imperialist power.

Margaret Kimberley from Black Agenda Report and member of the BAP Coordinating Committee points out that “Congressional Black Caucus members were once known as "the conscience of the Congress." Unfortunately, most of them voted for the Trump administration's $80 billion increase to the defense budget in 2017. Those funds will not only deprive the people of the U.S. the numerous governmental programs which provide for their well-being but will also be used to continue wars in Somalia, Congo, Kenya and Niger and result in death and destruction for millions of people.”

Therefore, we demand that as the 10th anniversary of AFRICOM approaches, the Congressional Black Caucus take a public stand in opposition to AFRICOM and cease its support of U.S. militarism and warmongering in Africa but also in the streets of the U.S.  

So, on this African Liberation Day, join us in demanding that AFRICOM be dismantled and this country's predatory actions against millions of Africans end immediately.

For media inquiries, email info@blackallianceforpeace.com.

 

Photo credit: Paul Schmick. Courtesy of the DC Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post

BAP Calls on the United States to Meet North Korean Efforts to Move Toward a Diplomatic Solution

BAP Calls on the United States to Meet North Korean Efforts to Move Toward a Diplomatic Solution

MAY 16, 2018—The United States has no one to blame but itself for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) canceling a meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday with the Republic of Korea (RoK) as part of the peace process.

Arrogantly stretched to capacity while fighting illegal wars on multiple fronts, the United States has further weakened its already anemic moral position. Meanwhile, the international community has expressed outrage over the latest manifestations of U.S. gangsterism: Pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran and five other nations, attacking Syria the day before a weapons inspection, and its complicity in the Israeli massacre of more than 50 Palestinians on Monday, the day before the 70th anniversary of the Nakba.

Per the international principle of a state's right to self-defense, the DPRK has pulled out of talks with its neighbor since the United States has chosen to move forward with its next joint military exercise with the RoK. These exercises are more aptly known as “war games” because they involve the United States playing out a potential attack on the DPRK by firing its weapons and dropping bombs on the RoK side. Any playing out of war is indeed an act of war.

As Black internationalists, we denounce such gangsterism and continued violations of international law.

 

Media Contact: Margaret Kimberley, info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: Kim Won-Gin/Getty Images

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns Slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns Slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza

Black anti-war activists call on members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the leadership of the Poor People’s Campaign to publicly condemn Israeli violence

MAY 15, 2018—While a delegation from the Trump administration and leaders from various parts of the world gathered in Jerusalem to witness the illegal and immoral move of the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to the beleaguered and contested city, Israeli soldiers slaughtered unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. The latest count reports more than 50 dead and 2,700 wounded.

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) demands the United States condemn Israeli state violence and the use of U.S.-supplied weapons to murder unarmed Palestinians, a violation of U.S. law. Guidelines for the sale and transfer of military equipment stipulates U.S.-supplied arms cannot be used to violate human rights.

However, BAP is clear responsibility for the barbarity the world is witnessing does not only rest with the Israeli colonial state. The systematic violence of ethnic cleansing, house demolitions, exile, assassinations, land thefts, bombings, and the denial of water and other vital services that provide basic dignity could not have occurred without ongoing support from the United States, as well as both major political parties in the United States, the corporate press and every major institution of U.S. society, including many churches.

Support for Israeli settler-colonialism has been the stated policy of both dominant U.S. political parties, along with a firm commitment to ensure the Israeli government has the military means to not only sustain the occupation but impose its military will on its neighbors in the region. The two-state solution was always a subterfuge to delay the eradication of illegal Israeli settlements, while military containment policies represented most dramatically in the apartheid walls that crisscross Palestinian territories on the so-called West Bank actually created new realities on the ground, making a two-state solution impossible.

In accordance with the principles and values reflected in the platform of the Poor People’s Campaign and the stated support for that campaign by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, BAP is calling on both to condemn the attacks and join BAP in calling for an intervention by the international community.

We believe this public stance is important because the recent decisions to sabotage the Iran agreement and give Israel a green light to escalate military aggressions in the sovereign state of Syria, coupled with the brutal violence unleashed against unarmed protesters in Gaza, provide unassailable evidence both the United States and Israel have opted to operate outside the rule of law as rogue criminal states.

Therefore, BAP calls on the international community to use all means at its disposal to force the United States and Israel to comport themselves in line with acceptable international norms. It is quite obvious to us that absent pressure from the international community in the form of arms embargos, economic sanctions and universal moral condemnation, both states will continue to be global threats to peace and international outlaws in relation to human rights.

Media contact: Ajamu Baraka, info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Re-centering Anti-war and Anti-imperialism as Working-class Issues on May Day

Re-centering Anti-war and Anti-imperialism as Working-class Issues on May Day

MAY 1, 2018—May 1 is recognized as International Workers’ Day throughout the world except in the most bourgeois of bourgeois nations—the United States. Yet, even though the capitalist oligarchy has tried to erase the day from the awareness and memory of the working class and worker-oriented organizations and unions, the working class continues to embrace and take ownership of this day as its own.  

Today is the day that the multi-national, multi-racial working classes express solidarity with all those who labor, who have nothing but their labor power to sell in order to eke out a living for themselves and their families. Today, workers from all nations, races, genders and nationalities proclaim that—despite differences—common interests bind us and can serve as a basis for a common political stance and program of liberation from the ravages of capitalist exploitation and great power domination.

On this International Workers’ Day, over 140 million people are classified as low-income in the United States while tax cuts are given to the rich. Thirty-thousand people still die every year simply because they do not have access to health care. Thousands walk the streets not knowing where they are going to lay their heads at night. And millions of working people are paying over half their income on housing and laboring more than 50 hours a week just to keep their heads above water.

And every day, millions of undocumented workers who have been forced from their home countries by the devastating policies of a rapacious, vicious capitalist invasion of their economies must take on back-breaking work not knowing if they must evade ICE—the modern-day slave catchers—to make it home to their families that evening.

These are some of the realities facing workers in the United States, the richest capitalist nation on earth.

For the Black Alliance for Peace, it is these realities and the realities that are even more acute for Black workers and the poor, that inform our political understanding of the historic task of the day. We say without any equivocation that there will be no peace without justice, that the task of workers in the United States is to struggle for a vision of a new world that transcends the backwardness of this degenerate and anachronistic system. We have a name for the source of this degrading and dehumanizing oppression: the white supremacist, colonial/capitalist patriarchy.

Because we are clear on who/what the enemy is and our responsibilities to fight against oppression, we are also clear we will never support U.S. imperialism in any of its adventures. We are not fooled by the phony humanitarian justifications for interventions by a nation that has consistently proven to be what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called 51 years ago “the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet.”   

That is why on this International Workers’ Day we say once again: “Not one drop of blood from the working class and poor in defense of the gangsterism of the capitalist ruling class.”

We understand that state-sanctioned violence in the war being waged against Black and Brown people domestically is the flip side of the coin of the war being waged against people of color world-wide.

As colonized captives in this oppressor nation, we know that there is a necessity to struggle against domestic policies like the repressive Department of Defense 1033 program that is responsible for militarizing police forces across the country. We also know we must oppose the training of police forces by the Israeli apartheid state. We understand we have a responsibility in this oppressor nation to take on the U.S. state by opposing U.S. military interventions, destabilization campaigns, sanctions, and the subversion of nations in the cross-hairs of U.S. imperialism.

The struggle for Black liberation must be a struggle against imperialist wars.  Defending national sovereignty and self-determination of peoples and nations is not an abstract concept for BAP members—it is a guiding principle of our work.  

Therefore, an anti-war position is a necessary first step and an understandable and welcomed moral position for many in the anti-war community. However, for BAP, an anti-war position without an explicit anti-imperialist position would be a betrayal of the millions still subjected to assaults on the humanity of Africans, Asians and the people of Latin America and the Caribbean by the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination.

Four interrelated issues confront all of humanity, but especially workers and the poor in the United States and abroad today: white supremacy, neoliberal capitalist exploitation, permanent war, and the threat to the planet by capitalist industrial processes.

Confronting these issues will only happen as a result of power being shifted from the capitalist oligarchy back to the people. But we understand that will never happen without a revolutionary movement. The good news is the tide is turning in that direction.

Brave and determined teacher unions made up primarily of women have injected new life into the struggle for the collective human right to organize. New efforts to fight for a living wage are developing across the country. The immigrant/migrant rights movement is disconnecting from the suffocating influence of the liberal establishment and rebuilding the spirit of 2006. The anti-war and anti-imperialist movements are showing new life, and Africans and Black radicals are moving toward consolidating authentic left formations under the leadership of working class organizations and movements.

But we have no illusions about what we are up against. Through its grip on communications and all of the cultural and educational institutions, the rulers are still able to convince significant numbers of workers that no alternative exists and that they can only hope for reform of the system.

Fifty years ago, worker revolts rocked the world from France to Mexico. On this day, 50 years later, let us re-dedicate ourselves to the revolutionary project that re-centers resistance to imperialist war and global structures of white supremacy as representative of a new international workers movement.

International Letter Demands Freedom for Afro-Colombian Activists Imprisoned on False Charges

International Letter Demands Freedom for Afro-Colombian Activists Imprisoned on False Charges

CONTACT:

Charo Mina Rojas

Human Rights and International Coordinator, PCN

Tel: +57-314-370-8931

E-Mail: charominarojas@gmail.com

 

April 26, 2018

International Letter Demands Freedom for Sara Quiñonez and Tulia Maris Valencia

Afro-Colombian Social Movement Leaders Detained on False Charges

For Immediate Release

 

Individuals and organizations from around the world sent a letter today to Colombian Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez demanding that the government drop its baseless charges against social movement leaders Sara Quiñonez and her mother Tulia Maris Valencia. Both women are human rights defenders from the Afro-Colombian Community Council of Alto Mira and Frontera and members of the Black Communities Process (Proceso de Comunidades Negras, PCN).

The human rights advocates face politically motivated accusations as a result of their work on behalf of the collective and human rights of Afro-descendant communities. At their arraignment hearing on April 25, a judge refused to release them pending trial. On April 24, Ms. Quiñonez and Ms. Valencia sent the following message from the courtroom in Cali: “We are women who defend the rights of Afro-Colombian peoples. We are innocent!”

Social movement leaders are particularly alarmed that the government is targeting advocates for arrest while failing to address the dramatic spike in threats and killings against human rights defenders in Colombia since the signing of the Peace Accords. Ms. Quiñonez and Ms. Valencia were forcibly displaced as a result of the threats against them. Following the murders of Genaro Garcia (2016) and Jair Cortes (2017), fellow members of the Community Council of Alto Mira and Frontera, Ms. Quiñonez was forcibly displaced with her family to another part of the country where she received protection measures from both Colombia’s own National Protection Unit and from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

Advocates are concerned the April 20 arrests signal that the government is criminalizing efforts to defend the constitutionally recognized collective and territorial rights of Afro-Colombian people. “We are concerned that these arrests are a dangerous harbinger of a possible return to the pre-Peace Accords period where human rights activists – and especially Afro-Colombian activists – were prime targets of the Colombian state,” said Jaribu Hill, Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights and Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) Coordinating Committee.

The Afro-Colombian Community Council of Alto Mira and Frontera has been subjected to violence and dispossession at the hands of paramilitary groups, guerrilla groups, narcotics traffickers, soldiers, and multinational corporation over the course of decades. Ms. Quiñonez served as the President and later as the Vice-President of the Community Council, and Ms. Tulia Maris Valencia is also a well-known leader of the women’s group and serves on local committees in the Community Council. Thanks to their crucial work in defense of the community’s rights, the Community Council of Alto Mira and Frontera is one of the few cases prioritized in the Ethnic Chapter of the Peace Accords between the FARC and the Colombian government.

“Afro-Colombian women human rights defenders like Ms. Quiñonez and Ms. Valencia are at the forefront of the type of social justice movements that will lead to meaningful peace, and their work must be permitted to continue. We join with Colombian social movements calling for the authorities to drop the baseless charges against Ms. Quiñonez and Ms. Valencia, and immediately release them,” said Yifat Susskind, Executive Director of MADRE.