The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) held our 2017 Plenary on January 7 through 9, 2017 at our headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL.
The theme for this year’s Plenary was “Putting Revolution Back on the Agenda.”
The Plenary was a revolutionary experience in every sense of the word as over 100 comrades traveled from all around the country and as far away as the Caribbean (Bahamas) and Europe (Sweden). The three-day Plenary was filled with political education, dynamic reports of the Party’s work for 2016, a variety of cultural performances and even an African naming ceremony.
The Plenary was kicked off early Saturday morning, as attendees filed into a packed and beautifully decorated Akwaaba Hall. There were the Party’s Red, Black and Green flags with the red star in the center lining each column as well as the world “revolution” and “APSP” spelled out in bold red letters.
Our Chief of Staff Ekenge Mayele opened up the event by greeting the attendees as the “best sons and daughters of Africa.”
She then introduced APSP’s Chairman Omali Yeshitela as “the leader of the new free world” as he entered to the ethereal vocals of comrade Lola as she sang Bob Marley’s “War.”
The Three Drowned Black Girls Campaign Chair, Aliké Anai, then led the comrades in the recital of the African Pledge.
The Party’s Freedom Choir then led the attendees in the newly-created African National Fight Song.
The Chairman then took to the stage amid wild cheering and applause.
He quickly began discussing the new era of African political life and the wave of masses of African working class people joining the revolution before beginning the reading the APSP’s 2017 Political Report.
He stated that “the Party is that critical force that has assumed custody of the revolutionary struggle.” The Chairman declared that unlike so many organizations that claim to be revolutionary, “we are just who we say we are.”
He spoke to the real definition of socialism as meaning the workers owning the means of production.
He explained the Party’s various economic institutions as the vehicle for reparations and collective power as opposed to capitalist gains. He stated “we don’t just talk about socialism, we make it happen.”
The Chairman emphasized the importance of leadership and structure as new members are joining our ranks everyday. He told the audience that “every member of the Party is a leader in their community, job, prison wing, campus etc.”
The work of the Party
Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela gave an in-depth presentation on the economic development of the Party and the state of Africa due to parasitic capitalism and colonialism.
She gave updates on the progress of the Party’s various economic institutions and stressed the need for Africans to take back our resources and to liberate the Continent.
DC Ona declared that “we are not looking for charity. We are looking for the emancipation of our resources.” She went on by saying “recapturing our resources are apart of reparations. We want it all back.”
The National Office of Recruitment and Membership’s (NORM) president Gazi Kodzo was introduced by 15-year-old revolutionary Iniko Kitemoma before the office presented a skit parody of the movie The Matrix. The skit’s plot was that you can take one pill and join the revolution or you take another and stay complacent and colonized.
Gazi spoke on the progress made by NORM which can be seen by the many Africans that are joining the Party. He also introduced a team of new comrades that have joined NORM to continue the work of bringing the masses to political life.
Throughout this three-day strategic planning session, every organization within the Party presented the wins and contradictions of our work in 2016 to the African nation.
This included African National Women’s Organization (ANWO) led by President Yejide Orunmila. She spoke on the actions and campaign they carried out in the past year.
The struggle to overturn the oppression of African women under colonialism has included the fight against the theft of African children by the State.
ANWO is currently engaged in a fierce struggle with DHS in Philadelphia and London and announced its plans to expand the campaign from the hashtag #ArrestDHS to #ArrestCPS.
International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) President, Kalambayi, also made a dynamic presentation, complete with a mini fashion show to display InDPUM’s economic project, a fashion line called Uzi.
Northeast Regional Representative, Aaron O’Neal, also made an interesting presentation and outlined the myriad or organizing events that the Northeast Region held during 2016.
Dr. Aisha Fields, president of the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) was unable to make it to the conference but gave AAPDP’s report by video. She received multiple Black Power salutes from her comrades for the work AAPDEP is doing in Huntsville, AL; Houston, TX; and on the Continent among many other places.
This Plenary was particularly different than the Party’s previous Plenaries because it was broadcasted live by Black Power 96.3 FM in St. Petersburg. BP96.3 is the radio station which is for and by the black community. A project of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF), Black Power 96.3 FM speaks to the economic contradictions facing Africans as a result of colonialism.
The creative energy of Black Power 96.3 must have spread to many of the presenters as most Party’s organizations decided to deliver skits, videos and songs in their presentations.
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement, the mass organization of white people who work under the leadership of the APSP, began their presentation with a parody on the white left. They discussed the current campaigns they are waging in the struggle to get reparations from their own white community.
The Department of Agitation and Propaganda (DAP) drew roaring laughs from the participants as they began their presentation by delivering a skit on “Colonial News Network” as Don Lemon and Soledad O’Brien parodies.
DAP’s Chair, Themba Tshibanda gave us updates on the many accomplishments of DAP including the APDEF sponsored Black Power 96.3 FM St. Pete.
Burning Spear Editor In Chief, Kalonda Mulamba, presented a video which outlined the accomplishments of the Official Organ of the APSP during 2016. She also outlined the goals for 2017 and gave a report on the success of the newspaper’s distribution.
There was a myriad of cultural performances during the dynamic plenary. The comrades of the Party proved to be very talented with their keyboard presentations, vogue dancing, African drumming, steel pan playing.
Chairman Omali speaks
Aside from the reading of the powerful Plenary 2017 Report, another highlight of the three-day event was the Chairman’s summation.
The comrades had already been inspired by the powerful presentations that came before it, including an magnificent speech given by Alex Morley Chairman of the APSP Bahamas. He spoke on the conditions which Africans live under imperialism, primarily our dependence on tips on white tourists to sustain ourselves.
The Chairman’s summation addressed the fast leadership that has taken place within our Party. He outlined that the effort to develop cadre is key to forwarding revolution.
He also reiterated the importance of our revolutionary economic institutions. He stated that our economic developments are “not for individual profit.”
The Chairman went on to speak on our “communist core” as a Party. He said “communism is the destruction of a social system built on exploitation.”
The 2017 Plenary was a most powerful gathering of the Best Daughters and Sons of Africa. Our Party and all its organizations outlined the way forward for 2017. This year, we will be putting revolution back on the agenda!
Freedom In Our Lifetime!
No Surrender! No Compromise!