Tuesday marked the 500th anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which escalated the Pan-European colonial project. This endeavor looted whole continents and committed genocide on a scale never before recorded.
The Pan-European colonial project is underway to this day as 2.2 million people (mostly Black and Brown) are incarcerated. But the oppressed are rising up. This year’s National Prison Strike—from August 21 to September 9—is shaking up this racist, capitalist system that profits off incarcerated bodies, forcing inmates to pay exorbitant sums for basic needs like food and phone calls to loved ones. In the face of suppression such as prison lockdowns, concessions have been made that appear coincidental: Texas’ correctional system lowered the cost of making phone calls by 75 percent. BAP Coordinating Committee member Margaret Kimberley writes of this transitional program to get free: “Hopefully, they won’t be betrayed by quisling civil rights misleaders, as in 2010.” Read more. Meanwhile, BAP Coordinating Committee member Netfa Freeman’s radio segment reports on the prison strike, as well as on Black August, its progenitor. Here’s a roundup of reports on the prison strike.
With it being Black August, we have no choice but to talk about the impact of the 2014 Ferguson unrest after the murder of Mike Brown. BAP Coordinating Committee member Lamont Lilly interviewed a Ferguson activist who says, "... as Black people, there are no safe spaces for us—only places of limited intellectual and physical refuge."
This past weekend, the internet and airwaves popped off with revisionism on the life of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). The reaction demonstrated once again that the United States is a right-wing nation. We must come to terms with that reality before we can confront it. It is immoral for oppressed people and people who understand the nature and consequence of U.S. militarism to claim McCain is a hero. For example, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said, "Senator John McCain was a warrior for peace.” People should not be surprised by Lewis’ remark. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), a body that voted to continue the 1033 program that is largely responsible for militarizing the police, and terrorizing Black and Brown communities in the United States. Lewis also voted to make the police a protected class and voted in favor of the obscene $717 billion military budget. Like McCain, these folks in the CBC are criminals who serve the ruling elite and the imperialist project of this country.
Folks, capitalism has advanced to the point where a leader of an imperialist country is now admitting to being "unashamed" to consider the United Kingdom's "national interests." Theresa May is making a trip to Africa to discuss its aid program. We know "aid" takes poor people deep into neo-colonialism. And we shouldn't be surprised if they withhold that aid unless South Africans and other Africans agree to not take back land stolen by white farmers.
We should all be concerned about the neo-colonialism taking place on the African continent. Aside from the older European imperial powers trying to keep their hands on Africa, the United States has announced it is building a $280 million drone base in Niger by the year 2024. The work BAP is developing on AFRICOM is ever more important as the United States moves further into occupying Africa to exploit it and keep out other potential infrastructure-development partners like China.
We must also be wary of how the United States and its allies start rumors that can turn whole countries against one another. One U.S. member of an independent United Nations body claimed China was interning 1 million Muslims, but failed to name a single source. The Western corporate media ran with it anyway and now we have folks all over social media talking about this, which not only demonizes China—it racializes China and sets up the United States for starting a war.
Folks, we hear from some of you every week, with appreciation for our work. Did you know we are a grassroots organization that doesn’t take money from corporations or foundations? We know some of you are worried about the state’s collaboration with communications and technology corporations. The state is coming for BAP, and it might happen sooner than we think. The only way we will win is with the support of the masses. We’re organizing our first membership meeting for September 21-22 in Atlanta to consolidate our forces. Only you can help us raise $10,000 to make this meeting happen and beat back the U.S. empire.
If you would like to attend, become a member. You will then receive information about how to register for first membership meeting.
Struggle to win,
Ajamu, Ana, Jaribu, Kali, Lamont, Lukata, Margaret, Netfa, Paul, Vanessa and Yolande
Black Alliance for Peace
P.S. Help us organize against the empire by contributing today toward our first membership meeting.