October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality says:
FBI Hands Off Uhuru Movement and the African People's Socialist Party, and APSP Chairman Yeshitela!

On July 29, 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) launched a series of armed raids on the St. Louis, MO and St. Petersburg, FL offices of the Uhuru Movement, the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and its newspaper and radio station The Burning Spear, as well as the St. Louis home of APSP and Uhuru Movement leader Omali Yeshitela. The thin pretext of these raids, according to FBI statements, was to seek evidence for the prosecution of Russian citizen Aleksandr Ionov, who has been indicted for allegedly working on behalf of Russian security forces to use US political groups to “sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in elections within the United States.” The Uhuru Movement, the APSP, and Yeshitela are not mentioned by name in FBI or Justice Department statements on the issue nor the official indictment, but the attempt to suppress a longtime independent Black radical organization and their supporters in the US is clear.

The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation condemns these raids as brazen and hypocritical attacks on independent political organizing by a Black organization in the US with a long history of activism around profound and historic grievances. In this time of increased political repression, extralegal white supremacist violence, and moves toward fascism within the ruling structures of the US at all levels, it is crucial that people stand together against political repression of dissent and not be cowed into silence.

The FBI has a long and violent history of disruption of independent Black political organizing, Black radical leaders, and of revolutionaries in general. Its well-documented role in framing Marcus Garvey, the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, and attempting to foment violence among the people to disrupt and discredit the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and the Black Panther Party are just a part of this history. Activists of today would do well to also study the lessons of the sordid history of the FBI’s CounterIntelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, for signs of how these same disruptive and divisive tactics can be used today to blunt and defeat struggles for justice.

In our position paper from last year, “Fighting Police Terror in an Age of Fascism: A Time of Urgency, a Time for Unity, and a Time to Bring Forward an Era of Mass Resistance” (https://www.october22.org/O22PositionPaper.pdf) the October 22nd Coalition declares our resolution “to encourage all those who have raised their heads above the mire of an intolerable status quo … and have taken up the struggle against police brutality, state violence, and white supremacy in so many bold an inspiring ways, to face the enormity of the very real threat of fascism that is consolidating, and join together to defeat it.”

In these dangerous times, it is crucial that we recognize those with whom we stand on the same side of the barricades, despite our differences, and that we do not let our common oppressor use threats, suspicion, or political differences to undermine our common struggle. These principles should be widely shared and promoted throughout the movement. Stand together in unity to defeat these attacks! We stand with the Uhuru Movement, the African People's Socialist Party, and APSP Chairman Yeshitela to oppose these dangerous, repressive moves!

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