Monday, July 20, 2020

Portland: A Harbinger of Things to Come?

Masked men in unrecognizable police uniforms jump out of unmarked vans and grab an activist who has been involved in demonstrations against a repressive state. That person is disappeared. Is this Pinochet's Chile, apartheid South Africa or a scene from a John Clancy novel?

No, this is happening in Portland, Oregon, a major U.S. city. The culprits apparently are agents of the federal government who have essentially invaded the streets of that city over the objections of the mayor and the governor. The goal? To "restore order" because, according to U.S. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, the state and local authorities refused to do it themselves.

We are not surprised. When we launched the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), we were quite clear the trajectory of U.S. economic and political decline suggested the ruling classes would inevitably use violence and repression, as well as assault traditional liberal rights, to maintain control.   

What we also have related in our years of work is the tactics being deployed in Portland are not new. They have been perfected by U.S. forces and repressive states trained for decades by U.S. police, military and intelligence agencies. Now, because the ruling classes increasingly see liberal democracy and the rule of law as an impediment to their minority capitalist rule, the repressive practices normally reserved for the natives of the global South and for Black and Brown communities in the metropole are being used against insurgent white dissidents in Portland—and soon coming to a community near you.

That is why we say blowback is the inevitable consequence when social forces in the United States are silent or have the luxury of not being aware of the criminality of the U.S. state abroad.

No compromise with evil and no retreat from the enemies of collective humanity are the watchwords and slogan of BAP's campaign work. We expect many more Portlands, but we also expect fierce opposition from the people. That is why we are organizing and building alternative power.


BAP Coordinating Committee member Vanessa Beck and BAP member Erica Caines—both of the BAP-Baltimore chapter—spoke July 16 to the National Network for Justice about how the Trump administration's program, Operation Relentless Pursuit, is further militarizing several U.S. cities, including Baltimore. They also discussed how this program is connected to the broader U.S. agenda to repress colonized communities in the United States and around the world.

In his latest article for Black Agenda Report, BAP's U.S. Out of Africa Network Coordinator Tunde Osazua asks, "If AFRICOM's mission is to fight terrorism, then why have terror attacks increased five-fold since the US began its military occupation of the continent?"

A presentation BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka gave to the online Electoral School of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, held June 12-14, has been transcribed. Read "Building Power to Win Is the Revolutionary Approach to 'Bourgeois Electoralism.'"

Ajamu also was interviewed by WPFW's "Voices With Vision" radio program co-host Craig Hall about the play-turned-movie, "Hamilton," and how it is intrinsically connected to the U.S. state's attempts to stifle revolutionary fervor amid its crisis of legitimacy. The interview starts at 44 minutes and 53 seconds into the hour. Then Ajamu discussed "Hamilton," as well as anti-Trump groups like the Lincoln Project and Biden's real chances for the presidency with Sputnik Radio's "Political Misfits".

Black Agenda Report Executive Editor and BAP member Glen Ford writes, "...the movement must create a political crisis for the ruling oligarchy by agitating to actually end their rule."

Watch BAP Coordinating Committee member and Black Agenda Report Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley discuss with writer Danny Haiphong the developments related to the debate about free speech that has surfaced amid the mass uprising against white-supremacist policing in the United States. Margaret also appeared on the Freedom podcast to discuss the latest resurgence in demands for statues to be taken down and the connection to white supremacy.

In an interview with Black Agenda Radio, professor Clarence Taylor railed against the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus for protecting police, not people.

Writer Ann Garrison spoke with an expert on how the United States has helped to maintain a neo-colonial relationship with Africa through agricultural technology.

  • July 20: Join Ujima People's Progress Party in an online study at 8:30 p.m. as it kicks off a critical review and discussion on Malcolm X's pivotal speech, "The Ballot or The Bullet". The plan of action he launched in 1964 is relevant today for the African/Black community and for all working-class communities that have supported the capitalist Democratic Party, but have reaped no material value for such support. Register here.
  • July 20: BAP member organization Ujima People's Progress Party will continue distributing food, supporting community sustainability with window-box garden creations and giving away books for African/Black children through the #LiberationThroughReading program. For information, call 443.826.9654 or send a message to the organization's Facebook page.
  • July 21: The recent U.S. uprisings against police violence have shaken the halls of power. Ajamu and other speakers join U.S Senate candidate Lisa Savage (G-Maine), who signed the BAP 2020 Candidate Accountability Pledge, to discuss how to win real structural progress toward freedom and justice. Register here.
  • July 25: Register for "International Meeting: No to the New Cold War," featuring Ajamu, historian Vijay Prashad and other prominent speakers, who will discuss the U.S. drive toward a war with China.
  • The Black Latina Girls and Women Fund was created by BAP member organization AfroResistance, a Black Latinx women-led organization in the service of Black Latinx women in the Americas. This fund offers financial support by giving money directly to Black Latinx womxn, girls and femmes who are experiencing severe financial need across the region, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether in Brazil, Colombia, United States or Panama, Black Latinx girls, women, and femmes are organizing in their local communities in the fight against several forms of state violence. You can donate here and people are encouraged to use the hashtag #BlackLatinaGWFund.
  • Ask your local, state and federal candidates to sign BAP's 2020 Candidate Accountability Pledge. If you are a candidate, distinguish yourself from the other corporate warmongering candidates by signing the pledge.
  • Sign up to join BAP's U.S. Out of Africa Network to receive the bi-weekly AFRICOM Watch Bulletin in your inbox.
  • Make sure you keep up with us throughout the week by subscribing to our YouTube channel, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Instagram and Twitter.
  • We are raising $30,000 to help expand our membership support capacity and revamp our website. Donate and share our GoFundMe campaign with your networks today.
No Compromise, No Retreat!

Struggle to win,
Ajamu, Brandon, Dedan, Jaribu, Margaret, Netfa, Paul, Vanessa, YahNé

P.S. Freedom isn't free. Consider giving today.
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