What We Want – What We Believe
The Working Platform of the African People’s Socialist Party
Adopted September 23, 1979.
Revised and adopted at the First Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party, September 6, 1981.
1. We want peace, dignity, and the right to build a prosperous life through our own labor and in our own interests.
We believe that the U.S. North American government and society were founded on the genocide of Native people, the theft of their land, and the forcible dispersal, enslavement, and colonization of millions of African people. We believe that the present condition of existence for African people within current U.S. borders is colonialism, a condition of existence where a whole people is oppressively dominated by a foreign and alien state power for the purpose of economic exploitation and political advantage. We believe further that this colonial domination is the primary basis of the problems of African people within the U.S. and that we shall know neither peace, prosperity, nor human dignity until this colonialist domination is overthrown and the power over our lives rests in our own hands.
2. We want the rights to economic development and creative and productive employment which promote the needs and well-being of our entire people.
We believe that colonialism is a blood-sucking system which causes all economic development to benefit the colonialist ruling class state and society at the expense of our colonized people. We also believe that the massive, habitual unemployment and underemployment of our people benefit the U.S. colonialist ruling class and capitalist system and that a struggle by African people for jobs must be combined with a struggle for socialism and independent economic development.
3. We want an end to all local, state, federal, and other taxation of black people by the U.S. government and any of its agencies.
We believe that such taxation is illegitimate, that black people have no real or meaningful authority within the U.S. government, and that U.S. taxation of African people is therefore taxation without representation. We believe that in the absence of such real or meaningful authority we have nothing to say about how such monies are used, and that therefore the taxes taken from black people are often used against us and other oppressed and exploited peoples within the U.S. and around the world.
We believe that the use of taxes extracted from the African population to build more prisons to stuff us in and to hire more police to kill us with is criminal, as is the use of these taxes to hire soldiers to intimidate and plunder peoples oppressed by this same system internationally. We also believe African people must refuse to pay taxes to a government which uses such taxes to prop up and support brutal dictators around the world who keep their own peoples oppressed and living in squalor in order to maintain U.S. and Western imperialist economic and political domination.
4. We want the right to free speech and political association, a guarantee of the right to work for the betterment and emancipation of black people without fear of political imprisonment and the loss of life, limb, and livelihood.
We believe that the liberation of African people throughout the world will come primarily as a result of our own efforts. We believe it is our duty to our mothers and fathers, our children and ourselves, to organize ourselves to overcome our oppression. We believe that the rights to organize and speak out against our oppression are basic human rights and that the U.S. government must discontinue its attempts to smash these rights and must discontinue criminal attacks on those African patriots who work for the betterment and emancipation of our people.
5. We want the right to international political and economic association with Africans and all other peoples anywhere on the face of the Earth.
We believe that all black people are African people and are a part of a single national entity. We believe that the genuine freedom of African people everywhere is irreversibly linked to the creation of an independent, united, and socialist Africa. We believe the struggle of African people within the U.S. represents the U.S. front of the worldwide movement of African people for African liberation, political independence, and socialist democracy. We believe that the worldwide struggle for African liberation is in unity with the struggles being waged by the majority of the peoples of the world to end the oppression of nations by nations and to create a new world, within which the toiling masses will end the system of workers and bosses and slaves and masters and will own and benefit from the means and products of our labor and will have political authority over our own lives. We believe that the natural, objective friends of our struggle for African liberation, independence, and socialist democracy are all the toiling masses of the world — the people of the Middle East, the Asian and Latin American peasants and workers, the democratic forces throughout Eastern and Western Europe and the U.S., and the truly socialist states of the world, and that we must therefore have the absolute right to free political and economic international association.
6. We want the immediate and unconditional release of all black people who are presently locked down in U.S. prisons.
We believe that all the African men and women who are locked down in the U.S. concentration camps commonly known as prisons are there due to decisions, laws, and circumstances which were created by aliens and foreigners for their own benefit and as a means of genocidal colonialist control. We believe that these decisions, laws, and circumstances were created and are enforced without our consent and are therefore illegitimate. We believe that the African men and women who are locked down in these concentration camps are victims of U.S. colonialist ruling class justice which maintains our enslavement and terrorizes our people, and that they should therefore be released immediately to the just representatives of our struggle for liberation, independence, and socialist democracy.
7. We want complete amnesty for all African political prisoners and prisoners of war from U.S. prisons or their immediate release to any friendly country which will accept them and give them political asylum.
We believe that U.S. prisons are also used as the illegitimate tool for torturing, murdering, and holding captive those courageous daughters and sons of Africa who through their patriotic deeds or spoken or written words in support of the cause of our liberation have become political prisoners and prisoners of war. We believe, along with the majority of the peoples of the world, that it is the duty of the colonized and enslaved to resist slavery and colonialism and to fight for socialism and those who do so are patriots and heroines and heroes and should be held in the highest esteem.
8. We want the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. police from our oppressed and exploited communities.
We believe that the various U.S. police agencies which occupy our communities are arms of the U.S. colonialist state which is responsible for keeping our people enslaved and terrorized. We believe that the U.S. police agencies do not serve us, but instead represent the first line of U.S. defense against the just struggle of our people for peace, dignity, and socialist democracy. Therefore, we believe the U.S. police is an illegitimate standing army, a colonial army in the African community and must withdraw immediately from our community, to be replaced by our liberation forces whose struggles in defense of our community and against our oppression demonstrate their loyalty to our community and their willingness to serve in its interest.
9. We want an end to the political and social oppression and economic exploitation of African women.
We believe in the absolute, unequivocal, political, social, and economic equality of African women and men. We believe that a fundamental test of the progressive or revolutionary character of any organization, party, movement, or society is its commitment, confirmed in practice, to the destruction of the special oppression of women and the elevation of women to the rightful place as equal partners and leaders in the forward motion of the development of human society and as leaders, makers, and shapers of human history.
10. We want the right to build an African People’s Liberation Army.
We believe that true freedom, although often taken away, cannot be given to a people. We believe that African people are our own liberators, and that we have a right and obligation to build an African People’s Liberation Army to defend our political gains, our freedom fighters and communities, and to win our actual freedom from our oppressive colonial slave masters. We believe that neither meaningful freedom, nor guaranteed political and social gains, nor genuine liberation are possible without the assuring existence of an African People’s Liberation Army. We believe further that the only legitimate wars are wars of national liberation, and wars to oppose imperialist aggression, and that therefore, the only legitimate military forces for black people to serve with are military forces which defend liberty and repel imperialist aggression. Such a force would be the African People’s Liberation Army.
11. We want the U.S. and the international European ruling class and states to pay Africa and African people for the centuries of genocide, oppression, and enslavement of our people.
We believe that U.S. and European civilization were born from, and are presently maintained by, the horrendous theft of human and material resources from Africa and its people. We also believe that this theft of human and material resources is responsible for the present underpopulation and underdevelopment of Africa and her people and the political servitude, material impoverishment, and cultural discontinuity and disintegration of African people throughout the world. We believe that Africa and African people are due reparations, just economic compensation, billions of dollars which must be paid to the Organization of African Unity or any other legitimate international organization of African people, for equitable distribution for the development of Africa. We also believe that reparations must be distributed to the various independent African states dispersed throughout the world, and to the legitimate representatives of African people forcibly dispersed throughout the world who have not yet won liberation.
12. We want an end to the vicious, self-serving U.S. and Western European political, economic, and military interference in the affairs of Africa and African people throughout the world.
We believe that African people in Africa and elsewhere have a right and responsibility to solve our own problems, free from the unwanted, and self-serving interference of U.S. and Western imperialists. We believe that the U.S. and Western imperialist interference in the affairs of our people is designed to maintain the continuation of the theft of our human and material resources and our oppression and impoverishment.
We believe that African people must be free to organize and struggle for an end to colonialism and neo-colonialism without interference from U.S. and Western imperialism which supports neo-colonialism and colonialism in Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere, and which has deposed progressive and revolutionary African leaders and replaced them with neo-colonialist stooges.
13. We want an end to U.S. colonial domination of African people within the U.S.
We believe that the primary struggle of African people within the U.S. during this period is to throw off the alien U.S. colonial domination which is responsible for virtually every hardship imposed on black people by this government that is identifiable as a “black problem.”
We believe that our problems with education — from our inability to control our own schools and determine the education of our own children, to the inferior and racist quality of the education we do receive — are caused by colonialism.
We believe that our problems with health care — from the absence of black controlled and operated health clinics and institutions throughout our communities to the hazardous health conditions imposed on us by poverty and callous government decisions — are caused by colonialism.
We believe that our problems with housing — from the unavailability of decent and adequate housing for the majority of our people, to the dilapidated and vermin-infested housing we are forced to live in — are caused by colonialism.
We believe that our problems with food and clothing — from the terrible quality and quantity which are imposed on us by blood-sucking merchants, to our inability to produce and distribute them for and among ourselves — are caused by colonialism, where our whole people is dominated and oppressed by a foreign and alien state power for the purpose of economic exploitation and political advantage.
14. We want the total liberation and unification of Africa under an All-African socialist government.
We believe that “the total liberation and unification of Africa under an All-African socialist government must be the primary objective of all Black revolutionaries throughout the world. It is an objective which, when achieved, will bring about the fulfillment of the aspirations of Africans and people of African descent everywhere. It will at the same time advance the triumph of the international socialist revolution, and the onward progress toward communism, under which every society is ordered on the principle of — from each according to his (her) ability, to each according to his (her) needs.” — Kwame Nkrumah