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Black Coalition conference salutes Ferguson resistance; Calls for November "Peace Through Revolution" white house rally, demonstration

Seated: Omali Yeshitela, Chairman of the BIBC(left) and Glen Ford, Executive Director, Black Agenda Report
 
PHILADEPHIA, PA --“Ferguson must become the battle cry of African people everywhere in this country!”
 
This powerful call to arms, spoken by Omali Yeshitela, the Chair of the Black is Back Coalition, summarized the mood of the nearly 100 African people who gathered in Philadelphia, PA on August 16-17, 2014 for the BIB Coalition’s Annual Conference, “Resist U.S. Wars and Occupation in the U.S. and Abroad! Reparations Now!”
 
“The African brothers and sisters of Ferguson are heroic,” continued the Chairman. “They’re trying to hold the fort. But they need reinforcements. We must open up new fronts of resistance!
 
Wherever we are, we have to make it clear: this is Ferguson!”
 
Represented in the room were comrades from Newark, NJ; Huntsville, Alabama; Washington DC; Memphis, TN; St. Louis, MO; Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL; North and South Carolina, and other locations.
 
Founded in 2009, Black is Back was created as an organization of African organizations united around basic principles of anti-imperialism, self-determination and solidarity with the resistance of oppressed peoples around the world.
 
The coalition’s founding, the Chairman explained, also represented a criticism of the traditional white-led peace or anti-war movement whose tepid demands for “peace” and “stop the war” liquidated the right of the oppressed to resist and achieve victory over their oppressors.
 
“If you ‘stop the war’, and the people are still enslaved, then what good is stopping the war?” asked the Chairman.
 
“You can’t be against war in the Middle East and say nothing about the war in the Midwest—like Missouri,” said the Chairman, referring to the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
 
In honor of the 127th birthday of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, renowned actor Ron Bobb-Semple gave a stirring performance of “The Spirit of Marcus Garvey,” shaking the walls of the venue as he channeled the booming voice of the late African revolutionary leader in calling out, “Look for me in the whirlwind!”
 
 
Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, a founding member of the BIB coalition, delivered a razor sharp report on the founding of the BIBC as a platform from which “to critique and to shame the black misleadership class,” exemplified by neocolonial president Barrack Hussein Obama.
 
Ford criticized white power’s strategy of elevating “black faces to high places” to undermine the struggle of African people for true self-determination.
 
“The genuine struggle for self-determination,” said Ford, “can only be waged in opposition to capitalist power!”
 
Zaki Baruti, the St. Louis-based president of the Universal African People’s Organization, gave a report from the front lines of Ferguson where he’s been involved in organizing on the ground.
 
Baruti praised the heroism of the African youth who have demonstrated courage and tenacity in the face of militarized police repression.
 
The Chairman and Glen Ford led a panel discussion on “The meaning of Ukraine, U.S. “Asian Pivot” and the crisis of imperialism,” breaking down every facet of the world situation – from the Chinese incursion into Africa, to the crisis faced by the U.S. in Iraq.
 
Pam Africa of the Friends of Mumia continued the theme of the day in upholding the Ferguson resistance and condemned those who would stand in the way of African freedom fighters in battling against oppression for their liberation.
 
Kamm Howard of Chicago, IL gave an informative presentation on the movement for reparations, citing the 2001 UN conference in Durban as a turning point in raising up the reparations demand to the world stage.
 
Lisa Davis spoke on the medical industry as an insidious component of the colonial oppression of African people.
 
Lawrence Hamm, the Chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, brought the room to their feet with his presentation that made a fierce call for revolutionary transformation.
 
“We are a revolutionary people!” said Hamm, to roaring applause. “We will rise up and struggle to transform this capitalist and imperialist system!” 
 
As the conference drew to a close, Coalition members partook in a vibrant democratic process to nominate and elect leadership and adopt resolutions to define the upcoming year’s activity.
 
The BIBC members elected the following slate as the BIBC steering committee:
•             Chair:
                Omali Yeshitela
•             Vice-Chair:
                Lisa Davis
•             Secretary:
                Ayodele Kofie
•             Membership:
                Waleeah Brooks
•             Outreach:
                Rich Piedrahita
•             Treasurer:
                Ousainou Mbegna
•             Reparations Chair:
                 Kamm Howard
•             Healthcare Chair:
                Lisa Davis
•             Political Prisoner Chair:
Osupa Moon
•             People’s Organization for Progress:
                Lawrence Hamm
•             Grassroots Unification  Leadership Movement:
                Osupa Moon
•             Black Agenda Report:                    
Glen Ford
•             International People’s  Democratic Uhuru Movement:
                Waleeah Brooks
•             The Amos Wilson Institute:
Kamm Howard
 
Chairman Omali presented a powerful resolution calling for the coalition to raise up the slogan, “Peace Through Revolution,” as the banner for its upcoming mobilization on Washington, DC on November 1st and 2nd.
 
“All of the struggles – in Occupied Palestine and the Middle East, in Africa, the U.S. and the rest of the world – are the basis of the unending imperialist wars and threats of wars,” read the Chairman aloud from the resolution document that was enthusiastically embraced by coalition members.
 
“They are struggles that expose to the marrow the fact that our oppression and exploitation is a condition for the success of the imperialist project.
 
They are the clearest examples that the only certain peace for the peoples of the world is Peace through Revolution!”
 
The coalition also adopted a resolution to mobilize in opposition to the Zionist massacre of the Palestinian people.
 
Forward to Washington DC, November 1 and 2, 2014!
Peace through Revolution!
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