African solidarity committee to host international conference in St. Petersburg

01/02/13 Janelle Irwin
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People from all over the country will be gathering in St. Petersburg next week for the African People’s Solidarity Committee’s international conference. Groups from all over the world were invited. Penny Hess who chairs the group said some 100 people will brainstorm ideas on how non-minority groups can stand in solidarity with oppressed communities in Africa.

"We will be talking about the role that white people can play in the growing movement for African liberation and the liberation of oppressed and colored people around the world. The African People Solidarity Committee is the organization of white people formed by the African People Socialist Party and working in the white communities under their leadership. This past couple of years in particular the African People Socialist Party, the Uhuru movement is growing throughout the world in a very dynamic way. It is an organization to unite African people around the world. That means black people in this country and African people wherever they have been dispersed around the world to come together for the job and the struggle to ... Africa into the hands of the African people. Currently the Uhuru movement is growing in many countries throughout Europe in the African communities and chairman Omali Yeshitela who leads the Uhuru movement just returned in October from a tour in which he spoke to standing ovations. A few months before that he was at a major event, African Liberation Day in Paris, France where with a packed house, hundreds of people, standing ovations there and this whole sense of the deepening crisis of the conditions of African people everywhere. And the need for the era of independence to come to fruition where African people themselves can begin to control the resources of Africa, not DeBeers Diamonds, not Shell Oil but the people themselves who are currently living on $2 a day or less. So the quesion is in our role, working in the white community, is how can white people suppor this? How can we stand in solidarity?"

What are some of those things? Are there any suggestions that are already out there or is this going to be something that's discussed at a conference?

" One of the things that the African People Solidarity Committee coordinates every year is an event called the Day in solidarity with African People. So how do we take this up? The whole question of what is our relationship to this is key to what we're talking about. Building the Day in Solidarity to African People is a major event of the year. We are also working on a campaign in Oakland, California to raise money for Eco Kitchen which is a commercial kitchen that is going to be built at the Uhuru house in East Oakland. This is one of the projects, the big projects of the year in which we raise $150,000 for that project. The Eco kitchen was just completed here at the Uhuru house here in St. Petersburg so we have a good record and we're excited about this. We also help coordinate the Uhuru food. We do campaign every year in the holiday season. We just set this up where we sell Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Pecan pies. We're going to be talking about a lot of deep political and radical questions. People have the chance to hear chairman Omali Yeshitela right there. Be there person to person with him, ask the kind of questions of him that go deeply into the issues of how things got to be the way they are. What is the future? How do we understand this economic crisis that we see all around us? What about the intensifications of US wars throughout Africa, throughout the Middle East and covertly in so many other places in the world?"

The meeting will take place at the Uhuru House in midtown St. Petersburg from Sunday, January 6th until Tuesday the 8th.

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