“Uhuru 3” make motion to dismiss the case against their leaders this week

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Jesse Nevel, candidate for mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (8 Mar. 2017).

Three of the Americans affiliated with a Black empowerment and political organization are moving to have their case dismissed tomorrow in court. The FBI raided the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg about a year ago, and charged four Americans and three Russians with conspiring to covertly sow discord in U.S. society, spread Russian propaganda, and interfere illegally in U.S. elections. Their lawyers will present oral arguments for their “Motion to Dismiss” to Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli, who will hear from both sides and make recommendations to the U.S. District Judge on how to rule on the Motion. Among those accused is Chairman Omali Yeshitela — the leader of the US-based socialist and African internationalist movement, which was founded in 1972 and led by the African People’s Socialist Party. The The FBI arrested Aleksandr Ionov last year for secretly funding Black political groups and directing them to “publish pro-Russian propaganda” One of the American defendants is Jesse Nevel, who is the Chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, which organizes for reparations from the white community for the black self-determination programs. WMNF spoke with Nevel, who claims that the charges stem from a larger historical trend of the United States government silencing activism from within this country, and challenged the charges against both himself and Chairman Yeshitela.

“The idea that he or the Uhuru movement would need Russians or anyone else to tell them, as black people
in this country are oppressed are being shot down by the police or being stuffed into the prisons or
being gentrified out of their communities, and are otherwise being systematically assaulted by the
colonial system every single day is absolutely absurd. And everybody who believes in freedom of
speech and political expression can rally behind Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru movement,
because when they attempt to take away freedom of speech for Chairman Omali Yeshitela to use
that freedom of speech to fight for liberation for African people. They’re taking freedom of speech away
from everyone. And on the other hand, when Chairman of Omali Yeshitela’s movement wins, and
are victorious in pushing back against these vicious attacks on the right to free speech and political
expression. That will be a victory for all who believe in free speech and political expression”

The fact that there is even a hearing for the motion to dismiss has been hailed as a victory by the defense’s legal team, as they say it’s more common for courts to just deny such a Motion and send it to trial, but in this case, they clearly the Motion to Dismiss seriously. Activists concerned about the case are holding a gathering tomorrow to pack the court in support of The Uhuru 3. Tampa Middle District Federal Courthouse, Courtroom 10-A. The address is 801 N. Florida Ave, Tampa.

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