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Black People's Grand Jury to convene in Ferguson, MO

FERGUSON, MO – The decision by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) to conduct a Black People’s Grand Jury on January 3 and 4, 2015 to determine the case of the August 9, 2014 murder of Mike Brown by white cop Darren Wilson has been greeted with enthusiasm by Africans in the St. Louis area as well as other locations where the information has reached.
 
The announcement to conduct the Black People’s Grand Jury was made on Friday, December 12 at the St. Louis County Courthouse at a press conference attended by leaders of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), Universal African People’s Organization and the St. Louis branch of InPDUM.
 
In anticipation of the Black People’s Grand Jury a spate of news articles has begun to criticize the St. Louis prosecutor and the grand jury used to exonerate Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown.
 
D.A. McCulloch suborn's perjury
 
St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch has admitted to allowing two days of testimony from a woman, Sandra McElroy, that he knew was a lie. McElroy was not even present when Brown was killed and actually initiated a campaign to raise money to reward Darren Wilson, contributing to the alleged million dollars plus bounty given the unrepentant white cop.
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This is just one example that the St. Louis grand jury, just like every other encounter Africans have with the colonial State, is a setup that works against Africans in every possible way.
 
Now that the Black People’s Grand Jury is on the public agenda, we expect to see even more attempts to exonerate the grand jury system itself. What is clear is that the threat of Africans holding our own independent investigation constitutes a threat to the sense of impunity that usually accompanies these judicial acts of aggression against our people.
 
InPDUM called press conference
 
APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela was first to speak at the press conference after being introduced to the media by St. Louis InPDUM Outreach Coordinator, Kennethia Miller.
 
According to Yeshitela, the Black People’s Grand Jury puts the power in the hands of the African community and removes us from the passive position of helplessness in the face of decisions made against our interests by instruments of U.S. colonial State power.
 
Distinguishing the January 3rand 4 Black People’s Grand Jury from that already conducted by St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCullough, Yeshitela declared:
 
“The only thing that makes a difference in what the grand jury did in St. Louis County – the legal colonial grand jury – and what we will do here on January 3 and 4 is that if in fact we indict Darren Wilson we don’t have guns.
 
“The government has guns and it has State power and authority over our people. What it (the Black People’s Grand Jury) does is educate and inform our people that two bodies came together, examined the same set of evidence and were able to come to different conclusions.
 
“Therefore the only thing standing between us being able to carry out the will of the people is to change this relationship that exists between us and the armed state apparatus that controls us.”
 
Zaki Baruti, President General of the Universal African People’s Organization, expressing unity with Yeshitela, added, “This situation with Mike Brown is reflective of a whole culture that targets black men and women across this country, as well as the legal cover-ups that come as an extension of the murders of black men and women.”
 
Further deepening the issue of the need for African people to achieve black power over our black lives, InPDUM militant Kennethia Miller declared:
 
“We think it’s extremely urgent that we hold the Black People’s Grand Jury and build a campaign for black community control of the police. As a mother I am outraged and deeply concerned about the ongoing law enforcement-based violence that’s taken the lives of our children.”
 
Most Africans who do not understand the significance of the Black People’s Grand Jury are people who do not assume that African people ourselves must struggle against our colonial domination by white power. Often these are people who do not want independent black political power, but instead rely on a struggle against “racism,” the effort to “fix” or perfect American white power.
 
Others don’t see the significance of the Black People’s Grand Jury because of what they assume is the impotence of the community to do anything to implement the decision of our grand jury.
 
It is the responsibility of our Party to intervene in life, to take science into the mass struggles of the people and provide leadership that goes beyond the moment.
 
An understanding of the State
 
We have to educate our people about the State, the instrument of coercion that protects the current system. This instrument of coercion includes the police, courts, prisons, etc. The State is something that was introduced into human society at the time when society became split between haves and have-nots and those who have do so at the expense of those who have-not.
 
The State is necessary to prevent the have-nots from taking their resources back from those who have. For our people to be free it is not enough to call on the system to be more understanding; we must have revolution that will destroy the State of the oppressor and replace it with a new State of those who have been oppressed and exploited.
 
While there are millions of Africans currently in motion around the issue of the colonial State, even those who consider themselves revolutionaries don’t necessarily understand that revolution is a process, not an event.
 
Black People's Grand Jury gives movement definition
 
Our work with the Black People’s Grand Jury is designed to give the growing mass movement some kind of definition beyond just holding demonstrations. It is also designed to take the struggle beyond the philosophical idealist notion of a fight against “racism,” the ideas in the heads of white people.
 
The Black People’s Grand Jury is our instrument to win Africans to an understanding of the State and the fact that Africans can and should also wield State power that replaces the colonial white people’s State power that dominates our lives.
 
We are also demanding Black Community Control of the Police. This demand, along with the Black People’s Grand Jury contributes to creation of a political direction of struggles to fight and win against colonialism.
 
Prosecutors that include lawyers from our movement and the St. Louis County area will conduct the two-day process. Grand jurors will also be chosen from the Ferguson-St. Louis community.
 
They will be people who are truly peers of Michael Brown and have an understanding of the conditions shared by Brown and most Africans in the U.S.
 
Witnesses to the Mike Brown assassination are being vigorously pursued, but the transcript from the St. Louis County grand jury will fill in the pertinent information when witnesses are not available.
 
By The Burning Spear press time, subpoenas will have been served to Darren Wilson, Brown’s killer, as well as Robert McCullough the county prosecutors and others.

 

Build the Black People’s Grand Jury!

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