Revised and Amended December 9, 2013
Revised and Amended December 9, 2013
WHEREAS the world political economy has its origins in the attack on Africa, which includes the capture of Africa and the trade in African people, initiating the foundation of the modern world economy and the genesis of capitalism;
WHEREAS the initial attack on Africa provided the process wherein European imperialist or “racist” consciousness, the European nation, bourgeois democracy, imperialist wealth, the industrial revolution and capitalism were forged, totally wiping out the indigenous political economies of Africa and transforming Africa into a continent whose purpose was to provide for the creation and re-creation of real life for Europe and North America;
WHEREAS this process of slavery and various other forms of colonialism that gave rise to the parasitic capitalist system and the European nation also stemmed from the attack on Africa which undermined the consolidation of African national consciousness and the African nation itself;
WHEREAS the existing economic structures of Africa were born of the slave trade and modified to accommodate colonialism and neocolonialism, serving as a means of transferring Africa’s resources to Europe, North America and increasingly to other countries and manipulating the political situation in Africa to serve hostile, foreign economic interests at the expense of our people;
WHEREAS through slavery and colonialism the human and material wealth of Africa and other areas of the world was forcibly transferred to Europe, contributing to the overthrow of European feudalism, the installation of capitalism and the rise of heretofore nonexistent social forces such as the capitalist class and the working class, both of which owe their existence to slavery and colonialism;
WHEREAS the brutal conditions of existence in Africa today were born of this parasitic relationship upon which the entire imperialist edifice rests;
WHEREAS in order to facilitate this European orgy of plunder of our resources, Africa was divided into untenable, distorted microstates that function primarily as structures to transfer Africa’s resources to imperialist countries and corporations;
WHEREAS Africans forcibly dispersed from Africa continue to live in various states of economic deprivation and political subjugation including domestic or internal colonialism in places like the U.S. and Canada;
WHEREAS the primary struggle of African people within the U.S. is to overthrow the alien U.S. colonial domination that is responsible for virtually every hardship imposed on our people that is identifiable as a “black” problem, including poor, inadequate and hostile education in colonial institutions; shortages of healthcare in colonially controlled communities that induce poor health; housing often unfit for human habitation; and denial of a general ability to acquire sufficient and decent food, clothing and shelter;
WHEREAS the conditions of existence of African people within the U.S. is characterized by colonial military police occupation, inhumane police violence against, and massive incarceration of, African people;
WHEREAS, in the face of the great need for economic development and self-serving productive work within our oppressed communities, Africans colonized within the U.S. endure chronic unemployment and underemployment;
WHEREAS our domestically colonized community also suffers from the imposition of an illegal drug economy and massive infusions of legal and illegal drugs by U.S. colonial agencies, leading to African community demoralization and legal justification for designer laws and collective punishment of African people, especially of the working class communities;
WHEREAS since the era of Marcus Garvey in the early 20th Century most African national liberation movements have fought for power within the colonially-created borders, thereby guaranteeing even with a “successful” outcome to our struggle that we continue to be dependent on a relationship with the imperialists for our own resources, since the imposed colonial borders prevent the emergence of a truly significant All-African national economy;
WHEREAS Africa’s colonial enslavement contributed to the rise of capitalism, which introduced a poorly-formed, primitive social force in the form of the African petty bourgeoisie with interests separate from that of the masses of African toilers and that achieves its identity primarily through its relationship to imperialism;
WHEREAS the African primitive petty bourgeoisie, as a social force, is capable of realizing its class aims and aspirations within the context of the existing capitalist/imperialist system with its attendant derivatives such as the division of Africa into post-colonial, ill-formed neocolonial states that help to limit the consolidation of African national consciousness and the African nation itself;
WHEREAS the neocolonial state serves as the incubator for the reproduction of the primitive petty bourgeoisie as a social force;
WHEREAS the African Liberation Movement, both in Africa and abroad has run into its limitations when fought within the imperialist-imposed borders;
WHEREAS throughout the African world the African working class is the most dynamic social force in society and creator of all material value upon which all growth and development rely, and is the only social force that cannot realize its aims without the complete destruction of the imperialist economic structures, including the false borders that separate Africans from each other and our resources in Africa and abroad;
WHEREAS the African working class, forcibly dispersed throughout the world, is strategically located and delegated by history with the task of liberating and uniting Africa and African people, a necessary occurrence for genuine liberation;
WHEREAS the African working class, because of its historical significance, has the responsibility of liberating the African nation and becoming the new ruling class;
WHEREAS such responsibility requires the international African working class to organize a capacity for collective action by African workers of different countries, including Africans in imperialist-created, artificial, trans-colonial countries of Africa and those in countries to which Africans have been forcibly dispersed;
WHEREAS we, the advanced detachment of the African working class and its general staff, have organized this international organization to pursue the goal of the liberation and unification of Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class as a critical component of the struggle to overthrow imperialism and all its representations and manifestations, including all forms of colonialism, and the establishment of the international dictatorship of the working class;
WE RESOLVE to build and consolidate the African People’s Socialist Party-USA as an integral part of international struggle to overthrow capitalist imperialism and its neocolonial minions in order to achieve the unification and liberation of Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class and build a society which will, as declared by Kwame Nkrumah, “advance the triumph of the international socialist revolution, and onward progress towards world communism, under which, every society is ordered on the principle of – from each according to … ability, to each according to … needs.”
ARTICLE 1.0 NAME AND LEGAL STATUS
1.1 The name of the Party shall be the African People’s Socialist Party-USA (Hereafter and herein referred to as the APSP-USA, the Party or the Organization). The APSP-USA is a component of the African Socialist International (ASI).
1.2 The APSP-USA shall exist in its own name separate from its members and constituent organizations. It shall continue to exist even when its membership changes and there are new members, member organizations or officers.
1.3 Furthermore the Party shall be able to own its own property and other possessions, as well as be able to sue and be sued in its own name.
1.4 The Party is also the sole and exclusive owner of all real and intellectual property in its possession and has sole and exclusive rights in the control and dispersal of its real and intellectual property as determined by the National Central Committee. Safeguards, including trademarks and copyrights will be used to secure the intellectual and real property of the Party.
1.5 All members and officers of the Party understand that all work done by them on behalf of the Party remains the possession of the Party.
ARTICLE 2.0 THE APSP RELATIONSHIP TO THE AFRICAN SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL (ASI)
2.1 The APSP-USA subscribes and adheres to the program and political philosophy of the ASI, including the ASI Main Resolution. The ASI is an international, revolutionary party with component national organizations in different countries operating under the name African People’s Socialist Party. (Example: APSP-USA, APSP-United Kingdom, APSP-South Africa, etc.)
ARTICLE 3.0 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
3.1 The aims and objectives of the APSP-USA are to lead the struggle of the African working class and oppressed masses against U.S. capitalist-colonialist domination and all the manifestations of oppression and exploitation that result from this relationship. The Party recognizes that the particular character of the oppression of African people within U.S. borders is domestic or internal colonialism. Leading the struggle to end the system of domestic colonialism and smash the U.S. capitalist-colonialist state is the immediate task of the African People’s Socialist Party-USA and the African working class in the U.S.
3.2 The Party aims to advance the genuine liberation and unification of Africa and African people through its work as the U.S. Front of the worldwide African Revolution, and from this political vantage point fight for the creation of a single All-African Socialist State which will advance the development of a classless, communist society organized around the principle of, from each according to her or his ability and to each according to her or his needs.
3.3 The Party works for the emancipation of the laboring masses of the world in every country in the contest against national oppression and capitalist exploitation and to advance the solidarity of all peoples in the relentless battle against imperialism and for the victory of world socialism.
3.4 The Party aims to establish a formidable working alliance with progressive parties or forums that subscribe to the goals of the liberation and unification of Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class and the toiling masses in general.
ARTICLE 4.0 MEMBERSHIP
4.1 Membership of the APSP-USA shall be drawn from individuals that meet the following basic requirements:
4.1.1 Every member must voluntarily unite with Party rules and policies.
4.1.2 Every member must be African and 18 years of age or older. In special circumstances the age requirement may be waived subject to the approval of the Party National Central Committee (NCC).
4.1.3 Every member must unite with the aims of the Party as defined in the program of the Party and its Constitution.
4.1.4 Every member does active work in an organization under the leadership and discipline of the Party, unless incapacitated for health reasons or on an excused leave of absence.
4.1.5 Every member actively distributes the press of the APSP-USA.
4.1.6 Every member adheres to all policies established by the Party Congress and decisions of the National Central Committee (NCC).
4.1.7 Every prospective member of the Party must have studied the Party Constitution and program.
4.1.8 Every applicant must be sponsored by a Party member in whose status meets the general definition of “good standing”.
4.1.9 The Party is at liberty to accept or reject applications for membership.
4.1.10 The procedure for admitting a member shall be completed when the prospective member is introduced to a special meeting of Party members whose task shall be to evaluate the prospective member’s application for approval or rejection.
4.1.11 Upon approval of an application for membership, the new member will serve a probation period of six months and will become a member in good standing if all requirements have been met at the end of that period. A member in good standing is one who:
4.1.12 Employed members shall pay a total of $20 monthly in dues. Unemployed members will pay $5 monthly, Incarcerated members will pay $5 monthly but may be waived depending on financial circumstance, and students 18-21 years old will pay $5 monthly.
4.1.13 Members of the Party may be disciplined for conduct or actions detrimental to the Party. Discipline may include public or written self-criticism, expulsion, public censure, and suspension from Party work or removal from positions of authority.
4.1.14 Reasons for disciplinary action shall include but are not limited to violations of the rules of Party discipline, violation of the Party Constitution, theft of Party or movement resources, falsification of information written or verbal on application or other Party documents, exhibiting disunity with the program and policies of the Party, non-authorized abandonment of post or position or any actions that serve to discredit the Party or its programs in the eyes of the African masses or our allies.
4.1.15 The Party Organization Manual shall be used for guidance when necessary for clarification concerning Party discipline and other issues not specified in the Constitution.
ARTICLE 5.0 PRINCIPLE OF PARTY ORGANIZATION
5.1 The organizational principle through which the APSP-USA is organized and under which it operates is democratic centralism. Democracy in the component APSP-USA organizations is practiced under a centralized leadership in accordance with democratic ethos. Democratic Centralism is a system of Party organization, which combines the maximum involvement of the membership in determining policy and in the democratic election of leading APSP-USA committee leaders, together with the best forms of centralized leadership in the activities of the APSP-USA.
5.1.1 After a thorough discussion in any Party structure surrounding an activity or policy and a decision is made by the Party structure, the decision must be carried out by all unreservedly, even if a minority of the particular organization is in disagreement.
5.1.2 All leading committees of the Party, from the lowest to the highest body, that are not appointed by a legitimate higher Party organization, are elected by the membership or delegates of the given Party organization.
5.1.3 Every elected or appointed APSP-USA committee leader must report regularly on its activity to its respective Party organization and the appropriate higher APSP-USA committees.
5.1.4 The lower Party committees and all Party members have the duty of carrying out the decisions of the higher Party committees, the NCC and the National Congress. Decisions of the National Congress and the NCC and the higher APSP-USA committees are binding upon the lower APSP-USA organizations and the entire membership.
5.1.5 An appeal of a decision by a Party Committee or constituent organization shall meet the following protocol:
ARTICLE 6.0 STRUCTURE OF THE APSP-USA
6.1 NATIONAL CONGRESS
6.1.1 The National Party Congress shall be held every five years, 2013, 2018, 2023, 2028, 2033 and every 5 years after.
6.1.2 The National Party Congress shall be the highest decision making body of the APSP-USA.
6.1.3 The National Party Congress shall elect members of the National Central Committee (NCC) with the exception of those covered in Article 6.2.8, Article 6.3, and Article 9.0.
6.1.4 The National Party Congress shall receive and engage reports from national office bearers.
6.1.5 The National Party Congress shall be the final body of appeal on any decisions of policy, constitutional amendments, or discipline of members.
6.1.6 The National Party Congress shall be empowered to review any resolution, program of action and any policy of the organization.
6.1.7 The National Party Congress shall review and amend the Constitution when and if necessary.
6.1.8 Prior to each National Party Congress a four month period shall be provided for discussion in all Party organizations and leading Party committees on the Political Report or Main Resolution, the Party Program and Constitution, to adopt resolutions on all questions of Party policy for consideration by the Congress. All policies and decisions, however, remain in full force during the pre-Congress discussions.
6.2 NATIONAL CENTRAL COMMITTEE
6.2.1 The National Central Committee (NCC) is the leading body of the African People’s Socialist Party-USA between National Party Congresses. The NCC shall be empowered to call special congresses.
The NCC shall be empowered to delay a congress under extraordinary circumstances such as natural disasters, political atmosphere not conducive to affecting a congress, or repressive laws that make the convening of a congress impossible.
6.2.2 The National Central Committee shall meet quarterly per year, whenever practicable, with notice of meetings and agendas sent to NCC members at least two weeks prior to meetings. Additional meetings shall be called with the approval of one-third of the sitting members of the National Central Committee.
6.2.3 The elected officers of the NCC shall be elected at the National Party Congress. To be eligible for election or appointment as an officer of the NCC, a Party member shall have been in good standing (not on probation and dues paid in full before the election) for one year prior to the election, must not have been the subject of any disciplinary action within the year prior to the election. The eligibility rules may be waived by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the sitting NCC. The officers of the NCC are as follows:
6.2.4 The National Director of Security is appointed under the prerogative powers of the Chairperson. This is a non-voting position on the NCC.
6.2.5 Officers of the Political Bureau
6.2.6 The Political Bureau is that body of National Central Committee offices collectively responsible for overseeing the day-to-day implementation of Party policy as determined by the National Party Congress and the National Central Committee and guided by the Chairperson.
6.2.7 The Political Bureau shall meet not less than eight times per year, whenever practical, during the months of February, March, May, June, August, September, November and December, with notices of meetings and agendas sent to officers of the Secretariat not less than one week prior to meetings.
6.2.8 Appointed NCC Members from constituent organizations- Officers may be appointed to the NCC from constituent organizations as the situation may require with a two-thirds affirmative vote from sitting NCC members.
6.3 Cooptation may be utilized to fill vacancies in the National Central Committee. Officers may be appointed to the NCC using the process of cooptation with a two-thirds affirmative vote of sitting NCC members in the event that the election at the National Party Congress does not fill all positions on the NCC. The process of cooptation may be utilized to fill positions on the NCC in the event a member of the NCC becomes incapacitated, dies in office or is removed from office. (Note: Cooptation will not be utilized to replace the Chairperson, the protocol for which being defined in Article 9.0 Powers and Functions of Officers of The National Central Committee under the job description for the Secretary General)
6.4 Officers of the NCC may be removed from office for cause. Removal from office may be executed for gross misconduct, theft or misuse of Party resources, violations of the Party Constitution, exhibiting disunity with the Party program or policies, persistent failure to perform the duties and responsibilities of office or position or any actions that serve to discredit or undermine the Party or its programs. Officers of the NCC may also be removed in the event they become incapacitated for health reasons and unable to perform the duties of their office.
An officer may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the sitting NCC. The NCC may initiate an investigation before a removal vote is taken.
6.5 The Regional Conference shall implement the discussion of the Political Report to the National Party Congress, Party constitutional amendments, policy change proposals, development and review of resolutions for presentation at the National Party Congress. Nominations of Regional Representatives to the National Central Committee shall be effected at the Regional Conferences to be ratified by the entire Party at the National Party Congress. Each region consists of Local Party Organizations.
6.5.1 The Regional Conference shall convene every three years, or at least three months before each National Party Congress.
6.5.2 Each area of the USA will constitute one of six regions: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West.
6.6 The Regional Committee is the leading body of the Region between Regional Conferences. The responsibilities of the Regional Committee shall include but are not limited to overseeing the organization, development, building and growth of Local Party Organizations within the region, providing training for local leaders within the region and organizing the Regional Conference. The Regional Committee will meet on a quarterly basis and may increase the meeting schedule as needed for the efficient operation of the Region. Powers and functions of officers of the NCC will apply to RC officers with necessary changes.
6.6.1 Officers of the APSP-USA Regional Committees (RC) are as follows:
6.6.2 The Regional Coordinator of Security is appointed by the Regional Representative in consultation with the National Chairperson. This is a non-voting position on the Regional Committee
6.7 Local Party Organizations (LPO) are subordinate to and located within a particular region of the USA. The Local Party Organization is the next level of organization below the Region. The Local Party Organization is a citywide structure of lower Party Units. The Officers of the LPO are elected on an annual basis. The offices of the LocaL Party Lead Organizer, Local Party Secretary, and the Local Party Organizer for Recruitment and Membership shall be mandatory in the LPO structure. (Note: The NCC has designated some cities as exceptions to the citywide LPO structure. This will include New York City where each borough is to be considered a city because of the large populations. The NCC maintains the right to designate other cities in a similar manner to maximize the efficient operation of the LPO)
6.7.1 Officers of the Local Party Organization are as follows:
6.8 The Party Unit is the basic form of Party organization. A Party Unit may be formed in a prison, workplace, neighborhood or block etc. within a city. It is the organization that will execute the Party program at the ground level of organizing. The Party Unit will consist of a minimum of three members, the necessary number for implementation of the democratic centralist principle of one Unit Leader and two followers. The term of office of the unit officers will be one year, starting from the date the Unit is formed. There shall be three mandatory offices to be held in the Unit, the Unit Leader, the Unit Secretary, and Unit Leader of Membership and Recruitment. The Unit consists of the following officers:
6.9 The African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) is a Party organization with a specific identity. It is comprised primarily of North Americans and works directly under the leadership of the National Central Committee through the Office of the Chairperson. The APSC is the primary organization through which well-meaning whites or Euro-American people and organizations can unite under the leadership of the African Revolution in pursuit of African liberation, unification and socialism. Unity with the APSC provides accountability to white individuals and organizations that claim political and economic activism motivated by unity with African liberation. This subordinate structural relationship to the Party leadership is a reflection of the location of North Americans and Europeans to the parasitic capitalist political economy and the political structures through which the Euro-imperialists exercise their exploitative will. It is a reflection of our understanding that the struggle for African liberation, unification and socialism is also a struggle for black self-determination and the consolidation of the internationally dispersed African nation.
6.9.1 The primary task of the APSC is to extend the struggle for African liberation, unification and socialism, as defined by the Party, to the centers of the Euro-American population. It is an organized second front of the African Liberation Movement under the leadership of the African working class as represented by its advanced detachment, the African People’s Socialist Party-USA.
6.9.2 A crucial aspect of the work of APSC is the pursuit of reparations for African people from the Euro-American governments, corporations and population. APSC is the concrete, organizational representation of the reality that the highest expression of genuine political unity with the struggle of colonized African people from those of the oppressor nation population is material solidarity.
6.9.3 Among the material solidarity efforts of the African People’s Solidarity Committee are various APSC-created and/or administered Party institutions, donor campaigns and economic development and fundraising projects. Along with the general pursuit of reparations for African people, APSC is also tasked with the responsibility of implementing material solidarity through the pursuit of intellectual, political and other resources required by the Party for the advancement of the African liberation struggle. Material solidarity with the Party in the advancement of African liberation is one of the factors that distinguishes APSC work from charity and defines it as solidarity.
6.9.4 All properties and relationships acquired by APSC in the pursuit of its aims are the property of the African People’s Socialist Party. This includes all businesses and other financial institutions and initiatives, all of which shall be formally owned by the Party or its designated organization(s).
6.9.5 In pursuit of its political mission to win political and material solidarity within the Euro-American population for the cause of African liberation, unification and socialism, the APSC shall organize an annual Day of Solidarity with African People or African People’s Solidarity Day in addition to the other mobilizations, forums and conferences designed to win support to the Party’s aims and programs.
6.9.6 The African People’s Solidarity Committee shall conduct a National APSC Conference every three years or at least three months prior to the National Party Congress for the purpose of discussing the Party’s Political Report or Main Resolution to the Congress, elect its national leadership and propose resolutions to the Party’s National Congress.
6.9.7 The APSC shall also conduct an annual National Plenary to review its progress in carrying out its mission, to give reports to its members and receive reports from relevant members and constituent organizations and/or committees.
6.9.8 With necessary and appropriate changes approved by the Office of the Chair, the structure of the APSC shall replicate the structure of the Party as reflected in this Constitution, which is binding on the African People’s Solidarity Committee, its membership and constituent organizations.
ARTICLE 7.0 QUORUM
7.1 The minimum number of members required for lawful transaction of business of the Party Congresses, Conferences and all its Committees across all spheres of the Party shall be a simple majority of delegates or members of the relevant committee, as the case may be, in attendance of a duly constituted Congress, Conference or meeting of any Party Committees.
8.0 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
8.1 This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present and voting at the APSP-USA Congress. Each Local Party Organization shall be allowed three votes at the National Party Congress. Any amendments must be in written form and submitted 90 days prior to the Congress. All amendments to the Constitution must follow this process of pre-Congress discussion.
ARTICLE 9.0 POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF OFFICERS OF THE NATIONAL CENTRAL COMMITTEE
9.2 DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON
9.3 SECRETARY GENERAL
9.4 NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF RECRUITMENT AND MEMBERSHIP
9.7 DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
9.8 NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE AFRICAN WOMEN’S COMMISSION
9.9 NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE AFRICAN YOUTH COMMISSION
9.10 NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE AFRICAN FARMERS AND
AGRICULTURAL WORKERS COMMISSION
9.11 NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE AFRICAN LABOR COMMISSION
9.12 National Director of the Student Recruitment and Membership Commission
9.13 DIRECTOR OF THE PRISON RECRUITMENT AND MEMBERSHIP COMMISSION
9.14 NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF SECURITY * (NON-VOTING)
9.15 Regional Representatives
ARTICLE 10.0 – Determining Incapacitation of the Chairperson
10.1 Should at any time the NCC has reasonable suspicion that the Chairperson of the APSP may be incapacitated which may include imprisonment, the Secretary General must move immediately to convene a meeting of the NCC to determine the status of the Chair.
10.2 Reasonable suspicion will include, but not be limited to, irrational behavior, prolonged hospitalization, mental incoherence, or otherwise unable to perform his/her duties. This decision would be corroborated by two written determinations by certified health professionals, if necessary.
10.3 A vote is taken by the NCC as to the severity of the situation. A super majority affirmative vote of 70% of the sitting NCC members is required to confirm the Chairperson is incapacitated.
10.4 Upon confirmation of a decision on incapacitation of the Chairperson, the Secretary General will draft an announcement to that effect that will be distributed to the general membership of the APSP within 5 days of the NCC confirmation vote.
10.5 The Secretary General Shall act with all powers of the Chairperson in the event the Chairperson is incapacitated or dies while in office. These powers will be retained by the Secretary General until a special election is called by the National Central Committee within 60 days of assuming these powers, or until the next regularly scheduled election at the National Party Congress, whichever comes first.