By Any Means Necessary: Volume 3, Issue 4

Page 1

BAMN By Any Means Necessary Ujima: Collective Work & Responsibility

TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1: Editorial Ujima – The Antidote to Neoliberalism

Makungu Akinyela 2-4

Section 2: International Is Colonialism Dead in Africa? Update on Western Sahara

Kwame-osagyefo Kalimara 4-7

In The Spirit of Mandela International Tribunal on US Kwame-osagyefo Kalimara Human Rights Verdict: The United States of America Found Guilty! 7 - 14 Eswatini: Patriarchy, Inequality and the Silence of Pan Afrikanism Advocacy

Kwame-osagyefo Kalimara 15 - 23

Bolivia: A Revolutionary Success Story

Nyeusi Jami 23 - 26

Section 3: Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War Organizers in Philadelphia have joined the Jericho Movement

Saudia Durrant & Edward Onaci 26 - 29

Jericho Boston Keeps The Flame Alive

Alex Papali 29 - 30

New Anti-Protest Laws Creating New Political Prisoners

Nyeusi Jami 31 - 33

Section 4: Culture Unity. Ujima

Ifetayo M. Flannery 34 - 39

Section 5: Labor; A Report on Our Conditions and How WE Fight Back The Nadir of Wages: Buy Now, Pay Later

By Any Means Necessary

Gus Wood 40 - 41


Section 6: Notes on Revolutionary Theory & Practice “You are appreciated”: My memories of Afeni Shakur

Akinyele Umoja 42 - 44

Collective Work And Responsibility - In Action

Watani Tyehimba 45 - 53

Section 1: Editorial Ujima – The Antidote to Neoliberalism by Makungu Akinyela

As the staff here at BAMN discussed this final issue of the year, we focused on the significance of the third principal of the Kwanzaa celebration, Ujima which means collective work and responsibility. During the holiday we say that Ujima means “to build and maintain our community together and make our sisters and brothers problems our problems and to solve them together.” At a time when neoliberalism, the philosophy behind global capitalism, would encourage us to become more and more individualistic and independent from each other, this collectivist ethical stance from our peoples’ tradition provides a radical antidote and solution for our liberation. Neoliberalism would have us believe that if we simply read the right books, think the right thoughts, develop ourselves, eat the right foods, learn how to personally invest and save, wear the right clothes, drive the right car we would soon feel better, do better, be better and be personally free. Neoliberalism would have us fighting among ourselves and blaming the poverty, unemployment, mental illness, poor health, academic failure, and growing homelessness that we see in our communities on personal failings and moral weakness. Neoliberalism has fueled the individual self-help and self-care industry and created a sense of guilt in people who just can’t get it together to find the success that self help and self care promise. Going against the collectivist traditions of our ancestors, neoliberalism tries to convince us that the self is more important than the community and should always come first above the needs of the community.


By Any Means Necessary

Even within the liberation movement, the emphasis on the neoliberal ideas of self-help and self-care as primary creates gaping holes of accountability and weakens the capacity of the movement to fight for our people. Despite this neoliberal intrusion into our movement and community, there has been growing resistance grounded in the principle of Ujima. From the mass uprisings of 2019 and 2020 to the building of new movements, emerging organizations are practicing the principles of collective work and responsibility. Contradicting neoliberal self-help and self-care, collectivist groups are working to “make our brothers and sisters problems our problems and to solve them together.” Community groups like the Free Black Women’s Library in Brooklyn, New York, Black Men Build in Miami, Florida or the Wild Seed Society focus on promoting collective care and liberation. These and other groups are working to build and maintain our community together in ways that encourage a focus on the collective more than the individual. In the coming year we at BAMN and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement choose to combat neoliberalism and individualism by focusing on unity and collectivism in both small and great ways. We realize that the oppression and exploitation of our people is systemic and social, and this requires a collective response. This means that even our personal, seemingly individual problems have roots in the systemic contradictions of neoliberalism and are not due to personal shortcomings or our individual failings. The solution is making our sisters’ and brothers’ problems our problems and solving them together. We know that this stance also requires a sense of responsibility to the collective and requires that we fight the individualist urge to take advantage of community resources without thought to contributing or paying back the community in kind or paying forward the support we have received from our community. Each of us must be willing to lovingly encourage and criticize our comrades when they are behaving selfishly or out of individualist interest, and we must encourage them to trust the will of the community to be concerned about their welfare. Generally, when brothers and sisters give into the urge to go it alone or to be an individual first, it is out of fear that they will not be supported or truly helped by the community. We know this is scary work and will take time for comrades to learn to trust and not fear. We also have faith that the traditions and cultural values of our ancestors, such as Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics/familyhood), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith) are the minimum moral and cultural values that we will need to embody and institutionalize into practice as antidotes to neoliberal capitalism and white supremacist colonialism. We hope that you will be joining with other family in our national community to celebrate these values with a focus on the revolutionary power and potential they hold to give our people a revolutionary moral alternative to the vulgar philosophy of neoliberalism which has

By Any Means Necessary


tried so hard to derail our peoples fight for self-determination and liberation By Any Means Necessary, BAMN!

Section 2: International Is Colonialism Dead in Africa? Update on the Western Sahara by kwame-osagyefo kalimara

Image source: Getty Images Image caption, Members of the Saharan People's Liberation Army hold a parade in Algeria to mark the 40th anniversary of the declaration of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic

“colonialism… a legacy of wars, but we ought to be moving away from that by now.” Wangari Maathai Western Sahara has been occupied for nearly 140 years, 73 years by Spain, 64 years by Morocco. The Saharawi pursuit of sovereignty remains undaunted. The Saharan People's Liberation Army has chosen to end the United Nations brokered ceasefire of the guerrilla war with Polsario and Morocco established in 1991. The abandonment of this 29-year-old cessation 4

By Any Means Necessary

of armed struggle is in part because the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara has yet to deliver on independence. Secondly, in October 2021 the supporters of the Polisario began a blockade of the Moroccan road leading to the El Guergarate border crossing inside a UN buffer zone. This road is a main conduit for overland trade with sub-Saharan Africa. Moroccan troops put an end to the sit-in and prevented another such action by the Polisario supporters. The Polisario saw this as a Moroccan military expansion of its territory. In the 1980s Morocco built a large sand wall, a berm, to keep the Sahrawi independence forces from engaging them militarily with ground forces. Artillery strikes and sniper attacks continued by the Polisario. Morocco experienced economic and political setbacks because of this. The Polisario controls a portion of Western Sahara, east of the Moroccan Wall. According to Press TV (, Brahim Ghali, president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and leader of the Polisario Front has vowed to fight against Morocco along the desert barrier until the Sahrawi people are self-determined. “There will be neither peace, nor stability, nor a just and lasting solution to the Moroccan-Saharawi conflict unless the UN Security Council assumes its responsibilities in responding frankly and firmly to the aggressive and expansionist practices of the Moroccan occupying power,” Ghali said in a speech made on October 12, 2021 at the Dajla refugee camp in Algeria’s southwest province of Tindouf. Morocco controls 80% of the region where the wall is approximately 1,700 miles. The indigenous people of Western Sahara are deprived of the rich phosphate, fishing waters and other resources rightfully belonging to them. International support for the Western Sahara is growing. Recently, a Nigerian organization is supporting the movement. SaharaReporters ( shared that the Nigerian Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara (MLWS) had issued a strong statement in that regard. Below are portions of the MLWS statement: “(T)he Western Sahara is a question of decolonization and therefore cannot be settled and should not be settled without the granting of the inalienable right to self-determination (decolonization) for the Saharawi people. Any solution not based on the history of Western Sahara and political principle of the right of all nations to self-determination will not resolve the question of Western Sahara. Historical justice will be done when the Saharawi come to rule themselves in a Saharawi state. This is where we stand.” The Western Sahara Campaign (WSC) since January has been working to amend United States reactionary behavior toward the self-determination of the Saharawi people. Bill Fletcher, Jr., executive editor of Global African Worker, a past president of TransAfrica Forum, and a longtime trade unionist and Suzanne Scholte, Defense Freedom Foundation & U.S. Western Sahara Foundation, leading this effort on behalf of the WSC has been lobbying U.S. Senators to be proactive, to change the U.S. policy with Morocco. The WSC has been successful in having several U.S. Senators in requesting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to address Moroccan By Any Means Necessary


human rights abuses on the Sahrawi activist and ensuring the right of self-determination of Western Sahara through the renewal of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) at the end of this month. Aluta continua/The movement continues. Those of us, all peoples who profess to be Pan-Afrikan, must engage in anti-colonial struggles. All of us must fight to end ALL oppressions and exploitations! Until everyone is free, no one is free. Until WE all have sovereignty, no one has sovereignty. There can be no peace without justice. We must build just societies. Let us do the kazi/work!!! “There are only two words: one is ‘war’, the other is ‘peace’. Those who seek war have never known it. The purpose of the dialogue is to conclude it. Never play with peace.” Aziza Brahim Ancestral blessings. Free the Land!!! References: BAMN Vol. 3, Issue 2 Western Sahara Chronology of Events: Security Council Report ( Timelines Western Sahara ( The Western Sahara Campaign (WSC) website:


By Any Means Necessary

Image credit: Green Left,

In The Spirit of Mandela International Tribunal on US Human Rights Verdict: The United States of America Found Guilty! by kwame-osagyefo kalimara "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains." Assata Shakur

The Spirit of Mandela International Tribunal of legal experts judged the United States empire guilty of human rights abuses against Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples on October 24, 2021. The proceedings were held at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and By Any Means Necessary


Educational Center in New York City, formerly known as the Audubon Ballroom (location of Malcolm X’s assassination). The verdict was delivered in front of the United Nations on Monday, October 25, 2021. What follows is the Verdict/Executive Summary which shares the context, rationale and evidence for rendering its conclusion: Rights Abuses Against Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples October 23-25, 2021 New York, NY, Turtle Island, Lenape land, USA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY VERDICT in the case of BLACK, BROWN AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES Charging Human Rights Abuses and Genocide Against the United States of America As represented by its President, Department of State, federal and state policing agencies, and other governmental institutions As collected in evidence at the 2021 International Tribunal on US Human Rights Abuses Against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples EXECUTIVE SUMMARY VERDICT Introduction: The Context of Our Work and Why We are Here The fact that the United States has committed an array of human rights abuses against Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples should be as uncontroversial as it is incontrovertible. There is widespread agreement that settler colonialists committed genocide and other crimes against the Indigenous populations while taking their lands. No one would disagree that enslaved Africans were forced to work the settler colonial lands for hundreds of years in subhuman conditions. The historical record tells the story of additional human rights abuses committed against Mexicans and other groups as the US expanded West and colonized countries like Puerto Rico. No one doubts that Japanese were forced into concentration camps during World War II or that Blacks were lynched and brutalized during Jim Crow. The current President of the United States acknowledges these crimes. His Secretary of State recently confirmed this while stating, “great nations such as ours do not hide from our shortcomings; they strive to improve with transparency.” If laudable, such sentiments ring hollow unless met by action. The Spirit of Mandela Coalition petitioned for the creation of this Tribunal because they believe that not only are US human rights abuse “shortcomings” not being fully acknowledged, but that the US has sought to bury a number of these crimes. The Coalition enlisted a prosecutor, Nkechi Taifa, to argue their case. Their indictment on behalf of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples in the US charges the 8

By Any Means Necessary

U.S. government and its state and local political subdivisions with crimes committed in five areas: police racism and violence, mass incarceration, political prisoners/prisoners of war, environmental racism, public health inequalities. Further, they argue that the US has committed genocide. In 2021, the International Tribunal on US Human Rights Abuses against Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples convened as an independent body to hear the case. We did so as a quasi-legal body in the tradition of People’s Tribunals dating back to the Russell Tribunal and Permanent People’s Tribunal, among others. While evaluating the charges in terms of international and domestic human rights law and practice, we also recognize that such legal structures have limitations that can reinforce racism and deny voice and redress to Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples as the prosecution in this case alleges. To assess the merits of the case, the Tribunal convened from October 23-25, 2021. Over the course of two days, the Jurists heard eighteen attorneys and students of law solicit evidence from thirty witnesses from across the US. Background The Panel of Jurists heard testimony emphasizing the millions upon millions of Indigenous and African peoples murdered, disappeared, and nearly exterminated over a period from 1492 through the present. Further the witnesses and prosecution argued that the wrongs have been historic and deliberate, with colonization, racism, militarism, imperialism, materialism, criminalization, patriarchy, neocolonialism, and internal colonialism as part of the larger process that now manifests itself in medical and digital apartheid, chemical warfare, environmental violence and racism, divestment, and a pandemic of accessible guns and drugs with the majority of gun violence perpetrated by police and security forces in the false claim of upholding law and order. Statements were made testifying to new forms of colonialism which include the Prison Industrial Complex, the Military Industrial Complex, and the commercialization of our health and privatization/commodification of all social services. The testimonies include substantial evidence of the erasure of histories; distortion and cultural misappropriation contributes to and exacerbates the attempted invisibilization and denial of People's basic humanity. The profound impacts of all of these realities extend beyond the erasure and attempt to exterminate Black, Brown and Indigenous lives. Hence, as one witness stated, “the colonization of the spirit and mind continues to this day.” The testimonies of this Tribunal reaffirm the traditional wisdom and knowledge of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples. Strong evidence was presented on the indomitable, unbreakable resistance and resilience of the peoples’ struggle for justice and dignity. In the face of egregious

By Any Means Necessary


human rights violations and crimes against humanity, this spirit of collective survival shone through. The 2021 International Tribunal on US Human Rights Abuses Against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples was initiated by a US coalition, In the Spirit of Mandela. Its own recognized legacy, based on efforts dating from the 1951 “We Charge Genocide” petition to the present, rests on the idea that any examination of US human rights must be done in an international context. The Panel of Jurists came together as an independent body made up of legal scholars, human rights advocates and activists, and community leaders. Utilizing the International Criminal Law on Genocide and other instruments, the Panel convened to hear and review the testimony organized by Spirit of Mandela Legal Team. The Accused, though informed, did not respond to the charges and indictment against them, nor did they appear as invited to present a defense. Proceedings The following is a summarized and preliminary presentation of the testimony. Police Killings Testimony was heard regarding an alarming pattern and practice of police murdering Black, Brown, and Indigenous people with impunity. We were informed that a recent Commission of Inquiry found that “Black people are 3.5 times more likely than white people to be killed by police when Blacks are not attacking or do not have a weapon.” Disaggregated data for other Peoples is lacking. Mass Incarceration Testimony emphasized that in the case of US Constitutional law, while the 13th Amendment promised the abolition of the process of chattel slavery, it in fact created an exception incentivizing the incarceration of people of African descent and other peoples. Further they argued that a school-to-prison pipeline has been set in motion by the racialized policies and programs of the US federal and state governments. One testimonial noted, “the law is used as a weapon of war” against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples. Further testimony indicates that there are US policies of wars on poverty, wars on drugs, wars on terror, and others - amounting to a war on Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples as they disproportionately criminalize their youth and communities. Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War Arguments were made presenting the criminalization of legitimate political struggles, most particularly of Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples. One witness testified that it is like a “Counter-Intelligence Program on steroids.” Several witnesses testified that with regard to 10

By Any Means Necessary

traditional torture techniques, there is ample evidence of solitary confinement lasting for decades, which go so far beyond the UN constituted definitions of torture that they defy any modern standard of humane government. Further testimony was presented arguing that decades-long sentences have been imposed for those imprisoned for their political beliefs. One witness stated, “the US is the only industrialized nation in the world that denies the existence of political prisoners.” Environmental Racism Testimony was received arguing the impact of environmental violence. They asserted that the climate crisis disproportionately impacts Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples, constituting environmental violence. The Prosecution contended that there is a deliberate and callous poisoning of land, water, air, and soil, reflecting the valuing of profits over peoples which threatens the survival of the planet and impacts most devastatingly the lives of Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples. Public Health Inequities The testimony highlighted deep public health inequities including both physical and mental health manifestations. Further assertions were made that the COVID-19 pandemic and an “inadequate and incompetent Federal response to this crisis” magnified the disparate impact of structural racism affecting access to health care. Moreover, testimony was heard regarding indifference to the suffering of groups of people considered expendable due to the profit model of US health care, leaving behind those most vulnerable. The Prosecution argued that, from forced sterilization to “food deserts” and chemical contamination, from toxic stress based on the environment in which one lives to the criminalization of mental illness, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are neglected and left out of any illusion of the human right to health. While these crimes are well-documented, they have more rarely been acknowledged, remedied and addressed with some very distant from public knowledge. Judgment Despite the need for further deliberation on the extensive submissions and documents from varied expert witnesses, a deep analysis from the Jurists found that the process did sufficiently cover the scope and elements of all five counts in the indictment as having legal standing and hence legitimacy.

By Any Means Necessary


The Jurists further establish that the grounds for each of the five counts in the indictment presented the basis for successful intervention due to the extensive testimonies of both witnesses and expert witnesses. A full and detailed judgment will follow regarding our findings on these counts. Any minority position of the Jurists will be developed, with collective consensus on each count asserted to further advance our recommendations for remediation, reparations, and future actions. After having heard the testimony of numerous victims of Police Racism, Mass Incarceration, Environmental Racism, Public Health Inequities and of Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War, together with the expert testimonies and graphic presentations, as well as the copious documentation submitted and admitted in the record, the Panel of Jurists find the US and its subdivisions GUILTY of all five counts. We find grounds that Acts of Genocide have been committed. Signed, 25 October 2021, Panel of Jurists Church Center of the United Nations Chief: Her Honorable Magdalene Moonsamy (South Africa), former Member of Parliament (ANC); Deputy Chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism, an instrument of the African Union; attorney-director of the Women’s Justice Foundation; Admitted Attorney of the South African High Court; Deputy Chief: Wilma E. Reveron Collazo (Puerto Rico), long-standing member and leader, Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rican Bar Association); former Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Center for Research assigned to the United Nations Office of Information on the Right to Self Determination; former Senior Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union Dr. Vickie Casanova-Willis (USA), Executive Director, US Human Rights Network; past president, National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL); founding member of Black People Against Police Torture; Co-organizer of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (US Visits); co-author of lecturer of the Law Society of South Africa’s Legal Education and Development (LEAD) school multiple historic policy-shaping reports including the first UN Universal Periodic Review raising the issue of US Political Prisoners and COINTELPRO

Kassahun Checole (Eritrea/USA), CEO and publisher, Africa World/Red Sea Press; renowned Pan Africanist and Pan American scholar; lifetime advisor of the Association of Concerned African Scholars and the African Studies Association


By Any Means Necessary

Sherly Fabre (Haiti/USA), International Fellowship of Reconciliation United Nations Representative; member, Muslim Peace Fellowship/Community of Living Traditions; cofounder, Proyecto Faro Professor Mireille Fanon Mendès-France (France), former Chair of the United Nations Working Group on People of African Descent; former Commissioner of the 2020 International Commission on Inquiry (Systemic Racist Police Violence against US People of African Descent); Judge of Permanent Peoples Tribunal; Co-Chair of the Frantz Fanon Foundation Dr. Alexander Hinton (USA), Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University; UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention; Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Binalakshmi “Bina” Nepram (Manipur/Northeast India), Founder-Director, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network; Founder-Director, Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples, Gender Justice and Peace; Board member of the International Peace Bureau (1910 Nobel Peace Laureate) Chairman Brian Moskwetah Weeden (Mashpee Wampanoag), Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; Bear Heart from Eel Clan; Co-President/Trustee of the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY); Co-Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Youth Commission The esteemed Jurists and the Spirit of Mandela committee recognizes the challenge of enforceability of its verdict. See “In The Spirit of Mandela International Tribunal on US Human Rights: Contextualizing a New Afrikan Historical Experience” (BAMN 3, Issue 3) which shares why mass participation in political liberation movements is the viable vehicle to hold the United States accountable for its crimes against humanity. The Spirit of Mandela International Tribunal follow-up efforts are as follows: ● Codify and publish the content and results of the Tribunal to be offered in High Schools and University curriculums. ● Provide organized, accurate information for reparation initiatives and community and human rights work. ● Present a stronger case, building upon previous and respected human rights initiatives, on the international stage ● Establish a healthy and viable massive national network of community organizations, activists, clergy, academics, and lawyers concerned with challenging human rights abuses on all levels and enhancing the quality of life for all people. ● Strengthen the demand to free all Political Prisoners and establish a Truth & Reconciliation Commission mechanism to lead to their freedom.

By Any Means Necessary


● Establish the foundation to build a “Peoples’ Senate” representative of all 50 states, Indigenous Tribes, and major religions. ● Provide the foundation for civil action in federal and state courts across the United States. “(W)e’re at living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution. A time where there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it. And now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built. And the only way is going to be built is with extreme methods. And I for one will join with anyone, don’t care what color you are as long as you want change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.” Malcolm X We know what Our work is! We charge genocide!!! Ancestral blessings. Free the Land!!!

Resources: Spirit of Mandela educational webinars: Spirit of Mandela videos of the proceedings:

● On October 20th, 2021, the board of the US Human Rights Network announced that the Network was going on a temporary pause effective immediately. As such, the leadership and staff were let go, and could not legally represent the Network from October 20, 2021.


By Any Means Necessary

Eswatini: Patriarchy, Inequality and the Silence of Pan Afrikanism Advocacy by kwame-osagyefo kalimara

“To misbehave us to denounce the social norms that limit individuals based on who they are. That to make history is to upset patriarchy, a system that is intent on controlling and marginalising others.” ― Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

The Kingdom of Eswatini, formally known as Swaziland, is a small landlocked African nation with Mozambique, Northeast and South Africa (Azania), north, west and south. Contemporary awareness of this African nation is because of its annual Umhlanga/Reed dance celebration for the Monarchy (King). Thousands of unmarried young Swazi women (girls) travel from various communities to the Ludzidizini Royal Village. Tradition states that the young unmarried and childless women go to the riverbanks to cut reeds for the Queen Mother and they make repairs on her residence. After they work on the eight day of the celebration, they all dress in traditional attire, dancing for the King and the crowd in attendance. Eswatini is also known for having both the longest reigning monarch in the modern world and the youngest. King Sobhuza II reigned from 1899 to 1982 (82 years and 253 days). King Mswati III, Sobhuza’s son, the current monarch, ascended the throne at 18 years of age. Eswatini is the continent’s last absolute monarchy where the King, as the head of state, his authority supersedes all laws, written or customary. He is said to rule with his mother who is known as the Indlovukazi (She-elephant) while the King is referred to as Ingwenyama (Lion)

By Any Means Necessary


King Mwati III Photo Credit:

In recent months the Eswatini monarchy is witnessing challenges to its authority. Its masses are becoming less tolerant of patriarchy and the gross inequality they experience. More than half of Eswatini’s population lives in poverty and gender-based violence is escalating (government and domestic). In July 2021, Democracy Now ( spoke with a women’s rights activist in Manzini, Eswatini, one of the country’s largest cities. For security reasons her name was not disclosed and her face was concealed. The activist said “We’ve been facing the scourge of gender-based violence, but this situation will exacerbate.” She shared stories on the ongoing police brutality before and after the death of Thabani Nkomonye, a law student, believed to be killed by the police in March 2021. Poverty is extremely high and unemployment is in crisis. Challenges are present in areas of health, education, housing, to name a few. With regard to the violence of women the activist said “we are experiencing an increase of cases of violence against women. And some of these women have died, killed by enforcement officers who are maybe their husbands or lovers. And it has made Emaswatis lose trust in the justice system, because we have seen some of these women abused, and nothing happened. Instead, the law enforcement officers are promoted if they’ve abused a woman.” Al Jazeera has reported on October 12, 2021 that for weeks students are protesting, demanding better learning conditions and free education. They have been boycotting classes to show how serious they are about changing the educational system. Moreover, the students are also demanding political reforms. In response to the demonstrations, Eswatini has deployed its army and police to quell these pro-democracy actions.


By Any Means Necessary

Lucky Lukhele, spokesman for the pro-democracy Swaziland Solidarity Network, told the AFP news agency that the army presence will not deter the students. Al Jazeera continued to report that Lukhele said ‘17 students, including a seven-year-old, had been arrested during October 11, 2021 protests. The Communist Party of Swaziland said at least 10 protesters had been arrested, with one student shot in the leg.’ It has been also reported that 27 people were killed in confrontations with the police. Over the past several months Eswatini security formations have killed at least 70 protesters and arrested an excess of 600 people. Journalists who have reported these occurrences and the economic conditions of the country have been intimidated, arrested and beaten. There has been looting of businesses and property destruction, some belonging to the monarchy, King Mswati III. ( ( ( l-protests). In Eswatini for a number of years women have been challenging patriarchy and particularly its marital laws. South Africa’s Democracy Works ( reported in September 2019 that the High Court of Eswatini granted women the full right to be a legal person. This ruling enabled them to purchase and sell property, sign contracts without the consent of their husbands. Marital power, masculine cultural dominance, had granted rights to elder brothers and her husband’s uncles if he was deceased. Widowed women often were evicted from their marital home. In March 2021 the United Nations made numerous recommendations in significant areas of the embattled Eswatini nation. The Submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Eswatini ( covered the following areas: Freedom of Association and Assembly, Freedom of Expression and the Media, Rule of Law, Women’s Rights, Loss of Already Limited Right to Education due to Covid-related School Closures and Barriers to Education Faced by Pregnant Girls and Adolescent Mothers. The UPR stated that it “highlights concerns about Eswatini’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. It focuses on Eswatini’s failure to implement reforms and the recent, drastic deterioration in the human rights situation.” It continued to share that there has been no progress on essential human rights reforms. Below are a few the UPR recommendations: Eswatini should: ● Guarantee freedoms of association, assembly, and expression, including freedom of association on the basis of sexual orientation. ● Revoke the king’s 1973 decree on political parties, allow the registration and operation of political parties, and introduce multi-party democratic elections. ● Enact media laws that allow full freedom of expression as per international standards. By Any Means Necessary


● Ensure the independence of the judiciary, and revise or amend legislation providing excessive powers to the king. ● Repeal the law that criminalizes sodomy. ● police, prosecutors, and judges, and providing adequate victim support services. ● Prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, and sexual orientation and gender identity. ● Identify and fight discriminatory social and customary practices, and resolve conflicts between civil law and traditional law and values to ensure protection of women’s human rights. ● Commit to ensuring enjoyment of the right to health without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; decriminalization of same-sex relations. ● In order to ameliorate, mitigate, and correct the disruption of children’s right to education caused by Covid-related school closures, Eswatini should ensure all children enrolled in free primary education during the duration of the pandemic, can avail of additional periods of free education, as necessary to ensure they enjoy at a minimum in person education for the seven years currently guaranteed by law. ● Promptly adopt a national policy that outlines pregnant girls’ and adolescent parents’ right to education, and publish official regulations issuing clear instructions to schools to ensure they fully support adolescent parents’ to stay in school so that they complete primary and secondary education. Issue official regulations that provide clear instructions to schools on how to operationalize the policy, including how to ensure schools are environments free from stigma and discrimination, and adopting flexible approaches to ensure children who become parents are supported to stay in school, and complete primary and secondary education. We would be naive to consider Eswatini to be an anomaly. Colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy have been with us for centuries. Inequality has not always been the human experience and we must ask why egalitarian societies are extinct. Many so-called primitive societies, as well as pre-colonial societies have been described as egalitarian. In gatherer-hunter societies, both women and men shared most of the family and community work, including hunting and farming. Equality and equity in social, political and economic affairs were commonplace. Numerous West Afrikan societies exercised non-centralized distributions of power which benefited the entire community.


By Any Means Necessary

Women march in the 2016 traditional Reed Dance at the royal palace in Lobamba. On Thursday, in celebration of the country's 50th year of independence, King Mswati III declared that he was changing the name of Swaziland to eSwatini. Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images

James R. Coffey posted The Mbuti of Central Africa: The Only Known Egalitarian Society ( that “By the time the Mbuti culture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in central Africa was first encountered sometime in the mid 15th century, the concept of a true egalitarian society had virtually reached mythological proportions.” He stated that the Mbuti have no rulers or political structure. It is their religion and spirituality that ties them to the forest. Everyone, including children, have equal access to the resources of the forest community. Group decisions are made by consensus. This does not mean that there are no disputes or social tensions. Ridicule and shunning are punishments. Banishment is for something serious. According to Egalitarian Revolution in the Savanna: The Origins of a West African Political System by Stephen A. Dueppen, a case study of village settlement of Kirikongo in western Burkina Faso articulated that “over the course of the first millennium, this single homestead extended control over a growing community. The book argues that the decentralization of power in the twelfth century BCE radically transformed this society, changing gender roles, public activities, pottery making and iron-working. Egalitarian Revolution in the Savanna will be of interest to students of political science, anthropology, archaeology, and the history of West Africa.”

By Any Means Necessary


In her essay “Inequality: Why egalitarian societies died out?” (, Deborah Rogers said that “FOR 5000 years, humans have grown accustomed to living in societies dominated by the privileged few. And as a large body of anthropological research shows, long before we organised ourselves into hierarchies of wealth, social status and power, these groups rigorously enforced norms that prevented any individual or group from acquiring more status, authority or resources than others.” Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop argues in The Cultural Unity of Black Africa: The Domains of Patriarchy and of Matriarchy in Classical Antiquity that there were two cradles of society, the northern cradle represented by Europeans, and the southern cradle represented by Africans. The environment of the northern cradle was harsh, creating an aggressive behavior necessary for survival. The southern cradle’s environment had more resources so all of the community had more than sufficient food and other things to live, having their collective needs met. Below is a summary of Diop’s concepts: Southern Cradle-Egyptian Model: 1. Abundance of vital resources. 2. Sedentary-agricultural. 3. Gentle, idealistic, peaceful nature with a spirit of justice. 4. Matriarchal family. 5. Emancipation of women in domestic life. 6. Territorial state. 7. Xenophilia. 8. Cosmopolitanism. 9. Social collectivism. 10. Material solidarity – alleviating moral or material misery 11. Idea of peace, justice, goodness and optimism. 12. Literature emphasizes novel tales, fables and comedy. Northern Cradle-Greek Model: 1. Bareness of resources. 2. Nomadic-hunting (piracy) 3. Ferocious, warlike nature with spirit of survival. 4. Patriarchal family. 5. Debasement/enslavement of women. 6. City state (fort) 7. Xenophobia. 8. Parochialism. 9. Individualism. 10. Moral solitude. 20

By Any Means Necessary

11. 12.

Disgust for existence, pessimism. Literature favors tragedy.

Rogers says “Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau reasoned in 1754 that inequality was rooted in the introduction of private property.” A Diopian analysis suggests that this is an extension of the social Darwinist ‘survival of the fittest’ where northern cradle culture is individualist. Afrikans did not believe in private property, land belonged to the community, collective and communal, southern cradle. Rogers has asked “what can we learn from all this? Although dominance hierarchies may have had their origins in ancient primate social behaviour, we human primates are not stuck with an evolutionarily determined, survival-of-the-fittest social structure. We cannot assume that because inequality exists, it is somehow beneficial. Equality – or inequality – is a cultural choice.” Diop would agree. DJ Zhao says his “Ways of Life 3: Indigenous Anarchism” ( “African forms of democracy and egalitarianism exists independent of, and predates, modern Western progressive social movements. It is time we revived their histories from systematic erasure, because they may hold the key to our collective future.” Zhao, quoting Nigerian Historian Dr D. I. Ajaegbofa notes that among the Igbo, “The values of consultation, negotiation, cooperation, compromise, and consensus were recognized and applied in the decision-making process” In “On The Subject Of Kings And Queens: ‘Traditional’ African Leadership And The Diasporal Imagination” ( by Al-Yasha Ilhaam Williams, she writes “TRADITIONAL AFRICAN LEADERSHIP I have argued that, hereditary leadership is a problematic model to utilize for the empowerment of Africans of the Diaspora today… (A)n analysis of power and psychological orientation “towards reconciliation in the motherland” must consider as problematic the ‘recovery’ and reclaiming African authority in the form of hereditary and hierarchical power by emphasizing dynastic cultures, creating hierarchical religious structures or seeking the approval of present-day traditional rulers on the continent. Since most practitioners of African religions in the United States, especially the titled and elder ones, are themselves ‘first generation’ converts, it remains to be seen what will come of their attempts to forge a royal lineage. But, if as I have argued, hereditary authority is socially constructed, then it is necessary to take into critical account the social processes that created and maintain these institutions.” Williams states “further, if it is the case that traditional African leadership as such was never without control or accountability to the masses, and that colonialism affected a dictatorial modality that encouraged the exploitation of the masses, popular interest today should reexamine the principles upon which claims to royalty, rule and privileges are supported. This in turn will

By Any Means Necessary


require a reconsideration of the fascination, in the Diasporal Imagination, with a history of Africa that displays grandeur and power wielded by the few over the many, as well as the questioning of the hierarchies replicated in New World religious practices. On this account, perhaps African redemption is to be found not in the ‘return to royalty’ but to the democracy which makes a respected leadership possible.” What, though, must be recognized is that “democracy” without “sovereignty” is not freedom? The neo-colonialism in the minds of African peoples must be purged. Africans must have absolute authority over our consciousness, individual and collective. The growing global movement for the creation of a united Afrikan nation/state requires all of the formations to be clear ideologically. An “intersectional” lens to analyze all of the contradictions, all of the oppressions and exploitations must part of Our theory and practice. The subordination of women and other victims/survivors of the 1960s liberation movements cannot be repeated. Thomas Sankara said in his “Women’s Liberation and the African Freedom Struggle,” “Comrades, there is no true social revolution without the liberation of women. May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence. I hear the roar of women’s silence. I sense the rumble of their storm and feel the fury of their revolt.” “I know that my fight on this continent is a fight against patriarchy, poverty, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, FGM, rape, HIV/Aids, human and food insecurity, displacement, conflicts and the many atrocities we continue to face. I fight with hope for total liberation. And I know that with this identity, labelling myself as an African feminist, it is not to say that there is a sisterhood that represents and speaks on behalf of all of us. We are not homogenous, but we are connected.” ― Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave Pan-Afrikanist “what say you?” Ancestral blessings. Free the Land!!! References: Echoes of the Old Darkland: Themes from the African Eden. By Dr Charles Finch Return to the African Mother Principle of Male and Female Equality · By Dr. Oba T’Shaka


By Any Means Necessary

A Constitutional History of the Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland), 1960–1982 (African Histories and Modernities) by Hlengiwe Portia Dlamini Amnesty International Report 2020/21: The state of the world’s human rights

Bolivia: A Revolutionary Success Story by Nyuesi Jami

The ruling government of progressive Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party emerged as the winner of the subnational elections held in Bolivia on March 7. Photo: Agencia Boliviana de Información The nation of Bolivia is currently under the leadership of a political party called Movement Toward Socialism (MAS). The roots of MAS can be traced to the closures of the Bolivian Mining Corporation in the 1980s. Thousands of former miners became coca farmers almost overnight. These mostly indigenous workers joined unions and other social movements, organizing around their new less-than-favorable working conditions. Prior to that time, the coca

By Any Means Necessary


growing profession was largely occupied by the relatively small population of Afro-Bolivian workers, who had been forced into that industry since the 1800s. Around 1999, the coca growers’ movement formed the crux of a group of social movements which coalesced into the MAS political party. In the 2005 Bolivian general elections, the MAS candidate, Evo Morales, was elected president. The MAS government made tremendous strides in economic development, national sovereignty, women’s and indigenous rights, respect for the environment, and raising living standards, education levels, and health care coverage. The percentage of people living in poverty fell from 59.9 percent in 2006 when Morales came to power to 34.6 percent in 2017, with extreme poverty more than halving from 38.28 percent to 15.2 percent over the same period, according to government figures. For much of Bolivia’s majority-indigenous population in particular, the past 15 years marks the first time that they’ve lived above poverty and benefited from their country’s tremendous natural resources. In early 2019 I made comments on my radio show, R.A.P., about how remarkable it was that Bolivia was able to have the level of success it was having without having their government overthrown by the U.S. Empire. Then right on cue, the Empire sunk their tentacles into Bolivia. The 21st century CIA playbook calls for monitoring countries that refuse to bow to the Empire, looking for any kind of cracks in the armor. The U.S. forces have a coup plan in place for every independent nation in the world, just waiting for an opportunity to activate the plan. Evo Morales provided that opportunity in Bolivia when he disregarded the will of the people, and gave himself the power to disregard his term limits and run for another term in office in 2019. Even though he legitimately won that election, there was enough opposition to his candidacy, from both the left and the right, that the coup forces were able to pounce in that moment. The Bolivian military, at the behest of the U.S. empire, forced Evo to leave his office and seek asylum in Argentina. On Twitter, on July 25, 2020, Elon Musk boasted: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” This may have been an instance of tweeting under the influence, but Mr. Musk was clearly proud that he played some role in removing the government of Bolivia so that he and his capitalist cronies could have unfettered access to Bolivia’s enormous lithium reserves. The electric cars, computers, and industrial equipment of the future cannot function without Lithium, and Bolivia has more of it than any other place in the world. After the November 2019 coup, right-wing Senator Jeanine Áñez declared herself the interim president. A uniformed military officer draped her with the presidential sash, then she promptly presided over a military massacre that killed dozens of Morales’s indigenous supporters and granted immunity to the soldiers involved. In the ensuing eleven months, Áñez attacked human and civil rights and slashed state support for housing and food. She reopened Bolivia’s


By Any Means Necessary

economy to intensified economic exploitation for the benefit of transnational companies. And on top of all that, the coup government pushed a hard-right religious agenda that viewed indigenous people and their spirituality with contempt. After swearing herself in as president, Áñez declared with a mega-sized bible in hand, “The Bible has returned to the palace.” Despite all that repression, the people of Bolivia returned the MAS party to power in the October 2020 elections. Luis Arce, who was Evo’s finance minister, became the new president. That speaks to part of what explains the success that MAS had in 13 years in power, and why they were able to withstand the ferocity of the U.S. Empire and regain their control over the government. Arce was the single biggest influence on the policy decisions that led to Bolivia’s recent economic growth. Bolivia’s main money makers have been natural gas and mineral exports like zinc, but the MAS government has succeeded in diversifying the economy by investing in agriculture and industrialization. They nationalized some important industries, but also left most sectors private. They invested in health, education, and aid for the poor, but began with a fairly minimalist welfare state to ensure sustainability. This approach has been criticized as being too reformist by many people. However, it was a long-term approach, informed by a careful study of history - seeking to avoid the internal and external pitfalls faced by many other countries with socialist governments. Luis Arce has been quoted as saying: “we can’t have a revolution without sound macroeconomics.” Another aspect of Bolivia’s revolution which makes it so strong is characterized by the fact that in their 2009 constitution, they officially changed the name of the country from “The Republic of Bolivia” to “The Plurinational State of Bolivia.” They have used the letter of the law to create a society that embraces and defends its multicultural diversity, officially recognizing 36 indigenous languages and ethnicities, including Afro-Bolivian. Laws have been passed banning racial discrimination and requiring children to learn local indigenous languages. There’s also been a rise in the number of lawmakers who identify as indigenous. Many of Bolivia’s masses view rejecting racism as being a defining characteristic of socialism. What may be the most important aspect of Bolivia’s successful revolution has nothing to do with the government, it is the people. Bolivia’s citizenry is astonishingly organized and militant: Protests are a way of life. Workers and indigenous people waged a massive movement to force the coup government to have elections, after stalling them multiple times. If you talk to a blue-collar worker and ask if they’re part of any organizations, you’re likely to hear a long list of unions and associations in response, tied to their job, neighborhood, and school district. These aren’t just networks for collaboration, they’re also street armies and voting blocs.

By Any Means Necessary


The people of Bolivia are heavily invested in the success of their people’s movement turned revolutionary government. They are currently working on developing ways to link the national government with the various communal councils and other forms of people’s power. There is much discussion within MAS about policies that can decentralize power -- avoiding the concentration of influence around the leader of the party and, instead, training and expanding the next generation of MASistas to take on their political project. The MAS triumph over the forces of empire is truly remarkable. Let all the peoples of the world, and especially the Americas, keep our eyes on Bolivia’s future and form bonds of solidarity to ensure their continued success as well as our own.

Section 3: Political Prisoners & Prisoners of War Organizers in Philadelphia have joined the Jericho Movement by Saudia Durrant and Edward Onaci The City of Philadelphia is sitting on stolen Lenape land. It is over-policed and segregated. The communities here are some of the most neglected that a marginalized person may live in. Recognizing the conditions, several people stepped up to organize our people for liberation. Russell Maroon Shoatz and the Black Unity Council eventually formed the Black Panther Party (BPP) here. Mumia Abu Jamal was a BPP member in his youth. Maxwell Stanford, Jr./Dr. Muhammad Ahmad helped establish the Revolutionary Action Movement, which Queen Mother Audley Moore mentored. Malcolm X visited and spoke in Philadelphia regularly. And there is so much more. These various people fought for our liberation, and many of them paid the price for their involvement by being targeted by the state for incarceration, if not elimination. For these reasons, several people have come together to draw attention to and secure justice for political prisoners and prisoners of war in the United States, and specifically those from Philadelphia as part of the Jericho Movement. The Jericho Movement seeks to gain recognition that political prisoners (PPs) and prisoners of war exist within the United States of America. It came about in response to former PP Jalil Muntaqim calling for a march at the White House to demand justice for PPs and POWs. The Provisional Government of the Republic New Afrika and the New Afrikan Liberation Front used his call to organize a national movement. Ancestors Safiya Bukhari and Herman Ferguson led the way in organizing for our incarcerated revolutionaries around the country.1 Our 1


By Any Means Necessary

Philadelphia Nelson Mandelas are Joseph "Jo-Jo" Bowen, Fred Burton, Sr., Mumia Abu Jamal, and recently released Russell Maroon Shoatz.* All four represent the leadership of formations, such as the BPP and Black Liberation Army in this city. They organized to challenge fascists like former Police Commissioner and Mayor, Frank Rizzo, even as they recognized and worked to provide their people with food and safety. They organized around conditions similar to what we live with presently; and they continue to be true revolutionary examples. For example, Russell Maroon Shoatz, who turned seventy-eight in August, spent most of his life behind bars. Twenty-two years were spent in solitary because of his commitment to revolutionary struggle and the development of the men incarcerated with him. His legacy and contributions outside and within prisons has helped to mobilize a whole new generation of grassroots liberation organizing, especially centered on freeing political and social prisoners. That legacy exists for all four of the PPs that ground our work. As a local arm of a national movement, we envision organizing to directly support the health, well-being, and sustenance of our PPs and POWs while advocating for their release. Specifically, we've seen how using letter writing events helps people on the outside form direct relationships with our PPs. Prisons rob us of bodily connection and spiritual connection; but we mitigate against those harms when we write letters, send birthday cards, or send poems and other art to those on the inside. Even as we form and nurture those personal relationships, we also need to do fundraising and medical relief work, which clarify for us outside the extent that prisons seek to deteriorate PPs socially. Next, we understand that our people are sentenced to death by incarceration. It's a contradiction to try to frame it as "life without the possibility of parole." That's a death sentence and we're committed to reframing it as such. We know that the prisons use medical negligence as a strategy to dehumanize and disempower PPs. The fundraising work ensures that our people have commissary relief and that family members have the funds to visit their loved ones who may be displaced very far from those on the inside, as most state prisons are hours or a full day's drive away (and sometimes several states away) from the communities our PPs come from. Most importantly, we're interested in strategizing methods for getting our PPs out! Compassionate, or medical relief, when someone is diagnosed with terminal illness, going before a parole board, getting commutation or clemency—these are some of the main ways that we can get someone out. So we're interested in organizing a coalition of organizations that can develop a shared political analysis of the carceral system and then support the development of campaigns that challenge it. It's important to recognize some of the key organizations involved with initiating Philly Jericho. The Abolitionist Law Center, which works specifically on litigation, and the support and investigation of incarcerated folks has been instrumental. Some of the staff members and supporters have deep relationships with Russell Maroon Shoatz, with Joseph Bowen, Fred * The staff at BAMN sends its condolences to the family and loved ones of Baba Russell Maroon Shoatz who transitioned on December 17, 2021. Rise in Power, Baba Maroon!

By Any Means Necessary


Burton, and Mumia Abu Jamal. They have received direct mentorship from these PPs and POWs. These elders' mentorship has helped the young men and women adopt a principled political commitment that guides the work of the ALC and that sustains the ALC's support for other incarcerated people.2 The Amistad Law Project is also involved. It is a non-profit that represents incarcerated people and pushes for prison abolition and transformative justice, especially through litigation and lobbying.3 The Human Rights Coalition, which was birthed in 2001 by the families whose loved ones are incarcerated in the state of Pennsylvania, is also involved. They organize calls to prisons, they write up reports about abuse claims, track the use of solitary confinement and push to limit it. Two co-founders are Russell Maroon Shoatz and his daughter Theresa Shoatz. Theresa has helped inform the political analysis of why prison work is integral in any revolutionary movement.4 The Philadelphia chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots 2 4 3


By Any Means Necessary

Movement has been very dedicated to the establishment of the local Jericho chapter, as have Prison Radio, Mobilization for Mumia, and the Free Maroon Now Coalition. We welcome your involvement here in Philly, or anywhere that you may reside. You can get more information about how to support the work, get involved with a chapter, and more by visiting You can find the Philadelphia chapter on social media at @PhillyJericho.

Jericho Boston Keeps The Flame Alive by Alex Papali In March 1998, thousands of people gathered in Washington DC to march on the White House and launch something called ‘The Jericho Movement.’ Their aim was to make visible the scores of prisoners held by US federal and state governments for their political activities and beliefs- many since the 1960s and 1970s- and to grow a movement with the power to win their release. The Jericho website states that “the call was made in October of 1996 through the Provisional Government–RepubIic of New Afrika and the New Afrikan Liberation Front.” That call was answered by communities fighting for Native sovereignty, New Afrikan liberation, Puerto Rican independence, anti-imperialist and environmental defense work-- and allies of all stripes who gathered to raise a united flag of freedom. 23 years on, many of these political prisoners and their supporters have indeed managed to win release after years of brutal lockdown. Just last year, one of Jericho’s three co-founders, Jalil Muntaqim- affiliated with the Black Liberation Army and incarcerated since age 19 in 1971finally emerged after almost 50 years. Yet too many others remain caged, spread around the US empire’s worst dungeons. Jericho Boston (JB) was one of the first Jericho chapters. One staple of JB’s organizing has been educational forums featuring community dialogue with former political prisoners. We recognize that a key strategy the empire uses to suppress radical social movements is interrupting generational transfer of historical knowledge and the decision-making guidance elders pass to

By Any Means Necessary


less seasoned cadres. Over the years, we have hosted Rafael Cancel Miranda and Oscar Lopez Rivera from Puerto Rico, BLA soldier Sekou Odinga, Ramona Afrika from Philly’s MOVE family, Robert ‘King’ Wilkerson of the Angola 3 and AIM PP Leonard Peltier’s daughter Marquetta. They and many others have blessed us with hard-won lessons and perspectives that are central to our work today. Another central element for us is culture work. Radical author and saxophonist Fred Ho, Black Arts Movement pioneers the Last Poets, and political hiphop militants Dead Prez have all performed at JB events. We incorporate drum circles into our programming, especially during observations of Black August. This year, a study series of the book ‘We Are Our Own Liberators,’ was wildly successful, led by author Jalil Muntaqim soon after his release. We have partnered with Capoeira Angola crew Kilombo Novo on several occasions, and last August sponsored an Afro-Brazilian dance class as a way to root our work in diaspora cultural traditions that can speak to our community. We are fortunate to be in a part of the country with several movement elders and former PPs nearby, including Boston-based ex-PP Kazi Toure. The depth of this community was on full display in a life celebration for anti-imperialist prisoner Tom Manning, attended by figures from many radical movements following his 2019 death. As a new generation of water protectors, police brutality resistors and others swells PP ranks anew, we continue to fight repression and work towards the radical social transformations that will honor their immense sacrifice and achieve our collective liberation.


By Any Means Necessary

New Anti-Protest Laws Creating New Political Prisoners by Nyeusi Jami

Since January 2017, the U.S. has seen a wave of anti-protest bills introduced by state and federal lawmakers that would limit the right to protest. Since the George Floyd Uprising of summer 2020, eight states have passed laws cracking down on protest, according to the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, which tracks such legislation. Similar bills are pending in 21 states. It is important for us to grasp the concept that the global capitalist class maintains their rulership through their ability to predict and control the status quo. Their obsession with making the rich even richer is dependent on their being able to control the outcomes of their investments. That kind of control is maintained by their diligent commitment to snuff out any kind of By Any Means Necessary


movement that may threaten the status quo, through a combination of mass media propaganda, and brute force from the police and military. The prominent protest movements of recent years, including for racial justice, against the construction of oil and gas pipelines, campus demonstrations, and better conditions for workers, have given people hope that they can use their civil rights to protest and assemble in order to make life more bearable for the masses of the people. The capitalist class cannot tolerate that kind of optimism. And so, they have determined that they will blatantly violate the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and make it illegal to gather people together and protest injustice. New laws enacted in Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma and Tennessee this year increase penalties for blocking traffic, tearing down monuments and other unlawful behavior during a protest or riot. The bills typically define “riot” as a gathering of three or more people that threatens public safety. Recent anti-protest legislation restricts the freedom of assembly in a variety of ways. Some of these bills control where, when, and how people can assemble; others create extreme penalties for common protest tactics like blocking sidewalks or streets; some create liability for organizations and organizers for the criminal actions of others; and others limit liability for those who commit violent acts against protesters, such as driving over people with a vehicle. Many of the bills package together several of these provisions that undermine peaceful demonstrations. A 2020 bill which passed in Tennessee makes it a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a year in jail, to obstruct a sidewalk or street, which is where protests generally occur. Many bills target water and land protectors who protest near the site of fossil fuel pipelines by creating extreme penalties for either trespassing near a pipeline or interfering with the construction of one. In Louisiana, a bill passed in 2018 makes it a felony, punishable by five years in jail, to trespass near a pipeline, attempting to make it nearly impossible to protest close to pipelines or their construction sites. Many anti-protest bills include anti-riot provisions that cover activities that reasonable people wouldn’t consider to be rioting. In Florida, a new law enacted in 2021 makes it a felony to “riot.” However, “rioting” is defined in a manner that can capture peaceful protesters who are simply part of a larger crowd where a handful of individuals engage in property destruction. However, under the law no property destruction at all is required for those in a crowd to be guilty of “rioting,” just the “imminent danger” of damage. These provisions give a blank canvas to law enforcement and prosecutors, which they can use to paint any of our people as criminals. And in addition to that, we have seen that white supremacist militia forces have admitted to committing acts of violence during Black folks’ protests in order to foment chaos.


By Any Means Necessary

A 2017 bill enacted in Oklahoma creates liability of up to $1,000,000 for organizations that “conspire” with protesters that trespass near an oil and gas pipeline. Meanwhile, a bill that passed the House in Oklahoma in 2021 added “unlawful assembly” as an offense that can be prosecuted under the state’s RICO statute, meaning that any organizers who “attempt” to encourage individuals to engage in a demonstration deemed an “unlawful assembly” could be subject to felony penalties. Any person who simply reposts a flyer on social media could spend in years in prison for believing that the rights of the people and the Earth should be protected. A bill in Iowa, enacted in 2021, makes it legal for drivers to injure or kill someone who is standing in the road during a “protest, demonstration, riot, or unlawful assembly,” if they did so while exercising “due care.” In 2020 alone there were over a hundred instances of protesters being hit by the racist drivers of vehicles. Other bills, including a 2021 bill enacted in Florida, provide an exemption from civil liability to anyone who injures or even kills a protester as long as the victim was most likely participating in a “riot.” These bills are clearly giving the settlers carte blanche to kill Black and Indigenous people for seeking freedom. Josh Williams has been imprisoned since 2014 for lighting a trash can on fire during the Ferguson Rebellion. This wave of anti-protest laws can potentially create hundreds of more stories just like Josh’s. The good news is that there are dozens of these bills that have already been defeated through the organizing efforts of the people. However, the struggle continues. The forces of empire are not giving up. They will fight tooth and nail to take away our ability to rebel and resist. We have to be willing to fight even harder than they are.

By Any Means Necessary


Section 4: Culture Do it Fa’ the Culture .Unity.Ujima. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------by Ifetayo M. Flannery

It has been less debated that “unity” is something we actually need. We have established it is significant to strive towards. For example, Fred Hampton is often quoted saying, “The greatest power we have is people power- power to the people.” And Assata Shakur is noted saying, “We had to learn that we’re beautiful…We had to learn about Black Power. People have power if we unite. We learned the importance of coming together and being active.” Perhaps “unity” is something we already have. What has been most debated and reinforced for over a century among New Afrikans is that we need more unity to reach the ends of our political goals. What if we understand that unity is something we germanely have and really the obstacle to our political ends becomes what is the best way to organize that unity? As I reflected on the shared values, experiences, and cultural practices observable amongst African people all over the world I wondered more about the theme of UNITY. I have hardly met a New Afrikan who is a complete stranger in my life. This is primarily because of the steep preservation in a common cultural reality we share. Culture is the episteme of how we know what we know, what comes natural, what is “common sense,” what is uncontested, what symbols are recognizable to us, and who we do trust; culture is much more than food and clothes and festivals. The culture of New Afrikans, and broadly African people around the world, is what makes us an identifiable people group. It has not been destroyed by the Maafa nor is it fragile enough to be forgotten in any particular generation. When we “do it fa da culture!,” we are doing “it,” whatever that is, towards the immortality of our unity and agency in world history. In this issue, immediately following the annual ideological conference, we have the opportunity to be more intuitive, creative, and intentional about how and what we should be organizing around. In the spirit of Ujima—collective work and responsibility—we will find that the burden of responsibility is lessened by organizing with our greatest tool already in hand, our culture. Because a people’s culture allows them to be seen and understood by those who most intimately understand and participate in that shared culture, it is important for us to methodically study our own culture if we claim to be invested in the best outcomes for our people. To study another person’s culture is 34

By Any Means Necessary

to express the most profound respect for them. To critically engage, and not take for granted our common center of gravity, is most important in humanizing the people we wish to organize. As we are prepared to organize this season, when we attempt to assert our ideas on social media or even in the domains of our private quarters, I encourage us to think about what we have in common with the listener first. What are some of the needs of the person(s) I intend to organize or influence? Do my critiques bring us closer together or farther apart based on my word choice and how I have categorized our differences or shared experiences? How am I utilizing our existing “unity” (culture) to make the biggest impact towards our collective goal? “Unity is something we already have; organization is something we are striving towards.” -Ifetayo M. Flannery

Ancient KMT

By Any Means Necessary


New Afrika


Message to the Grassroots Malcolm X Detroit, Michigan, 1963 Selected Excerpt

What you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences. When we come together, we don’t come together as Baptists or Methodists. You don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Baptist, and you don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Methodist. You don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Methodist or Baptist. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Democrat or a Republican. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Mason or an Elk. And you sure don’t catch hell ’cause you’re an American; ’cause if you was an American, you wouldn’t catch no hell. You catch hell ’cause you’re a black man. You catch hell, all of us catch hell, for the same reason. So we are all black people, so-called Negroes, second-class citizens, ex-slaves. You are nothing but a ex-slave. You don’t like to be told that. But what else are you? You are ex-slaves. You didn’t come here on the “Mayflower.” You came here on a slave ship — in chains, like a horse, or a cow, or a chicken. And you were brought here by the people who came here on the “Mayflower.” You were brought here by the so-called Pilgrims, or Founding Fathers. They were the ones who brought you here. We have a common enemy. We have this in common: We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter, and a common discriminator. But once we all realize that we have this common enemy, then we unite on the basis of what we have in common. And what we have foremost in common is that enemy — the white man. He’s an enemy to all of us. I know some of you all think that some of them aren’t enemies. Time will tell. In Bandung back in, I think, 1954, was the first unity meeting in centuries of black people. And once you study what happened at the Bandung conference, and the results of the Bandung conference, it actually serves as a model for the same procedure you and I can use to get our problems solved. At Bandung all the nations came together. Their were dark nations from Africa and Asia. Some of them were Buddhists. Some of them were Muslim. Some of them were Christians. Some of them were Confucianists; some were atheists. Despite their religious differences, they came together. Some were communists; some were socialists; some were capitalists. Despite their economic and political differences, they came together. All of them were black, brown, red, or yellow. The number-one thing that was not allowed to attend the Bandung conference was the white man. He couldn’t come. Once they excluded the white man, they found that they could get together. Once they kept him out, everybody else fell right in and fell in line. This is the thing that you and I have to understand. And these people who came together didn’t have nuclear weapons; they didn’t have jet planes; they didn’t have all of the heavy armaments that the white man has. But they had unity. 36

By Any Means Necessary

I am an African By samanthaDee I am an african woman l possess beauty I am not hot unless you are talking about the heat of the feet of my forefathers as they walked mountains seeking for greener pastures I am an african woman I am beautiful I am not sexy like an image of the body controlling your eyes causing you to loose sight of reality as u escape with me to ur dreams I am more then my body structure,my shadow during the light... I am an african woman and beauty is my second name I am not concerned with being called pretty like the flowers on along side a scented garden of roses.. I am the rose with thorns on a strong stem ,pretty hurts I am much stronger even in my appearance of pretty I am an african woman I define the name beautiful See I am about to define where the beauty that is my 2nd name,the beauty that I am and possess flows from I intersect with rivers allowing the sounds of joy and they collide into the heart of the ocean Which explains the beauty,strength,weight and accommodation of my heart I have a heart as big as the love God has for us I am that rib from the left side of adams cage I am the beauty of the heating lightening that africa was struck with I am an african woman,I have beautiful as an aroma I don't smell like a big black african clay pot on an open fire as the sun burns I smell like an righteous woman that wakes up while its still night to prepare food for her household I am an african woman and I am the beauty substituting the design of nature I have the hair of the leaves on trees

By Any Means Necessary


I have the structure of stems even as they are attached through roots like the connection of our forefathers I have skin compared to the very dust God blew in to manufacture adam after earths creation In silence you hear my words Substituting the vowels and alphabets of the system Drum beats and communication like the very creation of africa dwell on my vocal cords

I am African By Taetso Tshegofatso Makutu I am an African My skin is black My hair is black I am black I take pride in my blackness For my colour is not a badge Of shame, but an identity, Yes black is my identify Africa is my identity I am the son of the black soil, A soil rich in history And blessed with diverse cultures Each unique in their own way, I am an African Africa a nation of the oppressed But slowly rising to conquer And claim what is theirs From the oppressors, Yes the sleeping sons of Jacob Are rising, slowly realising Their potential as nation , Yes my fellow Africans are rising The black nation is on its knees I'm a proud african,


By Any Means Necessary

Africa my roots Africa my identity Africa my ancestral land Africa my home Africa is who i am I am African

BAMN NEWS Be a part of the movement

SPEAK YOUR PIECE Do it fa’ the culture !! If you want to submit your poetry, short stories, social media editorials, or be interviewed for word on the street! to represent your cityEmail: Dr. Ife

By Any Means Necessary


Section 5: A Report on Our Conditions and How WE Fight Back The Nadir of Wages: Buy Now, Pay Later by Gus Wood The nadir chugs along steadily. Dominos Pizza announced last week that they will now be accepting Zilch—a buy now, pay later (BNPL) credit option—for payments on all of their products. In other words, people can divide their $20 pizza charge over six weeks of less than $4 per payment. Zilch joins a crowded field of BNPL companies that have flooded the consumer market in just a year: Paypal Pay-in-4, Quadpay (now named Zit), Afterpay, Affirm, Klarna, Sezzle, and others. Corporate retailers such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, and others promote these applications as an updated version of layaway (buying “on time”) with the “enticing” features of owning your purchase immediately rather than having to wait until its fully paid for, no credit check, no fees, and no interest on payments. The companies act as intermediaries between retailers and consumers, making most of their profit by charging merchants between two and eight percent of the purchase price. There are two factors pushing capital to embrace BNPL. First, the capitalist class is reacting to the absolute stagnation of wages over the last two decades. As more people everyday find it impossible to pay for skyrocketing prices (as housing costs and rents steadily rise during the COVID pandemic), more companies are offering BNPL to seduce us into over spending. In fact, wages have not met nor exceeded the cost of living or inflation since 1982. Particularly for Black people, we only make a fraction of what white workers make. Therefore, when wages stagnate, our purchasing power and overall wealth decrease. Additionally, our generational debt as the result of our super-exploited labor positions (in slavery, sharecropping and domestic work, factory work, mass incarceration, non-union retail and hospitality work, etc.) puts us at greater propensity to use these services to reallocate our income for purchasing everyday goods and services. Although many individuals have responded to the nadir of wages by quitting their jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.3 million people walked off the job in August 2021 alone), this wildcat strike act does not supplement the poor income needed to survive at the moment. Therefore, many people must turn to BNPL services until they secure better wages—a difficult task since very few livable wage jobs are currently available. The second factor is that the capitalist class wants to trap us in a debt cycle with their companies. Typically, if we do not have the funds, we do not make the purchase. Now, if we use BNPL, we are more likely to pay for things we cannot afford and keep our dollars flowing


By Any Means Necessary

through the company, effectively creating a dependent relationship between consumer and corporation. Like layaway, these “buy now, pay later” services disproportionately target the Black working classes. The companies hired bourgeois celebrities like rapper A$AP Rocky and actress Keke Palmer to promote the exploitative services as “cool” alternatives to credit cards. However, studies prove that these companies only deepen debt for people stuck in generational poverty. Besides hidden fees and late payment charges, BNPL also secretly reports to credit bureaus and can send your account to collections whenever they want to do so. More clearly, consumers have no protection from exploitative practices from BNPL. In November of last year, Australian researchers released a report that found over twenty percent of “buy now, pay later” users had to cut back on essential items like electricity, water, and food to catch up on missed payments. The UK released a report in February this year concluding that serious regulation on these applications must occur before increasing debt and poverty. Concurrently, these applications are dreadfully unresponsive to consumers when mistakes occur. According to the Better Business Bureau, Klarna, the largest “buy now, pay later” application in the U.S. with over 15 million customers, received over six hundred complaints—an extraordinarily high number for a company in that time span. Quadpay received 979 complaints to the BBB in that same time period. As low wage, service sector work becomes the dominant mode of production for the Black working classes under global finance capital, the consumer market will continue to find ways to extract surplus profits at the expense of our lives. BNPL is projected to be the most popular form of payment in the next five years, extending to car loan payments, student loan payments, and rent or mortgage payments. We must educate our people to the dangers of BNPL and how the capitalist class uses the applications against us.

By Any Means Necessary


Section 6: Notes on Revolutionary Theory & Practice “You are appreciated”: My memories of Afeni Shakur by Akinyele Umoja *This essay was first published in The Black Scholar on May 18, 2016

In 1973, I attended a meeting at a local church to establish an acupuncture clinic to help poor Black and Chicanos in Los Angeles overcome heroin addiction. I was 19 years old and invited to the meeting by one of my movement mentors, Mamadou Lumumba. A similar project had been implemented in the Bronx, New York at the Lincoln Hospital by members of the Young Lords, Black Panther Party and Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika. A young couple, Mutulu and Afeni Shakur, were the representatives from the Lincoln Hospital revolutionary collective and organizers of the meeting. After being introduced, I was like, “this ain’t the same Afeni Shakur I had been reading articles about in the Black Panther newspaper? The same sister who was part of the Panther New York 21 political prisoners? The same freedom fighter who passionately told her story in the book Look for me in the Whirlwind?” She seemed so down to earth. Even though she was a leader in our movement, Afeni treated me, a younger comrade, as a peer. She listened. She joked. No airs or arrogance. Years later, my comrade Kamau Umoja and I were visiting New York after a conference in Philadelphia. Kamau took me by Afeni and Mutulu’s apartment in Harlem. We came to the door which was adorned with a Black nationalist poster, “To Which Nation, Do You Belong?” 5 was posted on the Shakurs’ door. On a cold December night, we were enthusiastically invited in by Mutulu in the Shakurs’ quaint and culturally nurturing space. The house was decorated for Kwanzaa. The Shakur children, Tupac and Sekwiya, played as we talked about the Movement and caught up. I listened to Afeni and Mutulu attentively. While they were only a few years older than me, I knew they were movement veterans with rich experiences and commitment to our struggle. I would come to know the Shakurs better, particularly after they made trips to Los Angeles to involve our Los Angeles-based House of Umoja collective in the campaign to free Geronimo ji Jaga (Pratt) from captivity after he had been falsely incarcerated. The Shakurs spearheaded the National Task Force for Cointelpro Litigation and Research. The Task Force 5

The poster had a red, black, and green flag on the right and the U.S. flag on the left and asked the question “To which nation do you belong?” This poster was developed by the House of Umoja, a revolutionary nationalist collective, to promote Black self-determination. 42

By Any Means Necessary

was formed after white radicals discovered FBI documents proving a governmental conspiracy (Counter-Intelligence Program a.k.a. Cointelpro) to repress the Black Power and Anti-war movements, and other struggles for self-determination and liberation. Mutulu and Afeni spearheaded the Task Force by organizing the research and political organizing teams and coordinating the legal work that would ultimately lead to the freeing of Geronimo. They came to LA to get us and others organized to form a defense committee and get community support for the legal team. I got to know Afeni better on these trips when she would come to the West Coast. She came to coordinate with the attorneys, interview witnesses, organize the Task Force members, and do public speaking to raise awareness and funds. Afeni Shakur was a prolific speaker, one of the best in the Movement. She was passionate, motivational, and charismatic. She was the type of speaker who made you want to act. I used to tell folks, “I would want to jump off a mountain, if that sister told me after her speech.” Afeni could speak to the brother or sister on the street, as well as the intellectual. She could touch the feelings you had and speak in a language that the “folk” could identify with. A sensitive person, Afeni could tap into the pain and suffering our people were feeling and connect them to the campaigns of the movement. Afeni also loved our people’s culture. I remember when Bob Marley’s album Survival came out, she played it over and over. Afeni would constantly talk about how the movement needed our songs. We needed a soundtrack to the struggle. Besides being a great public speaker, Afeni was very personable and loved people, which made her an effective grassroots organizer in informal situations. She was a great storyteller, who could take simple situations and draw lessons from them. She could also network people, making connections and building relationships. Besides being a champion for the freedom of our political prisoners, Afeni was a fighter for the dignity and respect for Black women. I remember one time she attended a movement conference and made an observation. There was a session on “The role of women in the Movement.” There were only female participants in “the role of women” session. Afeni noted a lot of the male movement leaders were in a session on “(independent political) party-building.” She revealed, “Wow, can I be in that session? I’m not sure I know enough.” But she decided to attend the male dominated “party-building session.” After listening to the conversation, Afeni concluded, “Most of these men don’t know what they are talking about either…. I figured out I might as well stay and participate in this conversation. I had as much to offer as most of these men!” This story illustrates how Afeni was great at demystifying and challenging myths. The 1980s brought a significant decline in the activity of the Black liberation movement. This decline was primarily a result of government repression and our own internal contradictions. Many became cynical and discouraged. I lost track of Afeni during this period. I

By Any Means Necessary


heard rumors of addiction to crack cocaine. Like many of our family members during the 1980s, Afeni was a victim of the crack epidemic. During this period, I would develop a relationship with Afeni’s son, Tupac. Pac was 18 years old and became a member of the New Afrikan Panther group that I mentored along with others. In a private conversation, Pac revealed the pain he had from his Mom’s addiction. One of Tupac’s biggest joys was seeing Afeni’s recovery. Pac physically reunited his family in Dekalb County, Georgia after his being able to support his family through his music and acting. I was able to reunite with Afeni during this period. She thanked me for playing a role in her son’s life during the period she was challenged with addiction. She shared a commitment to healing, spiritual growth and transformation from her experience. Afeni and her sister “Glo” (Gloria Jean) formed a core of the family which included Pac, Sekyiwa, and Glo’s children and their extended family. Pac’s fame and wealth and Afeni’s recovery served to empower and bless this family and enabled them to pursue opportunities and confront obstacles. Some of my comrades are concerned about Afeni’s legacy being solely limited to being known as “Pac’s Mama.” On the other hand, one must note that many of the qualities that make Tupac Shakur a renowned artist is largely due to him being Afeni’s son. Pac’s passion, ability to identify and express the pain and suffering of “everyday” people, and his allegiance to the “underdog” directly comes from his mother. His ability to tell our stories and love the culture of our folks is another “Afenism” that made him loved by millions. Pac was truly a “Shakur.” What does that mean? The Shakurs love their ancestral culture, but love the experience of grassroots Black people. This is why “Thuglife” is not about crime and being a parasite in our community. “Thuglife” was meant to speak for the most oppressed in our community, the poor, incarcerated, those trapped in the underground economy, and challenged by addiction. Afeni’s life should encourage us to fight oppression. It should encourage us that through love we can conquer addiction and re-unite our families. Afeni will be missed. She will be powerful as an Ancestor. My life is certainly blessed because it was touched by her. Rise in Power Afeni Shakur


By Any Means Necessary

Collective Work And Responsibility - In Action by Watani Tyehimba

The following contains selected excerpts from an unpublished chronology by Watani Tyehimba, entitled A View From The House of Umoja. BAMN is highlighting this history to showcase a particular example of the Kwanzaa principle, Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility). Functional unity or coalition building between various organizations and individuals is a practical example of that principle. The following history illustrates how coalition work has been absolutely essential to the successes and the resistance of the Black Liberation Movement and the New Afrikan Independence Movement. Coalition building By Any Means Necessary


remains of the utmost importance today. All organizations that believe in liberation for the various nations swallowed up by the empire (New Afrikans, Puerto Ricans, Chicanos, all Indigenous nations, and others) must work together to strike blows against imperialism and colonization. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is honored and eager to continue in this legacy of functional unity through coalition building. 1975 The Church Committee, a precursor to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, investigated intelligence gathering for illegality by the CIA and FBI after certain activities had been revealed through the Watergate affair. It also investigated COINTELPRO. The committee published 14 reports on the formation of U.S. intelligence agencies, their operations, and the abuses of law and of power that they had committed. They made recommendations for reform; some were implemented. With the Church Committee investigations as a backdrop, Afeni and Mutulu Shakur started the National Task Force for COINTELPRO Litigation and Research (NTFCLR) as an independent investigative arm for all of the Black Liberation Movement to serve as a unified front to assist the work of organizing around and defending political prisoners (PPs) and prisoners of war (POWs) across the U.S. The NTFCLR was a broad-based coalition of conscientious activists, lawyers, law students, legal investigators, political activists and victims of the government’s illegal spying and domestic violence against the Black Liberation Movement. A COINTELPRO legal clearinghouse for legal research and national index on legal suits violating citizens’ civil liberties was established. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was among the tools utilized to identify government and law enforcement agents, infiltrators and agent provocateurs that were spying and using low intensity warfare tactics against the movement and the various defense committees, such as Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur, RNA 11, Geronimo ji Jaga, etc. In some cases, once an agent was identified, they were interviewed and asked to give an affidavit about their role and others. In the NTFCLR leadership were several individuals from various organizations that would later become founding members of NAPO and MXGM. From the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA), in addition to Mutulu Shakur, were Ahmed Obafemi as a national coordinator and Chokwe Lumumba as one of the attorneys. Los Angeles House of Umoja/Afrikan People’s Party (HOU/APP) cadre represented Southern California. As a leading member of the HOU/APP, I was appointed to the position of Southern California representative, working with a specific concentration around Geronimo ji Jaga’s case


By Any Means Necessary

with the Geronimo Pratt Defense Committee, which included former Southern California BPP members Somayah Shurumi Kambui Khaliq and Roland and Ronald Freeman, all survivors of the Dec. 8, 1969 SWAT assault on the BPP as well as BPP members Long John Washington and Njeri Khan. During the post-conviction phase of Geronimo’s case, the NTFCLR developed a legal strategy that would ultimately lead to the vacating of the wrongful murder conviction. The NTFCLR believed that by utilizing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the FBI would be forced to release confidential surveillance documents that would corroborate Geronimo’s alibi, proving that he was in Oakland at the time of Olsen’s murder. The information obtained through FOIA also would be helpful in discovering agents working on his legal team and those agents that were still trying to manufacture new charges. The NTFCLR obtained attorneys, specifically Stuart Hanlon, to assist with Geronimo’s case. Geronimo’s original murder trial attorney, Johnnie Cochran, assisted Stuart Hanlon over the years, rejoining the legal team following the notoriety he received in the acquittal of O.J. Simpson. The international and national support Geronimo’s case received was essential in exposing the conspiracy against him, the BPP, and the Black Liberation Movement. Former BPP member Michael Zinzun, Kwaku Duren and Anthony Thigpin spearheaded the founding of the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA), in Los Angeles. HOU/APP cadre were founding members and held key positions in CAPA. Akinyele and Makungu represented the defense committees of Randal Miles and Gary Tyler and I helped to develop the investigative and security wing. Almost from CAPA’s inception, the LAPD infiltrated and placed it under surveillance. The techniques used by the LAPD in spying on and undermining the organization closely resembled those used by the FBI’s COINTELPRO. I was a member of CAPA’s investigative team that helped to reveal infiltrators and illegal spying by the LAPD’s Public Disorder Intelligence Division (PDID) against local community grassroots organizations. This investigation resulted in the ACLU winning a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit on behalf of individuals and organizations. As a result, the LAPD disbanded PDID, but it was soon replaced with the Anti-Terrorist Division. 1976 HOU/APP Ife Chapter started the Black Political Prisoner Defense Alliance (BPPDA) to work with a variety of PP cases: Geronimo ji Jaga, Assata Shakur, RNA 11, Doc Holiday, Gary Tyler, Randal Miles and Muhammad Abdil. The BPPDA included some local cases and others that the NTFCLR were not dealing with and this gave us an opportunity to coalesce with other formations on the West Coast that we may not have historically worked with.

By Any Means Necessary


The National Black Student Association (NBSA) was formed with APP and PG-RNA student organizers around the U.S. Kojo Livingston (PG-RNA and Morehouse student) was the national coordinator. Akinyele Umoja (HOU/APP) was the Western Regional coordinator. Tony (Menelik) Van Der Meer was the Eastern Regional coordinator. NBSA became a recruiting vehicle for the PG-RNA and APP. In LA, Akinyele began to organize and recruit at Cal State LA and Makungu continued organizing at Cal State Northridge. Mutulu Shakur initiated discussions amongst some of the younger, radical activists, foot soldiers and quiet warriors from HOU, APP, PG-RNA, NTFCLR, New York BPP, and Take The Land cadre (TTL) about consolidating into a grassroots people’s organization that would represent our soldiers and advance our movement for self-determination, up to, and including the right to land, state power and the right to secession as an independent New Afrikan nation in the territories defined by the Republic of New Afrika. We agreed to honor the PPs and POWs, organize a movement to struggle for their release and the return of our exiles. We also agreed upon the necessity of organizing the New Afrikan Independence Movement in the National Territory, shifting the emphasis from the northern cities, as well as organizing security units in the National Territory to defend us from the white right-wing military assaults. Makungu Akinyela and I traveled to New Orleans to work with sister Dara Abubakari and Kamau Ngumi of PG-RNA and AIMA. We left New Orleans, traveling to my hometown of Natchez, Miss., and eventually to Jackson, Miss., to help President Imari Obadele and the PG-RNA with the first National Black Elections to be held in September. 1977 One of the resolutions from the APP’s August National Central Committee meeting was to initiate a mass movement around revolutionary culture, with more emphasis on our people’s historical struggle in North America, South America, and the Caribbean. It was decided to promote August as a month of struggle by scheduling events and actions based upon the numerous events that have occurred in August (the Watts Rebellion, Nat Turner Rebellion, Marcus Garvey’s birthday, etc.) culminating on Aug. 21 (the day of George Jackson’s assassination). There also was a proposal to build a broad Black/Third World Anti-Imperialist Movement called the August 21st Movement. NTFCLR and HOU/APP began to publicly work with Prairie Fire Organizing Committee (PFOC), and later with May 19th Communist Organization and its mass association, John Brown Anti-Klan Committee, (white anti-imperialist organizations supportive of self-determination of oppressed nations) as well as the August 21st Coalition (a prison solidarity coalition formed in the fall in response to the leadership from Black prisoners inside San Quentin and the APP’s proposal to build a broad Black/Third World Anti-Imperialist Movement). On Aug. 21,


By Any Means Necessary

HOU/APP participated in a major demonstration in front of San Quentin to protest “white supremacist attacks on black prisoners.” 1978 The HOU/APP, BPPDA and NTFCLR assigned me to work with attorneys Lewis Myers and Stuart Hanlon as an investigator/paralegal on Geronimo ji Jaga’s various appeal issues in the Superior Courts of Los Angeles and to interview and obtain affidavits from witnesses and agents. During my legal visits with Geronimo at San Quentin – while he was still in solitary confinement in the hole – ji Jaga asked the NTFCLR and HOU/APP to not only support him, but also support the struggles of other soldiers in the California prison system. One case in particular was that of San Quentin death row prisoners Ernest “Shujaa” Graham and Eugene “Latif” Allen. The cadre agreed, and we began traveling to the San Francisco Bay area in support of these brothers. We also hosted community-based educational forums about their plights. It was the ongoing work with Afeni Shakur and Mutulu Shakur of the NTFCLR that put me and other HOU/APP members in contact with former BPP members and activists in the San Francisco Bay area who were supportive of Geronimo. This included Ashaki ji Jaga, Kalima Aswad, Halimah Shabazz and Sukari Gaulden (wife of [Black Guerilla Family (BGF)] leader Khatari Gaulden). We also networked with Shaka and Ayanna At-Thinnin in the San Francisco Bay area. In May, as a result of Geronimo ji Jaga’s prison lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections, he was released to San Quentin’s mainline, after being illegally kept in the hole on death row for eight years. On June 17, Geronimo released a statement from San Quentin, published by the NTFCLR, where he states: “The prison struggle is but a small part of the overall struggle for liberation.” Geronimo’s statement was a reflection of the ongoing work of the NTFCLR and others to connect the prison struggle to the BLM and NAIM. As a consequence of COINTELPRO, many political activists were sent to prison and began to organize around prisoner rights and developed a political analysis that connected the struggle on the inside to the outside movements for Black self-determination. On Aug. 1, Khatari Gaulden, a prominent leader of the BGF after the assassination of W.L. Nolan and George Jackson, died due to the denial of crucial external medical treatment following an accident on San Quentin’s recreational yard while playing football. His death in conjunction with that of Jonathan and George Jackson, James McClain, and William Christmas during the month of August is what created the Black August commemoration the following year inside of the California prison system.

By Any Means Necessary


On Sept. 9, the HOU, APP, PG-RNA, NTFCLR, Black United Front (BUF), National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), National Black Student Association (NBSA), and the Harlem Chapter of BPP were among the 10 major Black organizations that came together to form the National Black Human Rights Coalition (NBHRC). I was selected to be the western regional coordinator, Chokwe Lumumba represented Detroit and Kwame Kalimara represented Chicago. As representatives of the NBHRC and the NTFCLR, we were able to establish many contacts with revolutionary prisoners in California and across the country. Under the guidance of NCBL attorney, Lewis Myers, the HOU/APP began working with the North Mississippi Rural Legal Services (NMRLS) and the United League (UL) of Mississippi, headed by Alfred “Skip” Robinson. We invited Robinson to speak at our forums and organized speaking tours throughout Southern California about the work of the UL. 1979 The August edition of Arm the Spirit, a prison movement newspaper, edited by Kalima Aswad and published out of Berkeley, Calif., in its August edition displayed a headline, “Honor Fallen Black Freedom Fighters – Build Black August Month.” This edition also had a message from brothers in the hole at San Quentin and from the editorial board explaining the push for Black August. While in the San Francisco Bay area on behalf of the NBHRC, working with the Ad Hoc Committee in Solidarity with Black August and preparing for an Aug. 25, 1979 demonstration outside of San Quentin called “Support the Black Liberation Movement in the Prisons and on the Streets,” I visited Geronimo and became more aware of the details of brothers behind the walls that were launching a Black August commemoration on behalf of their fallen comrades. The HOU/APP fully supported this movement and felt it was a great way to promote a secular Black resistance culture throughout the BLM and NAIM. The Black August commemorations inside the prison system were consistent with the APP’s 1977 NCC resolutions to make August a month of struggle. In August, Akinyele Umoja visited the UL in Holly Springs, MS and assisted in organizing during an election in Marshall County. Akinyele was also present when Skip Robinson was arrested for disorderly conduct, and wrote the press statement the morning after Skip Robinson was released from that bogus arrest, which many believed was designed to disrupt Black voter mobilization. Robinson asked Umoja to move to MS, but Mamadou Lumumba thought it was premature for our west coast cadre at that time. On Nov. 2, Assata Shakur was liberated from Clinton State Prison in New Jersey. There was not a shot fired nor a life lost. The liberation was carried out with military commando


By Any Means Necessary

precision. The Black Liberation Army (BLA) eventually claimed responsibility for this daring liberation. On Nov. 5, under the leadership of the NBHRC, more than 5,000 people converged on the United Nations in New York for Black Solidarity Day and called for self-determination of the Black nation. A delegation of NBHRC leaders, including Queen Mother Moore, Chokwe Lumumba and Muntu Matsemila, met with Salim Ahmed Salim, the Tanzanian Secretary General of the United Nations. They presented him with a position paper and petitions charging the U.S. government with human rights violations and genocide against Black people within the U.S. This statement was read before the general assembly of the United Nations. A BLA communiqué also was read at this gathering, stating that Assata Shakur was liberated to coincide with Black Solidarity Day and to send a message that the Black Liberation Army (BLA) had the audacity and capabilities to make this happen. 1980 Activists, foot soldiers and quiet warriors from pro-independence formations, including the APP, PG-RNA, HOU, NBHRC, NTFCLR, Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America (BAAANA) and New Afrikan Women’s Organization (NAWO) continued the discussions started in 1976 about the needs of the movement. During this time, there was a serious crisis in the New Afrikan Independence Movement. The APP and PG-RNA were both suffering from divisions within their respective organizations. At the time, there were two PG-RNA formations. The numbers of PPs and POWs were increasing without activist’s campaigns for their release and support during their captivity. Former HOU members in Los Angeles left the APP and continued our organizing efforts through the NBHRC, NTFCLR, Afrikan Institute of Martial Arts (AIMA), New Afrikan Security Union (NASU), New Afrikan Scouts Organization (NASO), NAWO, CAPA and other fronts and coalitions. HOU members Kamau Umoja, Akinyele Umoja, Makungu Akinyela and myself, along with Obafemi and Dr. Shakur, while working with Shaka and Ayana At-Thinnin of the Black August Organizing Committee in Oakland, Calif., began to promote and commemorate Black August Resistance outside of the California prison walls and throughout the BLM and NAIM. We readily embraced the principles of: (1) Unity; (2) Self-sacrifice; (3) Political education; (4) Physical training; and (5) Resistance. Once Black August escaped the prison walls, other significant people and events connected to the month of August were added. I included Black August practices as a part of AIMA and NASU training.

By Any Means Necessary


On Oct. 12, HOU, NBHRC, NTFCLR, NCBL, NAWO and numerous community organizations, including Us, sponsored a major fundraiser and educational event for Geronimo ji Jaga at Washington High School’s auditorium in South Central Los Angeles. Minister Louis Farrakhan was the keynote speaker; Victor Goode (NCBL), Muntu Matsemila (chair of NBHRC,) attorney Lewis Myers and Geronimo’s wife Ashaki also spoke. As the NBHRC western regional coordinator, I presented a community message in the program booklet, addressing a united struggle to support and free all PPs and POWs in the U.S. (More than 500 supporters of Geronimo attended this event.) 1982 On Aug. 21, the National Committee for Defense of New Afrikan Freedom Fighters held a New Afrikan Freedom Fighter’s Day march and rally in Harlem, calling for land and independence for New Afrika, freedom of all POWs, and non-collaboration with U.S. government agencies. Speakers included Chokwe Lumumba and Imari Obadele (PG-RNA), Ben Chavis (National Black Independent Party), Serge Mukendi (PAC of Azania) and Jose Lopez (Puerto Rican Independence Movement). The Revolutionary Armed Task Force of the Black Liberation Army sent a communiqué in support of the event, introducing the freedom fighters, their goals, objectives, allies and reasons they should receive support. 1984 May 19-20, after several years of discussions and coalition work, some of the activists, foot soldiers and quiet warriors from HOU, APP, NASU, PG-RNA, NBHRC, NAWO, NTFCLR, and BAAANA agreed upon the formation and surfacing of the New Afrikan People’s Organization (NAPO), with NASU as the security wing, NAS as the youth wing, and By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) as its official newspaper. Dr. Mutulu Shakur was a major player in pulling the various people together for the new organization that eventually became NAPO. Dr. Shakur and Abiodun were underground during NAPO’s official founding and not present at the founding convention, but they are founding members and need to be recognized as key persons in the development of NAPO and MXGM. NAPO is a cadre organization that believes that New Afrikans/Black people in North America are a nation within a nation. We believe the captive Black nation in North America, which we call New Afrika, is a colonized nation and has all of the rights of any other nation, including the right to self-determination, self-defense, land and independence. Our ideology is Revolutionary New Afrikan Nationalism. We are Pan Afrikanist, Pro-Socialist, Anti-Imperialist, and Internationalist. NAPO is dedicated to organizing politically for human rights, selfdetermination and liberation of the New Afrikan nation.


By Any Means Necessary

Our nation’s land mass is the land that Black people in North America have lived on for a long time, which we have worked and built upon and which we have fought to stay on, and buried our ancestors on. This is the landmass in the southern U.S. that was identified by the PG-RNA in 1968 as South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

By Any Means Necessary



BAMN Staff: Makungu Akinyela Noel Didla Ifetayo M. Flannery Nyeusi Jami Edward Onaci kwame-osagyefo kalimara Alan Takeall Gus Wood Contributors: samanthaDee Saudia Durrant Taetso Tshegofatso Makutu Alex Papali Watani Tyehimba Akinyele Umoja

Designed by: The Center for Ideas, Equity, and Transformative Change


By Any Means Necessary

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.