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A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."

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    The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir & Arkestra, BAM Conference, University of California, Merced, February 28-March 2, 2014


    BAM co-founder, Marvin X


    Dear friends,

    On behalf of the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour in honor of our beloved ancestor Amiri Baraka and all those BAM workers throughout America and the world, we seek support for the National BAM Tour:

    Financial Sponsors – financially support of single city and/or multiple cities to cover production costs, honorariums and travel for participants.
    Event Partners – event partners to assist with production, promotion, logistics, accommodations, meals, transportation, etc.
    Host Venues – venues to host panels, exhibitions and performances
    Presenter/Participants – local and national artists and scholars to present
    Production Team –  team support local and national event production and promotion in each city

    If you can help us in any way, please let us hear from you at the earliest. Call 510-200-4164; jmarvinx @yahoo.com.

    Our next performance will be May 17 at the Malcolm X Jazz Festival, Oakland. If you can make it, we'd love for you to see the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra. Below is the Abstract for our tour.

    Sincerely,
    Marvin X, M.A.
    Project Director


    Associate Producer:
    muhammida el muhajir
    sun in leo, inc.
    718.496.2305
    w: suninleo.com
    f: sun in leo
    t: @suninleonyc
    http://about.me/muhammida

    ABSTRACT FOR THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT 27 CITY TOUR


    The mission of the Black Arts Movement’s 27 City Tour is to continue the cultural revolution we initiated during the 1960s.  This cultural revolution is still needed because for a variety of reasons the Black Arts Movement was aborted due to the radical nature of our task which was the liberation of our people in harmony with the political movement.  Today, the need to address the political condition is critical, yes, even with the election of a non-white president, though this president has done little to address non-white issues, especially the high unemployment of youth, the high incarceration rate of 2.4 million  and the deportation rate of two million so called illegal immigrants since President Obama took office.


    But more than the political and economic situation is the cultural condition, the reactionary values in hip hop culture, especially unconscious rap poetry, and even the socalled conscious poetry is, in the words of my daughter, an expression of the pseudo conscious, for words are not followed by the right action. As we know, talk is cheap!


    But most important is the overall lack of mental health wellness in our community nationwide, to say nothing of physical wellness. The high rate of homicide among young North American African men is symptomatic of a lack of manhood training or the infusion of traditional values that inspire and motivate people to be the best they can be, to give honor and respect to their elders and ancestors. 


    The 50%  or more drop out rate of students in our schools is partly the result of our dire mental health condition. Alas, it is said not only is there a critical need for a positive curriculum and teachers with an undying love for our children, but the mental health condition of our children requires mental health counselors with radical  values of wellness  based on a holistic approach to solving our myriad psychosocial and economic issues.  We are dumbfounded to learn the USA  (Bush and Obama) promised the young men in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere (except in the USA) three items if they stop their violence and pledge allegiance to the constitution of their lands: education, jobs and housing. Why not offer education, jobs and housing for the boyz and girls ,  in the hood? The BAM tour will address some of these issues through the medium of art, i.e. poetry, drama, dance, music, graphics.


    While art therapy has been used in traditional cultures, and was utilized in the Black Arts Movement, there must be a concerted effort to make use of art in the healing of our people. Throughout the years, we have seen the power of art in changing destructive personalities. We recall the production we did of Amiri Baraka’s play Dutchman in Fresno CA. The local pimp loaned us  a wig for the female character Lula. When he viewed the play and saw her stab the young North American African male, Clay, this rocked the pimp’s world and he threw in his pimping towel, joined the Nation of Islam and eventually became an imam and made his haj or pilgrimage to Mecca. Thus we see the power of art to heal broken, self destructive and economically damaged personalities.


    Many times we heard Amiri Baraka speak about the need to reach our people in the 27 major cities we inhabit—to reach out and touch them with healing Black Art that can restore our mental and physical wellness.  In honor of ancestor Amiri Baraka, we propose to conduct a 27 city tour with concerts and wellness workshops to aid in the recovery of ourselves. Our special focus shall be on young Black men, although we cannot  and will not ignore young black women, nor will we avoid adult and parental responsibility.


    We estimate the overall budget for this project will be 2.7 million dollars at $100,000 per city, including  artist fees, promotion, advertisement, rental of venues, insurance, security, lodging, food and transportation. Since many of the Black Arts Movement workers are elders, the timeline would be at least three years to complete this project,  including planning and production.


    BAM workers in each community will be recruited to participate and we would like to establish a BAM center in each city, no matter if it is a 50 seat theatre as Amiri Baraka suggested.  A staff of educators,  and mental and physical health workers must be a part of this project so that we more effectively deal with our wellness in a holistic manner.


    Sincerely,


    Marvin X, Project Director

    The Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour

    Philadelphia PA
    4/23/14

    510-200-4164


    National Advisory Board Members (invited by Marvin X)


    Mrs. Amina Baraka

    Sonia Sanchez

    Askia Toure


    Umar Bin Hassan
    Abiodun 
    Haki Madhubuti

    Mae Jackson

    Rudolph Lewis

    Maurice Henderson

    Emory Douglas

    Elena Seranno

    Greg Morozumi

    Woody King

    Ted Wilson

    Troy Johnson

    Kalamu Ya Salaam

    Eugene Redman

    Kim McMillan

    Ayodele Nzinga

    Geoffery Grier

    Nefertiti Jackmon

    Muhammida El Muhajir

    Jessica Care Moore

    Paul Cobb

    Conway Jones

    John Burris

    James Sweeney

    Fahizah Alim

    Nisa Ra

    Aries Jordan
    Sam Anderson
    Greg Corbin
    Valerie Gay
    Jerry Vernado
    Warren Foster


    Philadelphia Poets

     

    Join the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour



    Cities where North American Africans are in large numbers

    Rank City African-American Population Size (2010 Census)[1] Percentage African-American
    1 New York, New York MSA 3,362,616 17.8
    2 Atlanta, Georgia MSA 1,772,569 33.6
    3 Chicago, Illinois MSA 1,721,578 18.2
    4 Washington, District of Columbia (DC-MD-VA-WV) PMSA 1,438,436 25.8
    5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania PMSA 1,241,780 20.8
    6 Miami, Florida PMSA 1,169,185 21.0
    7 Detroit, Michigan PMSA 980,451 22.8
    8 Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas PMSA 961,871 15.1
    9 Houston, Texas PMSA 935,371 15.9
    10 Los Angeles- Long Beach, California PMSA 907,618 7.1
    11 Baltimore, Maryland PMSA 778,879 28.7
    12 Memphis, Tennessee (TN-AR-MS) MSA 601,043 45.7
    13 Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, Virginia MSA 522,409 31.3
    14 St. Louis, Missouri (MO-IL) MSA 516,446 18.4
    15 Charlotte, North Carolina PMSA 421,105 24.0
    16 Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria, Ohio PMSA 416,528 20.1
    17 New Orleans, Louisiana PMSA 397,095 34.0
    18 Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia MSA 375,427 29.8
    19 San Francisco, California - Oakland - San JosePMSA 363,905 8.4
    20 Orlando, Florida MSA 344,820 16.2
    21 Boston, Massachusetts (MA-NHNECMA 331,292 7.3
    22 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida MSA 329,334 11.8
    23 Riverside-San Bernardino, California PMSA 322,405 7.6
    24 Birmingham, Alabama MSA 318,373 28.2
    25 Jacksonville, Florida MSA 292,881 21.8
    26 Baton Rouge, Louisiana MSA 285,911 35.6
    27 Columbus, Ohio MSA 273,560 14.9
    28 Indianapolis, Indiana MSA 263,376 15.0
    30 Milwaukee-Waukesha, Wisconsin PMSA 261,010 16.8
    29 Nassau-Suffolk County, New York PMSA 260 273 10.88
    30 Jackson, Mississippi MSA 257,021 47.7
    30 Cincinnati, Ohio (OH-KY-IN) PMSA 255,905 12.0
    31 Columbia, South Carolina MSA 255,104 33.2
    32 Kansas City, Missouri (MO-KS) MSA 254,509 12.5
    33 Minneapolis-Saint Paul MSA 243,414 7.4
    34 Nashville, Tennessee MSA 242,264 15.2
    35 Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina MSA 228,268 20.2
    36 Phoenix, Arizona MSA 207,734 5.0
    37 Las Vegas, Nevada MSA 204,379 10.5
    38 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MSA 196,755 8.4
    39 Seattle, Washington MSA 191,967 5.6
    40 Greensboro-High Point, NC MSA 184,730 25.5
    41 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California PMSA 158,213 5.1


    At the National Black Authors Tour awards ceremony last night, Philadelphia poets were honored for poetic excellence. Poet Lamont b. Steptoe was honored along with Special Guest Marvin X who invited the poets to join his Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour in honor of Amiri Baraka. In his remarks, Marvin X said, "There are enough poets here to start my vision of a 100 poet mass choir."

    When Marvin told the Philly poets he may need to bring in some other poets, the poets shouted from the audience, "We can handle it, Marvin. We got it" Indeed, Marvin X enlisted National Black Authors Tour founder, Maurice Henderson to help produce the BAM tour. Greg Corbin of the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Project, will coordinate the youth poets on the BAM tour, along with Muhammida El Muhajir who will arrange panel discussion with Black Arts babies and Black Power babies. She produced Black Power Baby events in Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia.

    Sonia Sanchez, Queen Mother of the revolutionary Black Arts Movement, a true trouper 
    supports and will participate in Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour

    Of course the Queen Mother of the Black Arts Movement, Sonia Sanchez, has given her blessing to the BAM tour, but she told Marvin the same thing his daughter Muhammida told him, "Just the idea of a 27 city tour makes me tired." Marvin assured Sonia she would not be required to make all 27 cities.

    Marvin also received tentative support from the Art Sanctuary. Executive Director, Valerie V. Gay, who said it is possible we can partnership with the BAM tour. The Art Sanctuary is having a month long celebration of Black writers. Marvin X may return before the month is out to participate, although he must get back to the Bay for the Malcolm X Jazz Festival, May 17. The BAM poets choir and Arkestra will participate.

    Philadelphia pianist Alfie Pollitt and Marvin have longed to work together. Alfie has agreed to serve as music director. Alfie is currently music director for George Foxx who sings from the Teddy Pendergrass songbook. Don't be surprised if George Foxx doesn't join the BAM tour now that Marvin has made the 60s classic Wake Up Everybody the BAM tour theme song.



    At Philadelphia celebration for journalist/activist Mumia Abu Jamal, Marvin X recruited Dream Team for BAM Tour


    Dr. Cornel West will participate in the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour


    Umar Bin Hasan and Abiodun of the Last Poets will be part of BAM Tour

     Black Power Baby/Black Panther Cub Fred Hampton, Jr. has agreed to go on BAM tour.


    Long-time Marvin X associate, musician Elliot Bey will do BAM Tour, along with drummer Alexander El

     Philly piano legend Alfie Pollitt (played for Teddy Pendergrass, John Coltrane, et al) will be BAM tour music director


    Marvin X and Alfie Pollitt at the Black Love Lives Conference, University of Penn


     Temple University Professor Muhammad Ahmad


     Temple University Professor Dr. Tony Montiero will join tour as educator
    Philadelphia's Sonia Sanchez, Queen Mother of the Black Arts Movement, will participate depending on her health and schedule.

    Philadelphia professor, poet, editor Ewuare Osayande will be part of BAM Tour

     Greg Corbin, founder of the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement, will command the BAM youth program


    Denise Valentine of National Association of Black Storytellers is ready to take role in BAM Tour

    While in Philadelphia to participate in the 60th Birthday Celebration for imprisoned radical journalist Mumia Abu Jamal, Marvin X has been busy recruiting a Dream Team of artists, activists, educators and promoters for the 27 City Black Arts Movement Tour he is organizing. The following are a few of the persons who have tentatively agreed to join the BAM Tour:

    Dr. Cornel West, educator
    Dr. Tony Montiero, educator
    Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, educator
    Fred Hampton, Jr., activist
    Preston Muhammad, promoter
    Alfie Pollitt, musician, arranger
    Elliot Bey, musician
    Pam Africa, activist
    Maurice Henderson, producer
    Abiodun, the Last Poets
    Umar Bin Hasan, the Last Poets
    Ewuare Osayande, poet, professor, editor
    Billy X. Jennings, Black Panther archivist

    Marvin X & BAM will perform at Oakland's Malcolm X Jazz Festival, Saturday, May 17, 2014


    Black Arts Movement Poets and Musicians will
    perform at the Malcolm X Jazz Festival


     Poet Genny Lim, drummer Marshall Trammel

     The Last Poets, Umar Bin Hassan and Abiodun

     Avotcja

     Zena Allen on Kora


    Tarika Lewis

     Earl Davis

    Poet Kalamu Chache'

    Poet Lakiba Pittman


    Black Arts Baby 2.0, Poet Aries Jordan

    Master percussionist Tacuma King

    Poet Toreada, singer Mechelle LaChaux, poet Ayodele Nzinga, Tarika Lewis, violinist 

    Producer/director Marvin X and poet Paradise Jah Love

    Choreographer Linda Johnson, Raynetta Rayzette, Val Serrant, Tumani







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     Black Arts Movement East, Amiri Baraka, and Black Arts Movement West, Marvin X



     Playwright Ed Bullins

     Dr. Julia Hare, fiery orator, called the female Malcolm X, her husband founded Black Scholar Magazine. 

     Amina and Amiri Baraka, baby is Ras, now running for mayor of Newark, New Jersey

    Revolutionary art by Elizabeth Cattlett Mora, Negro es bello (black is beautiful)















    The Black Arts Movement

    Finally, one of the most lasting legacies of the Black Power movement has been the ongoing strength of the Black Arts movement. Not only has Kwanzaa spread, but institutionally and stylistically the black cultural revolution left indelible marks on Rastafarian, hip hop, and spoken word artists. Black Arts festivals began in the 1960s and continue in the annual National Black Arts Festivals in Atlanta.
    The Black Arts movement inspired the establishment of some eight hundred black theaters and cultural centers in the United States. Writers and artists in dozens of cities assembled and fashioned alternative institutions modeled after the Harlem Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School (BARTS): Baraka established the Spirit House in Newark; Ed Bullins, Marvin X, Hilary Broadus, and Eldridge Cleaver, the Black Arts West in San Francisco; Kalamu ya Salaam, the Free Southern Theater in New Orleans; Dudley Randall, the Concept East Theater and the Broadsides publishers in Detroit; Barbara Ann Teer and Richard Wesley, the National Black Theater and New Lafayette in New York; Gwendolyn Brooks and Haki Madhubuti, the Afro-Arts Theater, the Organization of Black American Culture and Third World Press in Chicago.
    Further, the Black Arts movement inspired Chicago’s giant mural Wall of Respect, devoted to the new voices of black liberation, which influenced murals in communities across the country. A host of new Black Arts and Black Studies journals provided vital forums for the development of a new generation of writers and artists: Umbra, Liberator, Negro Digest/Black World, Freedomways, Black Scholar, Cricket, Journal of Black Poetry, Black Dialogue, Black America, and Soulbook. Larry Neal and Amiri Baraka edited Black Fire, a thick volume of poetry, essays, and drama, which drew national attention to the transformation that was under way among African-American artists.
    The influences of the Black Arts renaissance are both profound and far-reaching, reflected in the drama of Amiri Baraka, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Ed Bullins, Charles Fuller, Ntozake Shange, Woodie King, Adrienne Kennedy, and Richard Wesley; the painting of Vincent Smith; the photography of Billy Abernathy; the architecture of Majenzi Earl Coombs; the documentary films of William Greaves and St. Clair Bourne; the novels of Toni Cade Bambara, John A. Williams, Alice Walker, Ishmael Reed, Margaret Walker, William Melvin Kelley, Paule Marshall, Nathan Heard, John O. Killens, Rosa Guy, and Toni Morrison; the feature film work of Spike Lee, Samuel Jackson, and Denzel Washington; the acting of Barbara Ann Teer, Yusef Iman, Danny Glover, Lou Gossett, and Al Freeman; the music of Nina Simone, Milford Graves, Marion Brown, Sonny Murray, Abbey Lincoln, and Archie Shepp; and the poetry of Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Mari Evans, Haki Madhubuti, Jayne Cortez, Askia Muhammad Touré, Etheridge Knight, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Nikki Giovanni, Gil Scott-Heron, Marvin X and The Last Poets.

    Bibliography

    Baraka, Amiri. Four Black Revolutionary Plays. New York, N.Y: Marion Boyars,1998.
    Baraka, Amiri and Larry Neal, eds. Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing.New York, N.Y: Morrow, 1968.
    Bracey, John, August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, eds. Black Nationalism in America.Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970.
    Carmichael, Stokely. Ready For Revolution : The Life And Struggles Of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) / Stokely Carmichael. New York: Scribner, 2003.
    Carmichael, Stokely and Charles Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. New York, N.Y: Random House, 1967.
    Carson, Clayborne. In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s.Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996.
    Hogan, Wesley C. Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
    Jefferies, Hasan Kwame. Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt. New York: New York University Press, 2009.
    Jeffries, Judson. Black Power in the Belly of the Beast. Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press, 2006.
    Smethurst, James. The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
    Theoharis, Jeanne F. and Komozi Woodard. Groundwork : Local Black Freedom Movements In America . New York: New York University Press, 2005.
    ____________________________________. Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940-1980. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
    Woodard, Komozi. A Nation Within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1999.



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    Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra

    EastSide Cultural Center
    2277 International Blvd, Oakland CA, 94606 ph: 510-533-6629
    E-mail: eastsideculturalcenter@gmail.com



    Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival 
    SAT MAY 17, 11am-7pm, San Antonio Park
    In Honor of Amiri Baraka


    MAIN STAGE: 
    -The Last Poets
    -Ms. Faye Carol (in a tribute to Abbey Lincoln)
    -Howard Wiley & Excerpts from Amiri Baraka's The Sisyphus Syndrome
    -Unity Grooves: EastSide Youth Jazz Workshop
    -Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement

    KATHERINE DUNHAM DANCE STAGE:
    -Starchild Dance Lindy Hop Project
    -Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble
    -Sister Linda Johnson

    Also featuring: Local crafts vendors & community organizations, The Javad Jahi Soapbox stage, The Mike Dream Courts, Kid's Court for family fun, and our Food Court featuring international flavors!

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  • 05/08/14--11:59: African Liberation Day, 2014







  • AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY, 2014
     Chairman's Message
    Congress of African People, and 
    Friends of African Unions' Congress, Chief of Staff.

    In 1963 the Heads of State of the then, Independent African States, met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to form the Organization of African Unity,  and first declared May 25, as African Liberation Day. In the years since, African Liberation has taken many shapes and forms, all of which are well documented.
    What we, as the Congress of African People (CAP) and Friends of the African Union (FAU) wish to declare today, May, 2014, is that we have learned from the lessons of the past, and are clear on our identity, purpose and direction as we move forward towards building a safe, sustainable and progressive future for ourselves, our people, and our Pan African Community. 

    Today, African Liberation does not limit itself to only the continent of Africa, but extends itself to include the masses of African People around the Globe, inclusive of the African Diaspora. We realize today, through the works of such giants as Cheik Anta Diop, Drusilla Dunjee Houston, Ivan Van Sertima, Frances Cress Welsing, Runoko Rashidi, Marimba Ani, John Henry Clarke, Suzanne Cesaire, John Jackson, Amy Jacques Garvey, and many other women and men - that Africa is not just a continent rich with diverse elements of African culture, but that Africa is also a People who have taken African culture to every part of the World.

    Therefore,  we in CAP  and FAU identify with the aspirations and interests of our African families in India, West Papua, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil, Germany, England, France, Figi, Australia, New Zealand, Guyana, Trinadad, Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, 
    Malaysia, as well as the U.S. Africa is a Global Community, and until/unless all of us are free, none of us are.

    Of course, we all recognize Africa as our Homeland, and the Sacred Land of our Ancestral Spirits who first laid the foundations for human civilization in Ancient Kemet (Egypt). The African values embodied in Ma'at (Truth, Justice, Balance, Harmony, Order,Propriety and Reciprocity),  held the Kemetic Civilization together for over 5000 years. We are also grounded by, and recognize the principle found in the Odu Ifa, of "Bringing Good Into the World". 

    As we seek Strategies and Solutions to rebuild our Global African Community, we take the Sankofa Journey back into our past, to find remedies, paradigms and examples, such as the political system of Mbongi (http://www.amazon.com/Mbongi-African-Traditional-Political-Institution/dp/0979895103) ,  which can be adapted to and will inform our progress forward as we engage this African Renaissance Period.  

    We commit to the 50 year, Agenda 2063 Plan instituted by the African Union (http://agenda2063.au.int/en/about),  which is dedicated to unifying the African Continent, and to unifying the continent with the entire African Diaspora. We subscribe to such values as Communitarianism, which places people above profit, and which recognizes the worth and dignity of each human being, and their respective roles and responsibilities within Community. Another key value we stand for is the full integration, complimentarity and mutuality of women and men in society and that any familial institution and community is incomplete without the free and full participation of Women. This has always been a valued African principle, despite what late religious zealots espouse. 

    Therefore, it is with great pride, that we announce In Celebration of African Liberation Day (ALD) 2014, the Harambee Women's Circle of the Congress of African People  is sponsoring a Pan African Women's Global  Conference Call to begin networking grassroots African Women around the World. This call will take place on May 24, 2014 in celebration of AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY, 2014 ; 10 am Eastern Time, on coordinates, 424 203 8405; PIN 713167# . The countries on the following list, may call in on the North American call, using these call in numbers; 

    Co-Sponsors for this event is the Friends of the African Union's, Women's Congress. Also, we Dedicate the Historic Endeavor to the Safe Rescue and Return of the Nigerian School Girls, #Bringbackourgirls!!!
    We are an audacious People with and audacious History, and therefore, feel, that we, as an African People, have a unique contribution to make to the Forward Progress of World History, as a free, proud and productive people, and that our liberation will not only free us, but bring all of humanity closer to Full and Final Liberation, where our children can, ALL, stand tall and walk in a warmer Sun.

    In Unity and Struggle, 
    Mwalimu Wesley Kabaila
    Chair, Congress of African People; Chief of Staff, FAU Congress 
    CAP V. Chair, Zakiya Penny


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  • 05/08/14--12:06: Film: Out of My Hand






  • OUT OF MY HAND: FILM
    CAMPAIGN PHILLY RECEPTION
    WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY TAKESHI FUKUNAGA



    Last year Japanese director, Takeshi Fukunagaspent weeks in Liberia filming Out of My Hand, only the second feature film to be shot in the West African nation and the very first film to be officially supported by the Liberian government and its film union.

    Takeshi Fukunaga & Co-Producer, Donari Braxton
    Television Productions


    Join the Out of My Hand production team for a Kickstarter campaign fundraiser reception to raise completion funds for the film which chronicles the journey of a struggling Liberian rubber plantation worker who risks family, hearth and home, to discover a new life as a Yellow Cab driver in New York City. 

    WATCH THE TRAILER
    SUPPORT THE FILM FINISHING CAMPAIGN

    This project's gone beyond the makings of just another independent movie. It's also in line with a movement in Liberia to grow and expand its arts communities, one that has immense possibilities to bring positive influence to the country, to its movie industry, and to its aspiring filmmakers.

    The Philly event will feature Q&A with director, footage from the Liberia shoot and cocktail reception.

    Friday, May 9, 2014
    Scribe Video
    4212 Chestnut Street, 3rd Fl
    Philadelphia, PA
    6-8pm


    Suggested Donation: $10 


    Event Partners:
    Sun in Leo
    Liberian Stars View
    Scribe Video
    Nisa Ra
    FunTimes Magazine
    Suggested $10 Kickstarter Donation

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    In Cameroon Boko Haram Is Preached As A Religion



    By Odimegwu Onwumere



    The authorities and well-meaning peoples of Nigeria are yet worried about stopping the trashy activities of the Islamic sect popularly known and called Boko Haram in the country, but the sect is concerned about recruiting as many youths as possible in Cameroon into accepting the sect activities as a religion.



    As the sect holds influence in the North-East of Nigeria since 1999 killing over 4,000 people and damaging property worth millions of naira, government officials in Cameroon are worried that the apparent activities of the sect inCameroon’s Far North Region is becoming bothersome.



    This is coming barely a fortnight the Ghanaian former President Jerry John Rawlings reportedly disclosed at the 70th birthday of Nigeria’s former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi in Igueben, Edo State that, Nigeria should not be somnolent in the fight against Boko Haram, but suggested that tactful measures in the fight would benefit.



    From Rawlings’ comment, it has become incommodious that Boko Haram might take over the continent of Africa if urgent measures are not taken and earnestly put in place to curb the activities of the group. After Nigeria, the fight against the dreaded sect without doubt has also become a thorn in the flesh of Cameroon as over 200 suspected Boko Haram members have been arrested in that country and were later set free for what authorities said was because of lack of adequate evidence to prosecute the arrested.



    When this reporter made a journey of Lake Chad through Maiduguri recently, a young man who introduced himself to this reporter as Adamu and warned that pictures of him should not be taken, said that his worry in the country (Cameroon) is that members of the Islamic sect are preaching about their activities as a religion and not as terrorism.



    “I can conveniently tell you that youths in our country Cameroon are being indoctrinated into belieiving that Boko Haram is a religion and not a terrorism organization. Many youths who refused to accept the volatile teachings of the group are missing today. Few of them who narrowly escaped from their captors narrated their ordeals, saying that they were being given military training in undisclosed areas so that they would be deployed to fight in Nigeria,” the source said.



    It was also noted that in Mayo-Sava area and Mora District in Far North Region of Cameroon the residents are apprehensive of the surge of the sect in their areas. When this reporter questioned his informant if he was aware of the news making the rounds that Boko Haram preachers are going around the areas luring youths with monetary promises that they would be rich and better Muslims if they become Boko Haram members, he did not waste time to affirm the suspicion:



    “I’ve heard of a thing like that. I also know that Boko Haram members are now dreaded in Cameroon like a scourge because their offer to the unsuspecting youths is tempting. I’ve noted that some parents give out their children to join the sect so that ‘they could become rich and better Muslims than they were.” 



    Investigations revealed that Boko Haram members do not waste time to send back any injured youth that was training in their camps back home, although blind-folded, perhaps to avert a trace of their training camp. According to sources, Boko Haram preachers kidnap young Cameroonians and take them to Nigeria for training.



    Some of the affected youths were noted to be those from Banki, Kolofata and Ngeshawa in Cameroon. Apart from the so-called military training that the preachers give to their victims, they also preach the ‘favourable’ side of the Koran that invariably promote violence and tell them that they are fighting a ‘just’ fight to defend the Muslim faith.



    A government official interviewed who spoke under anonymity for the fear that he might be attacked should he give his name, said: “I’m not too sure that Cameroonian youths are being preached into accepting Boko Haram as a religion, but I cannot rule out the fact that it might be truth since Nigeria and Cameroon share common ethnic and cultural affinities. This is exemplified in the Cameroon’s Far North and Nigeria’s North-East. It is a common knowledge that these areas share not only semblance of culture, but, also, speak the same language.”



    According to sources, many of the youths who joined the Boko Haram-initiated Islamic school have not been seen by their family members since 2012 they were declared ‘missing’. Whether they are alive or dead, no one could give an account of their whereabouts. All the hope of the affected families is that the ‘missing’ persons are with Boko Haram and are expected to come back in the event that they are alive, better Muslims and rich.



    Asked why the group is in the Cameroon’s Far North; it was gathered that the neo-presence of Boko Haram members in the villages neighbouring North-Eastern Nigeria was not unconnected with the May 2013 offensive that was launched by the Nigerian military that invariably compelled the surviving members of the group to look for safety in the neighbouring Far North of Cameroon.



    Notwithstanding, it was gathered that security officials in Cameroon are doing everything within their reach to send the constituents of the group packing from the country. According to an account credited to Emmanuel Bob-Iga, head of the police division at the Far North governor’s office said: “We strongly believe that Boko Haram has elements in Cameroon and the authorities are doing everything possible to track them down.”



    Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

    Tel: +2348032552855




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    An Open Letter
    From the
    Johnson Family


    Hey! They put a boot on my store!
    Marcus Books of San Francisco Evicted
    Dear Supporters: 
    It was difficult to know what to tell you about our struggle to stay in our building, its winding path of lawyers and judges and protests and promises, hopes and gravities made it difficult to report our status on a curved road. But the current property owner has changed the locks to the door of 1712 Fillmore Street.

    Marcus Books missed a couple of rent payments (not such a rare thing considering that at the same time the largest US banks and even our government asked taxpayers to give them hundreds of billions of dollars of assistance). However, the mortgage holder, PLM Lender, foreclosed on the building that housed Marcus Books of San Francisco since 1981. It was sold to the Sweis family (realtors and owners of Royal Taxi in San Francisco). The Johnson family (co-owners of Marcus Books of San Francisco) has been trying to buy the building back for a year and half.

    The Sweis' bought this building in a bankruptcy “auction” (apparently, they were the only bidder) for $1.6 million. The Johnsons offered $1.8 million; the Sweis set their price at $3.20 million, hoping to double their purchase price after a few months ownership. After some public outrage resulting in public protests against the Sweis, a negotiation brought their asking price down to $2.6 million, adding a million dollar profit to their purchase without adding any improvements to the property and adding a stipulation that the entire $2.6 million be raised within 90 days.
    Marcus Books supporters, including the local chapter of the NAACP; ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment; Japantown activists; Westside Community Services; Julian Davis, our fearless legal council; Carlos Levexier’s “Keep It Lit” campaign committee; local literary community including writers and other bookstores; people from all over the world: friends, family, customers, churches and unions took a stand against the bulldozing of community. Individuals, unions, and churches donated $25,000. The Community Land Trust of San Francisco garnered loan pledges of $200,000 and Westside Community Services offered a loan of $1.60 million. Though by any standards that would have been more than enough for a down payment, the Sweiss' refused the $1.85 million start and filed for eviction.
    Concurrently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution requiring every division of city government make it a priority that they each use their “powers” to help Marcus Books stay in its location. In addition, and after 5 years of efforts by John Templeton (the leader in Black California history), and Greg Johnson (co-owner of Marcus Books of San Francisco), London Breed and Malia Cohen, two San Francisco Supervisors, initiated the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote granting landmark status.

    With the numerous speeches of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee stating his commitment to righting the wrongs of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s slaughter of the thriving African American Fillmore District, we at Marcus Books believed the City would take some affirmative action on our behalf, since Marcus Books is the only surviving Black business since the Redevelopment devastation. Maybe that support is around the next bend? Well the locks have been changed, the cavalry is not in sight, and it’s time to pack up the books and store them till we find another space.

    You might ask yourself, why bother? Materialism rules the day. That is not news. More often than not, we take it for granted that the “bottom line” is the only line worth respecting, though it respects no one. This is a common conception, but not right. Right is the vertical line that runs through all levels: from its spiritual top to its earthly roots. This verticality is manifested only by integrity. Integrity defies gravity in its perpetual longing for truth. Millions of people have been put out of their homes by bottom-line-feeders. It’s common, but it’s not okay, now or at any other time. Sometimes you just have to take a stand. Integrity is a verb.

    In 1970, I had a vision bout rebirth. A segment of that vision informs this struggle. In this particular scene, the spirit is climbing the Tree of Humanity, being lifted higher and higher by those entwined in The Tree. The spirit never steps on anyone’s face or heart. It just carries their dreams up with it. Because it is growing towards rebirth, it gets younger with each step up. Though there are thousands of supporters at the bottom of The Tree, there are fewer at the top and the helping hands are fewer and far between. At the top of The Tree, at the stratum of the clouds, quantity has morphed in into quality. Here a storm of wind and rain rages, lightning strikes and a mad dog spirals up The Tree, snapping at the heels of the now, infant spirit. Teetering on a limb, the spirit sees a man face down in the mud at the bottom of The Tree. Seems he got there from letting go of his faith in The Tree. The surrounding clouds urge the spirit fall.

    “Cross Section”
    The rumors, that were whispered,
                Here, the silence screams,
                And branches battle shadows
                To defend their dreams.

                Where Black is cut in pieces,
                Can’t hold myself together.
                Time cuts me down,
                Life me brought up,
                But lead me to this weather.

                The Time says, ‘Fall
                To soulless ease.
                To struggle is disgrace.
                The gravity will grant you peace,
                And hide your shameful face.’

                But I am born of honor:
                Descendent from above.
                My Father’s name is Wisdom
                And my Mother’s name is Love.
                And I have strength of purpose.
                That’s what my climb’s about.
                As I’m cut off,
                I will hold ON
                And trustingly Black-out.”

    (Copyright 1997, Karen Johnson)

     For the hundreds of people who have lent their time, money, and prayers, we are truly grateful.

    --Tamiko, Greg, and Karen Johnson, co-owners Marcus Books of San Francisco

     . . . to be continued

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    Emory Douglas:
    Artist for the People
    May 7 – June 28, 2014

    Joyce Gordon Gallery
    406 14th St., Oakland
    510-465 8928

    Opening Reception: First Friday, June 6th 6-9p Instrumental Music by Krista Freelove of Freelove Music School in Oakland Emory Douglas (featured artist), Darryl Thompson (Muralist – Oakland Ink), Jose Garcia (Muralist – Eastside Arts Alliance), Greg Morozumi (Guest Curator – East Side Arts Alliance), Eric Murphy (Gallery Curator, Joyce Gordon Gallery).


     Selections by Joyce Gordon (Gallery Director) Co – Sponsored by Eastside Arts Alliance Joyce Gordon Gallery --

    presents a solo retrospective of the provocatively political graphics of EMORY DOUGLAS, the designated Revolutionary Artist and former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party.

    In the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, unabated violence against Civil Rights protestors and Black civilians exhausted the will of passive resistance and spurred a militant call for Black Power. Revolutionary groups like the Black Panther Party emerged, heeding Malcolm’s call for self-respect, self- determination, and self-defense, which resonated in Black communities across the nation.

    A condensed exhibition of Emory’s prolific artwork, originally designed for The Black Panther Newspaper and for posters and flyers to disseminate political propaganda was reflective of the insurrectionary atmosphere of the times, with urban rebellions igniting from city to city and strikes from campus to campus. 

    Emory’s graphics were militantly aggressive and visually bold and dynamic. The cartoon drawings famously depicted confrontations with police (portrayed as ‘pigs’); but others announced the breadth of Black Panther Survival Programs, serving grassroots communities’ basic needs.Today, Emory’s work is currently celebrated in prominent museums in the U.S., presented as graphic nostalgia of the bygone 60s; But for Emory, his message of self-determination still rings true… and he uses his rediscovered celebrity to expound those germinal political ideas with invitations to exhibit and lecture around the world. Viewed here in Oakland, the birthplace and focal point of the Black Panthers, Emory’s drawings evoke a very personal and profound memory. 

    Coming soon at the Joyce Gordon Gallery: An Evening with Master teacher/poet Marvin X. 



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    Hello Everyone,
     
    The Berkeley NAACP is requesting your attendance at the:
      
    "Berkeley Police - Power & Abuse"
    Community Forum
    Saturday, May 10, 2014  
    South Berkeley Library
    1901 Russell Street, Berkeley
    2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
     "REFRESHMENTS SERVED"
     
    Flyer Attached
     
    Thank you for your on-going support and we look forward to seeing you at this event.
     
    The Berkeley NAACP

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  • 05/12/14--16:32: Towards the Elders Council
























  • Greetings Family, 
    I have been working on this project, in attempts to bring together some of the most progressive minds in our community to provide leadership on a National Level. One of the first orders of business is to begin the steps toward forming a viable and vocal Council of Elders, in consultation with Dr. Maaskelah Khemet, who has written the only book on the subject, as it pertains to the US. Dr. John Jackson, of the UNIA, has also offered his guidance and participation in building a COE. I will begin reaching out to other Elders around the country to employ their efforts also. The recent events in Nigeria demonstrate the conceerted need to have a unified, coordinated and conscious leadership Cadre coming from our community, who can speak on issues of Global and National conceerns to African Americans, specifically, and African people in general. Any recommendations you may have, please forward their email. We can no longer just depend to on the Congressional Black Caucus or Al Sharpton, to be the only voices of African people's interests. We need progressive voices willing to show leadership in advancing our collective interests. Please share your critiques and correctives of the plan below.



    THE HARAMBEE MISSION
    To represent and advocate for the collective interests of all African People in the Global Marketplace, and to engage African people in business and development enterprises, which reflect African values, goals and aspirations as component parts of the Global Community.

    PURPOSE

    The Harambee Plan is designed to facilitate and protect the territorial and cultural integrity of the continent of Africa, and to define the substantive relationships between it, and its African Communities globally (diaspora). Residual vestiges of European and Western domination, exploitation and influences must be challenged, and the re-emergence of indigenous African solutions and approaches must be pursued and sought. It is the intent of the Harambee Plan to provide the institutional framework and structure to ensure and facilitate such a process. The Harambee Plan shall form relationships with persons and institutions which represent the values of African Community building in their development approaches for the African continent and diaspora. While Harambee will focus on African models and paradigms of Community/Nation Building, this is not at the total exclusion of other approaches, but does so with the recognition that their is a rich tradition in African Civilization which still requires exploration, and which inspires African Creative Genious. It is this creativity which Harambee Recognition seeks to penetrate and realize. The values which form the basis of this nexus are:
    1. Respect for and Priority of the Human Interests
    2. Respect for and Recognition as Spiritual Stewards of Nature, the Land and its Resources
    3. Recognition of Health Care and Basic Education as Fundamental human rights
    4. Fundamental Goal of Social Economy is economic equality which negates economic exploitation
    5. In African Community, African values and ethics are Paramount, though we Respect and Recognize others.
    6. African Creativity and Spirituality form a Synergy in how they are expressed in our culture
    7. The Emerging African Personality does not seek to be Superior, but Supreme African in its Character and Expressions, as a value based proto-type.

    HARAMBEE STRUCTURE

    There are basically two ways to become a part of the Harambee Family:
    1. Person - One who has an invention, small business and seeks to become a part of the skills bank of Harambee Enterprises. Persons and/or groups can act as Consultants or Project Managers on any given projects
    2. Institution - This would be a business, community institution and/or entity which subscribes to the Harambee Protocols, and which chooses to enter into an agreement, to partner on given projects as mutually agreed upon.
     
    A database will be formed of such persons and institutions and determination made which have the needed and available resources to impact given projects as they arise. What will distinguish Harambee Consultants is not only their professionalism, proficiency, and ability, but their value orientation.
    Harambee will also become clearinghouse for the authenticity and quality of goods and services which enter and exit the African Marketplace.

    HARAMBEE RATIONALE

    The House of Harambee is a communitarian concept, which means "Let' All Pull Together" in Swahili. We use this term because it captures the spirit of building family, community and nationhood in this Era of African Renaissance. African Renaissance is a term which refers to the period between 2011 and 2020, generally and it is the aim of the House of Harambee to qualify its meaning and significance, and to define in practical ways the parameters of the Renaissance Movement. As such, the House of Harambee (HOH) is a Think Tank which provides research and education which inform the formulation and promotion of policy, programs and projects which are based on fundamental and basic African values. Some of these values are to be found in the Kwanzaa Accords and are known by many, as the Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba); Unity, Self Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. Another set of values which form the foundation for the House of Harambee is the value system of Ma'at, which served as the social, moral, ethical, economic, political, cultural and spiritual foundation  for the longest lasting civilization in history, Ancient Kemet (Egypt). These values are known as the Seven Virtues of Ma'at; Truth, Justice, Harmony, Balance, Order, Propriety, and Reciprocity.
    Values matter in this context, as they form the basis upon which social policy is determined and as African and African descended people, we can no longer afford to base our social policy considerations on the "values" of those who seek to oppress, exploit or are otherwise indifferent to our collective needs, interests and aspirations as National and/or Pan African Communities. Thus, Harambee is a Liberational Project, which recognizes that if Renaissance goals are to be achieved, then we must engage in the cultural battle to win the hearts and minds of our people, first, for until we win that battle, not only are our economic and political objectives unachievable, they are unthinkable, without the categories and concepts to conceive them. The value systems above,  and the others which we engage, give us the paradigmatic framework to meet these cultural challenges as we collectively seek to arrive at solutions, strategies, tactics, policies, programs and projects which advance our struggle forward to more progressive and final end.
    In this regard, Harambee does not limit itself to just becoming a Think Tank, but also will take a pro-active posture of being an advocate and promoter for its' policy and strategic positions. This will be accomplished through our strategic partnerships with such groups as the Congress of African People, Friends of the African Union, African Scientific Institute, Urban Tech Fair, AJ Action Team, Simba Ghana, Yedma of Uganda, African Union, Sankofa Press,  Harambee Women,Harambee Men, Harambee Youth (these three form Harambee Circles) and other affiliates with whom we share a common vision. While these will be vital institutions by which our research and educational findings will be disseminated, the following will be key and distinct areas of focus which formulate the Harambee Plan:

    HARAMBEE PLAN

    1. Spiritual Development - Research into various African spiritual/religious traditions and those derived from them. Study will be done on the value/ethical base and system, fundamental practices, and rituals. This knowledge will be taught in Rites of Passage, in addition to the role of spirituality in dance, song, storytelling, drumming, etc. This component will also be charged with researching, institutionalizing and promotion of re-enforcing cultural institutions such as holidays, naming ceremonies, Birth Whispers, funerary services, Rites ceremonies and protocols, morning/evening exercise, Fasting/Health days and practices, Puberty Rites, etc.  

    2. History - Study of methodologies to write corrected history; historiography; preserve archives, and the building of museums and libraries. Use of multi-media sources to discuss and disseminate Pan African History, and to promote this history in Theater, Film, Song, Storytelling, Radio, Dance and other communication instruments. These endeavors can form the basis of new industries. A true history of African history must be fully integrated into the educational system, such that parents and children benefit equally.

    3. Social Organization
        A. Education - Study into various forms of African pedagogy and teaching modalities (dance, song, storytelling, theater, drum); expanding and refining the study of Africology and teaching its concepts in distance/virtual learning; developing content and a more conceptual basis for Black/Africana Studies program; means of establishing Pan African universities and accreditation system, recognized on a global level. Feeder (K-12)  schools, called Academy's will have specialized focus in STEM, Natural Healing, Communications, etc. Physical conditioning will include organized sports, yoga, capoeira, martial arts, nutrition, and weight training. Key to education is to discover indigenous forms of instruction which provide viable alternatives to Euro-centric forms, and which are more adapted to our learning capacities. Each of these modalities can and will be linked and channeled into the International Movement to bring literacy to all corners of the globe, based on our experience with African children and adults.
        B. Health - We must explore health care delivery systems which are adapted to the needs of our people and their respective communities. Clinics for rural areas, and Coops for urban centers should be coordinated and linked with each other. A key distinction and value orientation of African Health Care is that it is people centered and not profit motivated. Health care is a right and not a privilege, and therefore ways should be found to make it free where possible, and where not free, at least affordable. The goal is for free universal health care. Study and research should be done of African herbs, plants and botanicals for their medicinal value, along with their interactions with each other and known drugs where Integrative Medicine is required. Comparative studies should be done with other indigenous and wholistic systems, such as Oriental, Native American, Ayervedic, etc. Plants must be tested for medicinal value, before any reforestation processes are initiated. New industries include herbs and botanical farming especially for such herbs as Moringa, Neem, etc. Multi-media will be used to build a global market for these new industries, as dependence on Western drugs are reduced.  
         C. Collective Concern - We must develop our own systems for caring for the disadvantaged, sick, autistic, and those not a part of the economy yet. A guiding principle and value in this regard must be that everyone in community has a role and function, and most look to contribute in some meaningful and humane way. Noone in African community is considered to be a Welfare recipient. Each are valuable to the building of Community.  Again, traditional paradigms can serve as a model.
         D. Rebuilding Family Structures - Research must be done into family forms, and how to build support structures for them to be/become successful. Family must be linked to community and nation building projects. An integral part of rebuilding family is to research ways and means of personal healing by both Men and Women, and to aggressively address Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS). Our healers must receive specialty training to address this Mass phenomena. A key therapeudic model to explore, is that all become actively engaged in community building and Adult Rites of Passage.
          E. Youth Development - Providing youth with a quality childhood and preparing them to become responsible participants in Civil Society is one of our greatest challenges. While paradigms from traditional African society will be helpful, we must incorporate a Standardized Rights of Passage which can be applied throughout the Pan African Community, and which allows for social movement from one location to another, without loss of benefits and production. Certain principles of Rights of Passage must be institutionalized as part of the Curriculum. In exchange for Free or reduced rate for education, youth can agree to become trained for Crisis Intervention, Recovery and Rebuilding. Alternatives can be explored by being trained for survival training, working with infirmed Elderly, small children or other forms of National Service (Nigeria has such a system for study).
           F. Labor - Modern society, whether industrial or agrarian, must address the question of labor's relationship to production and provide equitable policies which mitigate against the possibility of exploitation of one class by another. This will be be one of the great challenges of the African Renaissance, if it is to live out the true and real meaning of its goals. In a class based society, the idea that the market will balance these relationships is totally erroneous, and is an area for serious research and remedies as we seek to build a new social order for people of African Descent.
           G. Gender - While certain of these areas of concern might be addressed in Family Development, family is not a remedy or solution for many, most gender issues. Africa has one of the longest traditions of inclusiveness of women in the social fabric. These traditions has been interrupted by the Holocost of Enslavement and the onslaught of Western Cultural Hegemony. Again, the challenge of our research would look into paradigms in our path which would be instructive in how we structure our social relations based on equity, complimentarity, mutuality and respect for each persons Role and Function in building Family, Community, Nation, and Global Pan Africanism. 

    4. Economic Organization and Development - This area deals with how we organize the production and distribution of goods and services in our communities in such a way that such a structural format reflects our values, goals and social objectives. Cooperative Economics, not Free Market Enterprise, is the value which guides economic arrangements in our community, and is based on the notions, that we are our brother and sisters' keeper, that we support our own businesses first, and that we practice social entrepreneurship. As evidenced by the African Union's 2063 Agenda. There is also a value for Planning our economic platforms far in advance in order to guide its direction in the interest of the mass number of people. Africa's long tradition for Communitarian ownership of land must also be studied, updated and upgrated to comply with current aspiration and need. It is the aim of Harambee to confront these issues from an African centered perspective and framework. Cheik Ante Diop in his seminal work, "Black Africa: Economic and Cultural Basis of a Federated State", states conclusively, the need to take inventory of every Economic Sector, and to critically assess its best locale, role and function in the impending industrialization process, and the cultural nuances which affect each sector.  He also posits, that we must be clearly aware of caveats for given sectors, such as oils spills, and disposal of nuclear waste. Given the creativity of the African personality, as Fanon points out, each of these economic sectors have the possibility of giving rise for other forms of industry. These Economic Sectors include the following:
    1. Construction - Africanized Architecture
    2. Planning - New Community Structures
    3. Energy - Solar, Wind, Bio, hydro thermal
    4. Waste Management - Recycling
    5. Creative Production - African Theater, Art, Photography, Film, Storytelling, Dance, Drum, Music, Spoken Word, Sport, Competitive STEM
    6. Communications
    7. Aeronautics - including Space Stations, Airplane building
    8. Auto Industry
    9. Fashion - Sankofa Concept Themes (Natural hair, henna, waistbeads, african adornments, body and beauty care, Dress)
    10. Transportation
    11. Road and Bridge Building
    12. Marketing/Advertising
    13. Finance - Banking, Currency, Stock Exchange
    14. Agriculture - organic; herbal medicinals; botanicals.
    15. Textiles
    16. Manufacturing

    5. Political Organization  and Governance - Politics is defined as the means and structure by which society gains, maintains and uses power. Governance, on the other hand, is more about how the management of human, financial and material resources are structured in a given society in the best interests of the masses of people. Harambee asserts that we must determine how we best transition from one to the other. Rev. Dr. Nikita Imani has provided the best model for this process in his book on Mbongi (http://www.amazon.com/Mbongi-African-Traditional-Political-Institution/dp/0979895103)  , a Governance system practiced by a large segment of Bantu peoples traditionally. The challenge of Harambee is to research this and other systems and find ways to adapt them to our needs, and then ways of implementation in a manner consistent with our collective aspirations.


    Mwalimu Wesley Kabaila
    Chief of Staff - Friends of the African Union's Congress (FAU)
    Simbamaat Consultants - Principal
    6709 La Tijera #337
    Los Angeles, Calif. 90045
    310 713 6236-cell

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    Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour

    Malcolm X Jazz Festival, Oakland

    May 17, 2014


    Tentative Order of BAM Myth-ritual poetic/music/dance drama

    60 minute max


    1. Processional Music: Wake up everybody  (music can be recorded or live)

    2. Drummers salute

    3. Libation dance

    4. Words of meditation /introduction

    5. Song: I don’t know what you came to do

    Mechelle LaChaux with Akestra Linda Johnson dancers,  Poets Choir


    Words for  Mechelle

    I don’t know what you came to do but I came to praise His/Her name:

    Jesus

    Allah

    Oludomare/Olofi

    Jah

    Buddah

    Marx/Lenin

    Elijah

    Garvey

    Ida b. Wells

    Malcolm

    Betty

    Sojourner

    Harriet

    Clara  Muhammad

    Amiri Baraka

    Malcolm X



    6. Marvin X reads (with Arkestra)  What If, response from Poets Choir; Marvin X reads Amiri Baraka poem DOPE, response from Poets Choir


    7.Ayodele Nzinga Woman on Cell Phone. Close out with song by Mechelle


    8. Arkestra


    Tacuma, Tarika, Earl Davis, Marshall, Zena, Marshall Trammell

    Marvin X joins Zena  in a duet with  Again the Kora poem


    9. Poets Choir

    Paradise Jah Love

    Genny Lim

    Ayodele Nzinga

    Toreada

    Avochja

    Aries Jordan

    Kalamu Chache’

    Umar bin Hasan,

    Abiodun,

    Lakiba Pittman

    Geoffery Grier


    10. Linda Johnson dancers present

    Second Line processional exit through the audience:  Dancers, musicians, poets


    End




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    Newark voters head to the polls in a steady stream

    Seth Augenstein/The Star-LedgerBy Seth Augenstein/The Star-Ledger 
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on May 13, 2014 at 2:45 PM, updated May 13, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    NEWARK — The contest between a high school principal and an attorney, two men from the city's South Ward, has apparently sparked enough interest to draw out more voters than most recent local elections.
    But this is not a "street fight," exactly.
    "During the James-Booker race they came out more then than they are now," said Henrietta Myrick, a longtime poll worker at West Side High School.
    "It's more than usual," said Elaine Neves, a poll worker at East Side High School. "But it's not droves. It's steady."
    There was elevated interest at the polls beginning at 6 a.m. — when they opened, said several poll workers at South Ward polling locations.
    But the turnout still fell short of presidential-election levels — and also of the 2002 Newark race that pitted a young councilman named Cory Booker against longtime incumbent Mayor Sharpe James, which came to be refered to as a "street fight" after a documentary captured the incendiary race, said others.
    "It's not that heavy, and it's been pretty quiet," said Martha Rodriguez, a poll worker at the Robert Treat Academy.
    Both campaigns aggressively pushed to get their base out during the day. Throughout the city's five wards, Jeffries' fliers were handed out on street corners, brandished at busy intersections, and left on car windshields.
    Baraka's camp was also present at the busiest intersections, holding up signs and banners. Both were active on social media, urging supporters to bolster the numbers.
    Voters weighed in on the issues — crime, schools, economic development — but in different ways. For instance, Vernon Pinkney and Noble Milton were concerned about crime. For Pinkney, that meant a Baraka vote. It meant the opposite for Milton.
    "Once you address crime, everything will follow that," said Milton.
    "Schools are the most important," Pinkney said. "If we're not cultivating the youth, then these kids are going to be running these streets."
    The voters also had different opinions on the contentious campaign, which fueled weeks of headlines. Tonya March, a Central Ward voter, said the battle actually would bring out the best in a potential leader.
    "It doesn't matter. If you're a leader, you go through this small stuff," March said.
    For some, the issues are secondary to the candidate himself.
    "It was about picking the right man," said M. Santos, an East Ward voter, as he left his polling site with his wife.
    Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University, has studied Newark politics and written about it ever since the 2002 race when she was a Yale graduate student watching Booker's failed campaign. This year, Jeffries' blitz of TV ads in recent days has pulled the race tighter than it has ever been, she said.
    Today's effort to get voters to the polls will mean everything to tonight's results, Gillespie said.
    "It's the GOTV (Get Out The Vote) that wins," Gillespie said. "It's the mobilizing of the vote on Election Day that will make the difference."

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    By Ted Sherman and Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
    NEWARK — Ras Baraka, a councilman and fiery community activist who campaigned on the vow to "take back Newark" from outsiders, was elected mayor of New Jersey’s largest city in decisive fashion Tuesday night, declaring victory before the votes were even fully counted.
    "We are the mayor!" he proclaimed, echoing his own campaign slogan.
    With 150 of 162 precincts reporting, Baraka was swept into office, capturing 54 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan election — the first since Cory Booker decamped the city and set off for Washington. His opponent, Shavar Jeffries, who grew up in Newark after his teenage mother was murdered when he was just 10, followed with 46 percent.
    In the contentious, high-stakes race marked by millions in independent expenditures that poured in from special interests pushing the agendas of both candidates, turnout was high on an election day that was remarkably free of rancor after weeks of angry street confrontations, mudslinging TV ads and the torching of a campaign bus.

    MORE NEWARK ELECTIONS: Run-off races to be held in Central and West wards
    It ended not long after the polls closed. At a celebration at the Robert Treat Hotel near the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the mayor-elect took to the stage amid clusters of red, white and blue balloons, and a huge banner proclaiming "When I become mayor, we become mayor."
    Flashing his fingers in a "V" for victory, Baraka shouted out, "We are the winners!"
    The crowd cheered and clapped.
    baraka-2.JPGBedlam erupts on the floor of the Tri-State Ballroom at the Robert Treat in downtown Newark as Ras Baraka flashes the crowd a victory sign after he beat Shavar Jeffries in today's mayoral election in Newark. 
    He also gave tribute to his father, the late poet Amiri Baraka. "I know his spirit is in this room," he said, also thanking his mother, along with supporters, including Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex), as he congratulated Jeffries for what he called a "hard-fought" race.
    "When everybody didn’t believe, you believed," he said to the crowd. "Today is the day we say goodbye to the bosses."
    Jeffries took the stage at the Golden Dome Athletic Center on the Rutgers-Newark campus at 10:20 tonight to concede the election.
    "The time is now for us to move forward as one city, to move forward together." he said. "We ran a very spirited campaign."
    Baraka, 45, a single father of three, will replace Mayor Luis Quintana, a city councilman who was temporarily handed the keys to the city after Booker — whose celebrity seemed to define Newark for more than a decade — won a special election last year to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and left for Washington.
    Left behind are mounting problems for the new mayor that include a $93 million budget deficit that has led to threats of a financial takeover by the state, the city’s highest murder rate since 1990, and protests over the continued state control of Newark’s still-failing school system.
    A major focal point of the election was the debate over the schools and state-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson’s controversial "One Newark" school reorganization plan — which calls for the relocation and consolidation of one-quarter of the city’s schools and turning over some neighborhood schools to charter operators.
    Jeffries, 39, a law professor, former assistant attorney general and school board member who helped found a charter school, had been backed by charter school interests, along with the Essex County Democratic machine.
    "When everybody didn't believe, you believed. Today is the day we say goodbye to the bosses."
    Baraka, the principal of Central High School and a sharp critic of Anderson’s plan, was supported by the teachers’ unions.
    The race between two men, however, was often less about issues than over who was the "authentic" Newarker. While both live in the city’s South Ward, less than two miles from each other and know each other well, both launched personal attacks against each other throughout the campaign.

    Ras Baraka wins Newark mayoral race, thanks his father late poet Amiri BarakaRas Baraka declares victory over opponent, Shavar Jeffries, in the Newark mayoral race. 05/13/14 (Video by Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger)
    Baraka, a high-octane member of the council and long-time critic of Booker, sought to define Jeffries as a tool of the party "bosses" and moneyed interests, while touting himself as the progressive candidate of the people. At one point, Jeffries complained that thousands of dollars had been spent on advertisements by the Working Families Organization, a group backing Baraka, which accused him of being aligned with Gov. Chris Christie and suggesting he was a puppet of "scary white people."
    Baraka said the Jeffries campaign had portrayed him as a thug and a gang member after trying to broker a gang truce in 2004,
    "They say I’m a thug, why did they burn my bus?" referring to two Jeffries campaign workers who were charged with setting a fire on Baraka’s campaign bus.
    Much of the money spent on the mayoral campaign was not raised by the candidates, but rather by groups making independent expenditures on their behalf. According to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission, $2.6 million was spent on campaign ads, mailings and other support by seven groups that targeted the Newark election — the most independent spending every reported in a state local election. More than $1.7 million of that went to bolster Jeffries, with $945,000 spent in support of Baraka.
    Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University, said the outside groups — which do not all disclose where their money comes from — contributed to the no-holds barred nature of the Newark election.
    "I’m not saying candidate-based advertising doesn’t get down-and-dirty. But when outside groups get involved — with their high level of anonymity —it takes off the constraints."
    BarakaWin.JPGRas Baraka on takes the stage at the Robert Treat Hotel moments after declaring victory in today's Newark mayoral election. 
    Baraka had more name recognition going into the race and led in internal polls heading into the election. A poet in his own right who appeared on hip hop artist Lauryn Hill’s debut album, he is a graduate of Howard University and holds a master’s degree from St. Peter’s University.
    Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, who had supported Jeffries, said people didn’t know Shavar.
    "They got to know him over the past two months, it was just not enough," he said.
    During the final hours of the election today, both campaigns aggressively pushed to get their base out and to the polls. Blaring sound trucks that slowly cruise the streets of Newark every election day, played hip-hop, salsa and rap soundtracks, while the amplified messages of the candidates echoed off buildings.
    Throughout the city’s five wards, Jeffries’ fliers were handed out on street corners, brandished at busy intersections, and left on car windshields. Baraka’s get-out-the-vote crews were camped out at the busiest intersections, holding up signs and banners.
    Both were active on social media, urging supporters to bolster the numbers.
    Signs for both candidates plastered nearby poles and fences, while cars decorated with ballot position numbers honked as they drove by. Campaigns workers stood outside a school with fliers hoping to give their candidate the edge.
    On West Market Street, Clarissa Andrade and Angelica Sanabria held their big orange Jeffries signs out to morning traffic — surrounded by a sea of blue Baraka workers.
    Noemi Rodriguez said she decided to vote for Baraka after canvassers came to her home earlier this year. She complained to them about a tree near her home that was dangerous and falling apart. The next week it was fixed.
    "There you just got my vote," she said.
    State Troopers assigned were assigned to patrol the city throughout the day today, along with state monitors from the Attorney General’s office to deal with any voting-related legal issues, officials said.
    About 30 deputy attorneys general were deployed to polling locations throughout the city, but they observed "nothing out of the ordinary," said spokesman Paul Loriquet.
    Star-Ledger staff writers Seth Augenstein, Bill Wichert and Tom Wright-Piersanti contributed to this report.

















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  • 05/16/14--22:38: Amiri Baraka - Dope

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    TODAY,MAY 19TH 
    IS MALCOLM X DAY!

    RESPECT, OBSERVE & CELEBRATE THE 89TH BIRTHDAY OF EL HAJJ-MALIK EL SHABAZZ - BRO. MALCOLM X http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/malcolm-x-1925-1965-forceful-african-everett.jpg

    MONDAY'S MAY 19TH - MALCOLM X DAY ACTIVITY EVENT SCHEDULE IN HARLEM, NEW YORK (10AM - 10PM)
    _____________________________________________________________________
    10:00AM - 2:00PM
    50th ANNUAL MALCOLM X DAY CARAVAN PILGRIMAGE & ANCESTRAL CEREMONY TO BRO. MALCOLM'S GRAVE SITE 

    PARTICIPATION GROWS AS MALCOLMITES READY FOR HIS 89TH BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY!(ASSEMBLE @ 9AM)


    On Monday, May 19th, the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee and the Sons of Afrika will observe the 89th birth anniversary of Malcolm X with the Organization of Afro-American Unity’s Annual Pilgrimage to his Grave site!
    At 9am, participants will assemble at the Harlem State Office Building located at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard to prepare to caravan to Malcolm’s gravesite at Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, NY.
    Tickets for the buses going up to the Cemetery are $9 for adults and $5 for children. Families and groups wishing to ride should call in advance to make reservations at 718 512 5008 or 212 928 5165 or email at mxcc519@verizon.net.
    The grave site ceremony was conceived and developed by the late Ella Little-Collins, Malcolm’s older sister who was with him in the OAAU, shortly after his death. The organization has faithfully maintained this pilgrimage on annual basis through Baba James Small for nearly 50 years! 

    _________________________________________________________________________
    1:00PM - 4:00PM

    ANNUAL MALCOLM X DAY BLACK POWER "SHUT' EM DOWN" MARCH & RALLY ON 125TH STREET
    (ASSEMBLE @ 12NOON)

      
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    3:30PM - 5:30PM
    ANNUAL MALCOLM X DAY PROGRAM AT THE MALCOLM X - DR. BETTY SHABAZZ MEMORIAL & EDUCATIONAL CENTER
    (DOORS OPEN @ 3PM)

    The Shabazz Center celebrates the 89th Birthday of Malcolm X/El Hajj Malik El Shabazz with Ilyasah Shabazz, author, activist, lecturer, and daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, who will discuss her most recent book “Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X”. The celebration will feature a unique exploration on his upbringing and experiences as a child.
    Please join us for a special day commemorating the life and legacy of one of our greatest American leaders. All ages are welcome!
    A book signing and reception will follow.
    This event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged as seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis. 3940 Broadway, at Dr. Betty Shabazz Way, New York City, NY 10032
    @ 165th Street
    Please register to attend:  http://malcolmxday.eventbrite.com
      
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    7:00PM - 10:00PM
    ANNUAL MALCOLM X DAY FILM SCREENING, BOOK FAIR & PANEL DISCUSSION AT THE HARLEM MAYSLES CINEMA & FILM INSTITUTE

    (DOORS OPEN @ 6:30PM)



    PASSIN IT ON: "CONTINUING THE MALCOLM X LEGACY THROUGH HIP HOP CULTURE"

    Join special invited Hip Hop artists AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, SISTAH SOULJAH, IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE with other "politically conscious minded"  
    HIP HOP PIONEERS for a Panel & open discussion on this most important cultural need in our oppressed Black, Latino and Indigenous communities. Hosted by Zulu Nation Queen Amber "Pepsi" Cartha; This dialog will immediately follow a film screening.... 


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    IN THIS MESSAGE:

    1) South Africa After the May 7 General Elections -- by François Forgue (reprinted from Informations ouvrières)

    2) Report from Tiyani Lybon Mabasa, president of the Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA)

    3) Excerpts from the May 15 Statement by the Central Committee of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA)

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    1) South Africa After the May 7 General Elections

    By François Forgue

    [reprinted from the May 14-21 issue of Informations ouvrières (Labor News), the weekly newspaper of the Independent Workers Party of France (POI).]

    This past May 7, 2014, general elections were held in South Africa. The elections took place at a time when tens of thousands of platinum mineworkers -- on strike since January 23 to demand a monthly wage of 12,500 Rands (about US$1,300) -- continued their strike, together with their union: AMCU.

    The African National Congress (ANC) obtained 62.2% of the votes cast (with 59.3% of eligible voters turning out to vote) -- that is to say, 5 percentage fewer votes cast than in the previous elections in 2009. Jacob Zuma will thus return as head of state.(1)

    It was only 20 years ago that the overwhelming majority of the population of South Africa -- the 90% of Blacks, mixed-race and Asians -- were granted the right to vote, hitherto reserved only to the white minority.

    The ANC, the party of Nelson Mandela, was identified with this great upheaval. For an entire generation, the vast majority of Black people of South Africa gave their support to the ANC to lead the country.

    But it's the policies implemented by the various ANC governments that are responsible for the current situation: these governments all accepted the dictates of the so-called "Kempton Park" Accords. This agreement, signed in 1994, preserved the status of property rights as it existed at the time of the political downfall of Apartheid. In other words, this agreement maintained the economic and social domination of the white minority, which in South Africa carried out the capitalist domination.

    The ANC received the unyielding support from the leadership of the South African Communist Party. With the backing of the SACP, the ANC has been able to maintain its control over the main trade union confederation: COSATU.

    The upheaval of Marikana in August 2012 initiated the political destabilization of the entire political system built over the 20 years since since the fall of Apartheid.

    A few months before the legislative elections, the crisis ravaged the leadership of COSATU. The metalworkers' union, NUMSA, which is the largest federation in COSATU, and eight other federations joined together to call for a Special National Congress of the confederation and raised the question of COSATU breaking with the "Tripartite Alliance" -- that is, the ANC-COSATU-SACP.

    It is in this context that Julius Malema -- the former ANC Youth leader who was expelled from the ANC after he called for the nationalization of the mines and took a stand in solidarity with the striking Marikana mineworkers -- formed a new political organization: the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

    Why this name?
    Its meaning is clear in South Africa. When they overturned the Apartheid regime, Black people won their political freedom, but economically they remained bound to the system of exploitation and oppression that was the underpinning of Apartheid. This is what the EFF leaders wrote in their platform:

    "South Africa is supposed to celebrate its 20 years of democracy and true freedom. The reality is that 20 years later, Black people are still not free! Black people are still shackled by conditions of poverty, lack of hygiene and lack of security! The Black majority is still landless and homeless, and its wages are still slave-wages. . . .

    "Twenty years later, Black workers still receive miserably low wages, working in dangerous conditions in mines, farms, factories, shops and elsewhere!

    "They still lack the most basic workers' rights!
    "Twenty years later, the police still kill. They killed at Marikana, Mothutlung, Ficksburg, Relela and throughout South Africa! . . .

    "What we demand is the nationalization of the mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy without compensation!"

    The EFF also call for the return of the land to those who work it -- that is, to the Black farmers -- and the expropriation of the holdings of the large white landowners.

    This EFF election platform was presented at a major rally attended by more than 50,000 people in the outskirts of Johannesburg. Lybon Mabasa, the president of the Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA), addressed the crowd, stating: "We are not afraid of associating ourselves with those who say that the land must be returned to its rightful owners and that the mines should be nationalized. The EFF can be assured of our support."

    SOPA -- which participates in the campaigns of the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples (ILC) -- fully committed itself to the EFF election campaign. In one of its leaflets, the SOPA leadership wrote:

    "A vote for the EFF is a vote to expropriate the large land holdings and return the land to its rightful owners; a vote for the EFF is a vote to nationalize the mines. A vote for the EFF is a means to build a powerful force capable of expressing the aspirations of the Black working class, of the Black majority of this country, a force that is capable of putting the past behind us. This is the meaning of our vote on May 7, 2014 -- and the struggle for these goals will continue beyond that date."

    These elections provide a somewhat attenuated reflection of the situation. The decline in the number of votes for the ANC may seem small at first glance, but it is an indication of what is ripening.

    The Democratic Alliance -- the party that has its origins among the "liberal" white voters seeking to preserve their privileges -- received about 22% of the votes. The EFF -- which was established as an independent political force only this past April, on the eve of the general elections, and which was the target of repeated attacks -- received 6.3% of the votes, or about 1 million votes. The real total, was no doubt higher; Julius Malema denounced the election fraud in certain sectors as "mafia-type" actions.

    Nobody could ignore the meaning and scope of this vote for the EFF, which even the mainstream media characterized as "surprising."

    The New York Times, on May 10, wrote that "a new party, the EFF, was able to give South Africans a vision for the future."

    That is what's essential.

    - - - - -

    Endnote

    (1) The analysis of the election results by both the Democratic Front and NUMSA highlighted the growing abstentionism in South Africa's general elections -- from a 85.53% voter turnout in 1994, when Apartheid fell, all the way to a 59.3% voter turnout in 2014. In terms of votes cast for the ANC, this meant that 53.01% of all eligible voters cast their vote for the ANC in 1994, compared with 36.39% of all eligible voters in 2014.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    2) Report from Tiyani Lybon Mabasa, President of the Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA)

    The general national elections in Azania (South Africa) have come and gone. It has been three months of work on the part of SOPA, which had taken a decision to support the EFF in the 2014 national elections. We supported the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) slate on four cardinal points:

    1. Land expropriation without compensation;

    2. Nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy, starting with the mines;

    3. The building of a socialist project
    ;
    4. The struggle for the name Azania as the first symbol of a break with colonialism and imperialism that imposes restrictions on our country, including the repayment of the Apartheid debt and the subordination of the country into the clutches of the Bretton Woods financial institutions that have imploded many economies throughout the world.

    We understood that the EFF was largely a product of among other things the aftermath of the Marikana massacre and the struggle of workers in the platinum belt. In our initial letter to the EFF we raised the need for a United Front to advance the struggles of the Black working class and the Black majority.

    To show our support for this platform, many of us in SOPA were added into the EFF parliamentary lists. SOPA members also organized and addressed some of the rallies of the EFF.

    The EFF ran a very credible election campaign and were largely able to draw a lot of young people. The EFF were given 6.37%, which translate to 25 parliamentary seats in a 400-person-seats parliament.

    SOPA members shared a platform with [EFF leader Julius] Malema and AMCU [the new mineworkers' union formed in Marikana] on May Day organized by NACTU [National Council of Trade Unions] and we were able to pledge solidarity with the workers and also promised to galvanize local and international support for them.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    3) "There's No Turning Back!"

    (Excerpts from the Statement of the Central Committee of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa [NUMSA] -- May 15, 2014)

    Union Says United Front Not a Project to Improve the ANC or Provide Futile CPR on SACP/ANC

    Introduction:
    The Central Committee (CC) of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) met from May 12, 2014 -until- May 15, 2014. . . . The CC happened against the backdrop of national elections and the re-election of the African National Congress with a reduced and actually minority vote.

    For the first time in 20 years of this neoliberal democracy, the ANC almost lost control of Gauteng, the industrial heartland of our country. This we say is the result of 20 years of our neoliberal democracy which has not decisively uprooted our colonial character of the South African economy and society, and its symptoms of mass poverty, deepening unemployment and extreme inequalities. . . .

    The strike in the mining sector
    The CC also took place against the backdrop of a four-month strike by mineworkers in the Platinum Belt, where workers are demanding nothing more than a living wage of R12,500 per month. This is happening when the CEO of Anglo Platinum and 11 other senior managers racketed bloated bonus payments. What is even more disgraceful is the fact that the ANC has after 20 years of democracy not done anything to break down the apartheid capitalist colonial economy which is based on super exploitation of Black and African labor.

    The root cause of this strike is the capitalist imperialist ownership of our mineral resources and the persisting structural problem of this sector of the economy still being based on the supper exploitation of migrant labor which is a continuation of apartheid in our so-called democratic state by other means.

    National and domestic situation
    The African National Congress (ANC)-led government continues to pursue neoliberal policies, including deregulation, inflation targeting and privatization. We have also witnessed massive de-industrialization which has led to a jobs bloodbath in the key sectors of our economy, more especially in the manufacturing sector.

    Between 2009 and 2012 we lost 271,000 jobs in manufacturing, and between 2007 and 2010 manufacturing declined from 17% of GDP to 15%. All of this is against the backdrop of high levels of unemployment, deepening inequality and mass poverty amongst the Black and African working class.

    The results of this neoliberal trajectory are as follows:

    - Widespread and now increasingly violent strikes, service delivery protests, including violent crimes of domestic and sexual violence;

    - A strike by platinum mineworkers which is now in its fourth month;

    - Increasingly tough responses by employers to industrial action, including suing unions for lost production during strikes;

    - Racial polarization of the South African population; AND

    - Massive concentration of wealth in South African banks, and increasing affluence of the White population.

    - Mass poverty concentrated among the Black and African working class population.
    These massive inequalities, widespread structural unemployment and national poverty inherited from our Apartheid past legacy continue to characterize and define the South Africa of today, post-1994 neoliberal political democracy. This is witnessed through the "real" story of South Africa's working class and the poor. To mention a few realities:

    * 26 million people in South Africa today face abject poverty;

    * In 2004, 48% of South Africans were living below R524 a month, in 2011 this increased to 52,3%;

    * There are now more people in South Africa living in shacks than there were in 2009 (13.4% in 2009, 14.1% in 2012).

    * In May 2008 there were 5.1 million unemployed people in South Africa, today there are more than 7 million;

    * South Africa remains the most unequal country on the planet; our Gini Coefficient, which is a measure of inequality, increased from 0.66 in 1993 to 0.7 in 2008.

    Analysis of the 2014 National and Provincial Elections and Outcomes

    The CC reflected on the recently concluded national elections. An initial analysis was presented. The CC noted that while the ANC celebrates their 62% victory and lays claims that their support base has not shifted below 60%, this is both misleading and in fact completely fallacious.
    While the ANC/SACP leadership will feel strengthened by this result, a deeper analysis presents something far more revealing than a short-lived celebration. Indeed, the ANC received 62.15% of the valid votes cast, but 64% of South Africans DID NOT vote for the ANC. Combined, out of the total potential and actually registered voters in South Africa today, analysis of election statistics confirms that the ANC has been, this year, elected into government by a mere 36% of all those who were eligible to vote.

    Further, the 10% loss of votes in Gauteng and a mere 48.5% of the vote in Nelson Mandela Bay . . . demonstrates clearly that the working class are seeking alternatives to the failed policies of the ANC.

    The CC mandated the NUMSA Economic and Research Institute to do a more detailed and through scientific analysis of the election results and what this means for building the Movement for Socialism.

    Below we illustrate the glaring diminishing support for the ANC in the voting trends since 1994:
    1994: Of the 23.06 million eligible voters, 85.53% voted, while the remaining 14.47% stayed away. The ANC received support from 53.01% of the eligible voting population.

    1999: Of the 25.41 million eligible voters, 62.87% voted while the remaining 37.13% stayed away. The ANC received support from 41.72% of the eligible voting population.

    2004: Of the 27.99 million eligible voters, 55.77% voted while the remaining 44.23% stayed away. The ANC received support from 38.87% of the eligible voting population.

    2009: Of the 30.22 million eligible voters, 59.29% voted while the remaining 40.71% stayed away. The ANC received support from 38.55% of the eligible voting population.

    2014: Of the 31.43 million eligible voters, 59.34% voted while the remaining 40.66% stayed away. The ANC received support from 36.39% of the eligible voting population.

    We see that from a high of 53.01% in 1994, the ANC has disastrously dropped to 36.39% of the share of votes in 2014. This is the true story that reflects the reality of the loss of confidence by our people in the neoliberal capitalist ANC!
    The United Front (UF) and the Movement for Socialism (MfS)

    The CC affirmed the analysis that the current NUMSA moment is not a simple knee-jerk reaction or development, but that it is a product of a deep class analysis and understanding of the continuing colonial character of South African economy and society, and the profoundly worsening conditions of the working class. The CC was unambiguously clear that there was no turning back on the resolutions taken at our Special National Congress. There is no stopping this NUMSA moment.

    The CC noted that the launch and building of the United Front and the Movement for Socialism would not be simple. It reaffirmed the basic principles which would guide the United Front and amongst these are:
    - The United Front is a weapon for uniting the working class, in all walks of life. . . . The basic guiding principle shall be "Unity in Action" against the ravages of neoliberalism and in support of the full implementation of the Freedom Charter.

    The CC affirmed that there are two legs on which NUMSA's work to build the United Front would stand; gaining support for our campaigns and building our concrete support for other struggles of the working class and the poor wherever and whenever they take place. . . .

    The CC was clear that building the Front and the Movement for Socialism is NOT a project to improve the ANC, to carry on doing useless Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the ANC and SACP, nor to resuscitate another neoliberal discourse. This engagement is about nothing else but the working class organising itself as a class for itself, for the war to win socialism.
    COSATU and the Alliance

    The Central Committee received a report on the current situation in COSATU. . . .

    The CC confirmed that COSATU remains our fighting weapon, and we must struggle to reclaim it as an independent, militant fighting federation. We shall not be leaving the federation and together with the other 8 affiliates we have served court papers to compel the COSATU president to convene the Special National Congress. . . .
    The CC is clear that the reactionary forces are determined in their campaign to expel NUMSA from our federation but we will remain resolute on our affiliation to a militant fighting COSATU in the interest of working class unity.


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