Young people and others are in the streets shouting #BlackLivesMatter – in direct confrontation with the armed agents of the state. Some are saying that they just want to be heard. Others talk of justice, freedom, fighting, violence and we even hear rumbling of war. So we have to put our perspective forward. We want to put our line out there in clear unambiguous language that everybody can understand.
As we see it, African people everywhere are at war. This is not a conspiracy theory, we are not guessing or trying to be sensational. Whether we know it or not, whether we accept it or not, African People are at war. This is an objective truth, this is the condition we are in. While some would like to deny the existence of this war, we are trying to win it. Our strategy is to win the war.
We do not fight for civil rights and the current unrest in the USA is not a fight for civil rights. The media and the sell out leaders want the demonstrators to reduce their demands to a civil rights issue that can be addressed by changing the way police are trained, or changing public policy. This is wrong headed because this is not a civil rights issue. This is about the right to live and that is a human right. It is the same fight to live being fought in Haiti, the Congo, Zimbabwe and Cuba. Everywhere we are fighting for the right to be, the right to exist the right to survive in a capitalist world. In short we are not fighting for laws, we are fighting for our lives.
What is happening on American streets is one aspect of the ongoing fight of African People around the world. Even though it is slightly different in each country, in essence we are all going through the same thing. In Haiti thousands and thousands of people are in the street. They have been in the street for close to a year. They are fighting to be free. They don’t want to change the law. They are fighting to change the government that makes the laws. Just days ago armed police thugs were murdering them at will in the villages where they live. Just like people in the US they have been fighting murder by police for decades. Stopping murder by police is a permanent aspect of the Haitian fight for freedom. The same thing is going on in every country Africans live in. We have to fight police because they are the tools that the governments use to exploit and oppress us.
In Guinea Bissau, this fight has reached the point where the Party of the people (PAIGC) is on the verge of seizing power. To keep the puppets in power, the police and military closed the national assembly, intimidated elected officials and suspended the Supreme Court. In Guinea Bissau we have to fight just to vote.
In Haiti in Guinea Bissau and the USA it is all the same struggle. In Haiti and Guinea Bissau they combat the police firepower to get in power. In America we fight police power just to say, “enough is enough.”
In every case African people have taken up this fight against police because they are the armed force that is waging war against us. We fight them because they are killing us and we cannot allow the enemy to kill us with impunity. But police brutality is only one cause of death in this war. Poverty, disease, drug addiction, exploitation at every turn, mass incarceration, oppression of our women and mis-education of our children are also weapons in the arsenal of our enemies. To this must be added actual assault by military and paramilitary agents of capital, they invade our nations, they try to starve us with sanctions and when these thing fail they resort to assassination and invasion.
They kill us to keep control of our material and human resources. Almost every country we live in is controlled by the capitalist and imperialist, and in everyone of them the enemy has put people who look like us in charge to manage our suffering. In the US we have Black Mayors and City Councilors, in Haiti and Africa we have Black presidents, and Governors. There is no difference between a governor and a mayor and a president. They all serve the interests of capital.. All of these so-called leaders are working for our enemies.
These are the people in charge of the police and the armies, national guard, militias and gangs. Neo-colonial governments direct the police and military forces to patrol our communities and shoot us down in the streets. They are waging war on us. If someone is waging war against you, you are at war. Choosing not to fight is to choose to die. It is a form of suicide. We will not commit suicide. We are at war. Not only are we fighting back, but we intend to win this war.
Africans organize to get power and gain control of our lives. We have to take power from the agents of imperialism. In some places it may be possible to seize power through the vote. This is how we came to power in Venezuela. We are trying to do this in Ghana and Guinea Bissau. But we know that our enemies will not just accept our victory at the polls. We have seen them come too many times and overthrow people’s power achieved through the vote. So even victory at the polls is a declaration of war that the enemy will not accept. They will invade, they will install puppet governments, they will assassinate our leaders and destroy our organizations.
In most cases the only way to get rid of these puppet governments is to fight another war of liberation. This war has to defeat both the external and internal enemy. It will be the last war and if we do not win it, we will perish.
So in our perspective every nation is a battlefield. Some have been liberated, others are contested. Others still, are firmly in the hand of the enemy. The United States is a country where 50,000,000 Africans live, that is very much in the hands of our enemies. In fact, if the enemy is a snake, the USA is the head of the snake. The current demonstrations in the US are part of the fight for freedom and unity in Africa, the Caribbean, South and Central America. They are fighting the body of the snake that crushes them in its powerful military coils. They look to Africans in America to do our part, which is to cut the head off the snake.
This is our analysis. We are at war with capitalism and imperialism. We will only be free when we win this war. We need all the people to get into an organization that wants to help us fight this war and win this war. By bringing these organizations together. We will win this war.
Some people think that war is just fighting. But the truth is that war is a way of living when you are being attacked and under siege. War is a struggle that consumes culture. It turns everything into either a tool of the people or an instrument of the enemy. Food, water, music, art, industry, government and mass media are either used to help the people or to oppress and control the people. Most of the war effort is not spent fighting. They deprive you of food to stop you from fighting.
We have to eat while we are fighting for our freedom. We have to teach our children, go to work and maintain some kind of home. All of this is part of the war. We can’t wait until the enemy is defeated before we take responsibility for our own wellbeing. We don’t wait until victory to become self-reliant. Instead we become self-reliant to insure victory. We organize our communities and provide for our needs so that we can effectively confront the enemy. War is a process that includes all aspects of life. Sure the most dramatic aspect is the point of direct confrontation, but this is the result of a culture of resistance. The culture we are building is one that can feed those who are confronting the enemy, can care for those who are jailed, injured or killed and continue to fight.
War is the cultural pursuit of a people’s interest. War is culture, politics, economics. To win a war we need teachers, doctors, masons, cooks, artists, farmers, truck drivers, webmasters, social media, organizers, propagandists, spiritual leaders, women, youth workers, EVERYBODY. To win this war we need unity and to get unity we must be organized. People laugh because we have been saying the same thing for fifty years, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE! But it is just as true today as it was fifty years ago. This ain’t no joke. If we are not in an organization, we cannot be serious about solving the people’s problem. In fact, at this late date if we are not in an organization that is working for the people, we are against the people.
When we fight the police in Haiti, we know that we are fighting the government. We fight in Haiti to change the government. In the US we seem to think it is enough to get people arrested. We think it is enough to be heard. People are marching up and down the street without understanding that to change the police you have to change the government. (the Government is Democrats and Republicans). In Haiti we are fighting for our lives, In America we think we are fighting to be heard. Some just don’t know what we are fighting for.
Not knowing what we are fighting for is a serious problem. We are against the police, but what are we for? If we don’t have an objective the enemy will give us one. If we don’t have an agenda they will give us an agenda. If we don’t know what we are fighting for we will go into the streets to stop police terror and end up building the democratic party. We will go out to resist genocidal war being waged against us and end up calling for peace, equality and the American way.
We fight for power not equality. We do not want to be equal to people who rob and steal and murder their way into prosperity. Why should we want what they have? All their riches are stolen riches. All their wealth was stolen from someone else. Africans in the Americas are nothing more than stolen wealth. The land that all the Americas occupy is land that was stolen from the native people. All these Europeans are settlers who came here to occupy native lands. THIS IS THE AMERICAN WAY. Why should we want to integrate and be equal to people who thrive of off genocide, piracy, slavery, lies and murder? All this is the truth, but people don’t want to face the truth, or hear the truth, or be reminded of the truth.
So we are organizing our people everywhere. We are coming together and building communities and institutions that can support our war. When we can seize power, we seize power. When we can’t seize power, we plan and prepare to seize power.
To fight effectively we need political and military coordination. We are held together by common ideas and we fight as one people against one international enemy. Freedom for Africans anywhere is connected to the freedom of Africans everywhere. Yes, we want peace and we know that someday there will be peace. But peace will only come after we win the war. This is our perspective
Rafiki Morris is an organizer with the All African People’s Revolutionary Party.