On July 29, the FBI violently raided the African Peoples Socialist Party’s Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida, and their Uhuru Solidarity Center in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as the private residence of APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela using flash-bang grenades and then handcuffing him and his partner in their home.
Chairman Omali is 80 years old, and this unjustified intrusion was amplified by the violence of the FBI. He was never accused of possessing weapons or participating in violent actions to justify this terror against his family.
His supposed crime? Helping to disseminate “Russian propaganda,” working with an alleged agent of Russia and taking his direction — not to plant bombs or pass on State secrets mind you — but simply for purportedly having the same opinion and giving a platform to words that counter the U.S. narrative about its wars.
Flimsy excuses like these were used by the FBI in orchestrating the violent slaughter of members of the Black Panther Party, some while they slept like Chairman Fred Hampton in Chicago. And more new evidence recently came out about the culpability of the FBI in the assassination of Malcolm X.
In fact, the history of this country is littered with false accusations, sabotage, and assassinations of Black political organizations. When J. Edgar Hoover led the FBI, his racism-inspired hatred of the civil rights movement and Black people in general, justified with his crusade against anyone he deemed a communist, is well documented.
As progressive organizations dedicated to building social justice in this country, we must especially be in complete solidarity with the Black victims of this latest attack against yet another Black organization by the FBI and reject the use of this newest anti-communism. Despite Russia now being a capitalist country, this Cold War propaganda from the Soviet era utilizes the same big lies and vilifications as an attempted club against solidarity.
These lies attempt to hide the hypocrisy of a government that uses the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID, and others to sponsor regime change worldwide and encourage many to instigate violence against popular movements. In addition, the alleged Russian agent, Alexander Ionov, who is not accused of fomenting violence, is targeted for simply supporting the efforts of those who oppose U.S. imperialist policies abroad.
In response to the charges, he wrote: “Stop looking for enemies everywhere. No one threatens democracy in your country except those people who infringe on women’s reproductive rights, create unbearable conditions for migrants, and also oppress people on racial grounds! You are now supplying weapons to Ukraine and other countries. You are interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. I have been and will be a friend of many Americans. If you see me as your enemy, then this is your right, but it is not on the side of justice!”
The U.S. capitalist class, which had hoped the trillions spent on war would solve its economic contradictions and growing political isolation – is now desperate to cover itself, threatening anyone mentioning its naked oppressiveness with arrest.
Instead of protecting the public against terrorist white supremacist groupings, the FBI is trying to stifle dissent to hide the fact that the U.S. is using the war in Ukraine to expand NATO and as a proxy war against Russia and China, recklessly flirting with World War III.
In demanding allegiance to its narrative, Facebook was pressured by the U.S. government into giving the reins of monitoring and censoring of posts over to the pro-NATO Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council’s board of directors includes former CIA Directors Michael Morell and Leon Panetta and former Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Frances Townsend. In a letter explaining the purpose of this and the recent hijackings of other social media, including TikTok, Twitter, and Reddit, by U.S. intelligence agencies, Facebook explains, in summary, that it is to ensure that the narratives presented on social media correspond with U.S. foreign policy goals.
These “goals” are to distract us from the highest inflation rate in 40 years; the crumbling of vital infrastructure; the lack of a functioning health care system; the rise in homelessness and the desperation of working and poor people in this country.
This must be a wake-up call to all our organizations and activists fighting for a better world. We must not let them isolate any of us and pick us off one by one. In this historical period, our most important task is to unite and fight the power of reaction. Today, the U.S. government’s support for fascist movements abroad and their refusal to stop white supremacist terror here is a march toward fascism. And, as far away as it may seem for some today — as history informs us — that ideology and its accompanying terror could turn the desperation of workers into a tool used against themselves.
Not only is it urgent that we stand in solidarity with the APSP but also with all those affected by these FBI raids, which hope to use this attack to test and extend their political persecution more generally across our entire working class. In fact, although the FBI seemed to reserve their greatest violence against the APSP, other non-Black organizations have been indicted with the same ridiculous charges.
We remain in solidarity with the APSP and others targeted by the FBI and reject this new version of McCarthyism and racist terror.
FBI and the U.S. government, stop your racist targeting of Black organizations!
We the undersigned have the right to fight against the U.S. war, for liberation, and for social and economic justice!
Socialist Unity Party
Black Alliance for Peace
United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida
Association of Raza Educators Los Angeles
Puerto Rican Alliance
Harvard Boulevard Block Club
Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice
San Diego Coalition to Free all Political Prisoners
Struggle-La Lucha newspaper
Peoples Power Assembly
Unemployed Workers Union
Youth Against War & Racism
Women In Struggle/Mujeres En Lucha
Prisoners Solidarity Committee
Solidarity with Donbass & Antifascists in Ukraine
Malcolm X Center for Human Rights & Self Determination
Join the Struggle-La Lucha Telegram channel