An Aug. 22 rally outside the French mission to the United Nations in New York City demanded that French banks and corporations get their bloody hands off Niger. The December 12th Movement called the action.
Niger and other former French colonies in Africa have been looted for generations. While French nuclear power plants depend on Niger’s uranium, less than one-fifth of Niger’s population can access electricity.
The neighboring country of Mali — also a former French colony — has over 800 gold mines but no gold reserves in its treasury. France has zero gold mines, yet it has 2,437 tons of gold worth over $160 billion. That’s what imperialism looks like.
Backed by the people, on July 26, Niger’s military overthrew a neo-colonial regime that answered to Paris. Seventy years before, on the same date, Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada barracks that began the Cuban Revolution in 1953.
Demonstrators at the French mission carried signs “Hands Off Niger!” They also made it clear that this also applies to the United States, which has over a thousand troops in Niger. The Pentagon’s collection of bases in Africa, known as AFRICOM, is a threat to all Africans.
Speakers from the December 12th Movement and other organizations voiced their support for Niger. Dahoud Andre from KOMOKODA, the Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti, noted that it was the 232nd anniversary of the July 22, 1791, Haitian uprising against the Haitian slave masters.
Jason Corley from the New York/New Jersey Cuba Sí Coalition spoke of the solidarity given by Cuba to African liberation. Over two thousand Cuban soldiers died fighting the Nazi armies of apartheid South Africa.
The December 12th Movement will hold a People’s Forum — “France Out of Africa — Hands Off Niger” — in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, starting at 7 p.m. It will be held at Sistas’ Place, at Frederick Douglass Square, 456 Nostrand Ave., corner of Jefferson Avenue.
France and U.S. hands off Niger!
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