Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Decade for People of African Descent and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action: Overcoming Inequality and the Challenges Confronting African People in the 21st Century

By Kali Akuno
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Durban + 10 Coalition


In 2011, at the conclusion of the 10 year commemoration of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), the Durban + 10 Coalition, in addition to several international non-governmental organizations and members of the African bloc and the Group of 77 (G-77) nations, proposed to the General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations (UN) that a Decade of People of African Descent be declared and implemented from 2012 through 2022.

While the General Assembly (GA) has considered the Decade proposal on several occasions since the fall of 2011, it has basically stalled as a result of the resistance to it mounted by the United States (US) and several members of the European Union (EU). The resistance of the US and EU states is centered around the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA) being a fundamental point of orientation and program development for the Decade. The US and various members of the EU have been opposed to the DDPA since its inception in 2001. And they want to make sure that the DDPA has no influence on the Decade and any program of action that is associated with it.

As the approval process continues to drag out within the General Assembly (GA), the US and EU are making steady progress to divorce the Decade and its adoption from the DDPA. Any force concerned with justice for Africa and African people throughout the Diaspora cannot allow this to happen!

The DDPA is one of the most important documents ever produced by the United Nations (UN) pertaining to people of African descent. A few of its most critical contributions are that it recognizes the trans-Atlantic slave trade as a crime against humanity, it acknowledges the economic roots of slavery, the ongoing impact enslavement has upon the social and economic status of people of African descent throughout the world, and states unequivocally that restitution is needed to address the crime of enslavement and the unequal and inequitable systems it has produced.

Given the global scourge of anti-Black racism and the continuing challenges posed by the legacies of the slave trade, slavery, and colonialism, it is critical that there be a Decade of People of African Decent to challenge theses issues in the 21st century. However, we must do everything within our power to make sure that the Decade addresses the deep structural issues confronting African people, and do more than just affirm the cultural contributions of African people. To do this, the Decade must stand on the foundations of the DDPA, and use it as the basis of its programmatic work.

What You Can Do

1.     We encourage all justice loving organizations to endorse the call for Decade of People of African Descent based on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.
2.     We encourage you and your organization to contact the Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) of the nation-state you are a citizen or resident of and demand that they support the Decade and the inclusion of the DDPA into its programmatic work.
3.     We encourage you and your organization to contact the Secretary General (SG) of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and demand that he push for the Decade to be approved, ensure that it fully incorporates the DDPA, and that the program drafted by the Working Group of People of African descent be adopted, promoted, and fully funded as the core basis of its implementation. The Secretary general can be contacted via mail at United Nations, SA-1B15, New York, NY 10027. By phone at 212.963.7162 or fax at 212.963.7055.
4.     We encourage you and your organization to contact the representatives of the various alliances within the United Nations (UN) - Africa bloc, the Islamic bloc, the Group of 77 (G77), and the Non-Aligned Movement – and implore them to remain firm on their support and commitment to the Decade and the DDPA.
5.     Finally, we encourage you and your organization to organize your own educational and promotional events for the Decade and the DDPA. It is critical that we inform our own social bases and the general public about the importance of the Decade and the DDPA as a means of addressing the human rights crisis confronting people of African descent.

To sign on or for more details please contact Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Co-Convener of the Durban + 10 Coalition at

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Political Prisoner Radio: Operation Ghetto Storm with Kali Akuno

Political Prisoner Radio recently celebrated its 1 year of existence helping to bring information on our Political Prisoners to the masses. Inviting great guests from great organizations advocating for the release of the victims of COINTELPRO and US oppression of leftist movements. We have talked to those who are former political prisoners but still working to bring about justice and resist oppression in all its forms. Tonight we will hear from two ladies, Sis. Ameejill Whitlock and Sis. Marpessa, who have been a very important part of the program.

Guest Kali Akuno, a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement joins us tonight to discuss Every 36 Hours: Advancing the Organizing Drive for a Peoples’ National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination. Since MXGM issued its report last year on the extra-judicial killing of Black people by law enforcement, security guards and vigilantes every 36 hours, the slaughter has continued unabated. However, if any change is going to come, MXGM says that it will have to initiated by the oppressed.

Bro. Akuno blogs at Navigating the Storm and he is an "Organizer, Agitator, and trying to be an Organic Intellectual".

Free All Political Prisoners, Free The Land!

Listen directly to the program here

Voxunion: We Will Shoot Back interview with Akinyele Umoja, Eugene Puryear, and Kali Akuno

“This morning we are going to take a broad look at Black liberation struggle, political imprisonment, Operation Ghetto Storm and current struggles around U.S. imperialism, most specifically, as that is currently being carried out via drone warfare.  My guests this morning on The Super Funky Soul Power Hour will be Dr. Akinyele Umoja, Eugene Puryear, Kali Akuno and Theresa Shoatz.  Dr. Akinyele Umoja is an educator, scholar-activist and is an Associate Professor and department chair in the Department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University (GSU).   Dr. Umoja has published widely on various aspects of Black history and Black liberation struggles and joins us this morning to talk about his latest book, WE WILL SHOOT BACK: ARMED RESISTANCE IN THE MISSISSIPPI FREEDOM MOVEMENT.  Also joining me this morning is Eugene Puryear, who among many other things, works with the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and theANSWER coalition.  Puryear is also a contributor to A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X.  Kali Akuno is a member of The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, is also a contributor to A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X and can be found online at where he offers a revolutionary analysis on the current crisis of the capitalist world-system and facilitates ongoing strategic discussion between revolutionary anti-imperialists forces (i.e. revolutionary nationalists, communists, anarchists, etc.) towards the building of a collective orientation and program to guide our action over the course of the next four years and beyond.”

Listen directly here

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense

Oppressed peoples and communities can and will only be secure in this country when they are organized to defend themselves against the aggressions of the government and the forces of white supremacy and capitalist exploitation. “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense”, is the latest contribution of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and the Every 36 Hours Campaign that seeks to strengthen organizing initiatives within Black or New Afrikan communities for self-defense, by presenting these initiatives with a comprehensive analytical framework and practical organizing tools to ground and unite them.

As the extrajudicial killing of Kimani Gray and the more than twenty other Black women and men by the police in the first two months of 2013 clearly illustrate, it is imperative that New Afrikan communities get organized and defend ourselves. As the real economy continues to contract, corporations become more vicious and exploitative, our communities are gentrified and displaced, public goods and services continue to be eliminated or privatized, and the national security state continues to grow and become ever more invasive, the attacks on New Afrikan and other oppressed and exploited people are only going to escalate. We must defend ourselves, and we have every right to do so by any means necessary.

Let Your Motto Be Resistance” draws on the long history of New Afrikan peoples struggle to realize self-determination and defend our persons, our rights and our dignity from the assaults of the oppressive settler-colonial government and the forces of white supremacy. Building on this history “Let Your Motto Be Resistance” provides in summary form a vision of how we can (re)organize our communities from the ground up to defend ourselves and reassert our fundamental human rights to life, dignity, and self-determination.

We encourage the broad dissemination, discussion, and utilization of this work as a modest contribution towards the effort to rebuild the Black Liberation Movement, Stop the War on Afrikan people, and eradicate white supremacy and US imperialism.

For more information on this work, or to set up trainings or public events regarding its contents or those of the Every 36 Hours report on extrajudicial killings contact Kali Akuno at

Download the Handbook here 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of 313 Black People

Download the report at

Preface: Context for Operation Ghetto Storm

The facts presented in Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of Black People present us with a deeper understanding of the utter disregard held for Black life within the United States. Operation Ghetto Storm is a window offering a cold, hard, and fact-based view into the thinking and practice of a government and a society that will spare no cost to control the lives of Black people. What Operation Ghetto Storm reveals is that the practice of executing Black people without pretense of a trial, jury, or judge is an integral part of the government’s current overall strategy of containing the Black community in a state of perpetual colonial subjugation and exploitation

In July 2012, in the tradition of “On Lynching” by Ida B. Wells-Burnet and “We Charge Genocide” by William L. Patterson, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement released a critical report that exposed the fact that in the first six months of the year a Black man, woman, or child was summarily executed by the police, and a smaller number of security guards and self-appointed vigilantes, Every 36 Hours! But, the July 2012 report did not tell the whole story. Further investigation revealed a more accurate and gruesome number of extrajudicial killings during the first six months of the year. And true to form, the assault on Black life stayed consistent for the last six months of the year, resulting in the extrajudicial killing of at least 313 Black people in 2012, or one Every 28 Hours!

Setting the Record Straight
If not for our investigation, this gruesome reality would largely be ignored. The United States government has no interest in revealing these facts and police unions actively suppress them. The corporate media is so permeated with white supremacist and capitalist assumptions and rationalizations that reporters and editors deem these killings unworthy of note. With one important exception: They use the stories of “officer-involved killings” to reinforce a stereotypical, but strategic depiction of the most dispossessed sectors of the Black working class as criminal commodities, fit for disposal.

This demonization of Black “targets” reinforces the insidious propaganda of the United States government and its supporters, that the United States is the most democratic and socially liberated country on Earth. But, any critical observer and thinker must ask, how can the supposedly “most democratic” country on Earth be the largest jailer on the planet? What types of “legitimate” democratic processes result in nearly half of the countries prison population being Black, while Black people only comprise 13% of the total population of the United States? What types of resources, planning, coordination and programmatic implementation go into arresting, convicting, imprisoning or deporting over 10 million people annually? And what can possibly justify the extrajudicial killing of at least 313 Black people in one year?

Genuine and healthy democracies do not spend more than 50% of their budgetary resources on their militaries, domestic “law enforcement” agencies, and prisons. The fact that the United States government spends this amount demonstrates that the United States is neither a genuine democracy nor a “healthy” society in any form or fashion. The United States is a European settler-colonial project that has erected a racial state to enforce and maintain a rigid order of white supremacy, colonial occupation, and capitalist exploitation. As the facts presented herein attest, the United States is one of the most repressive and brutal societies in the world, particularly to oppressed peoples like Blacks, Native Americans, and Latinos. The rates of extrajudicial killings on the US rival only those perpetrated against the Indigenous people of Palestine, Mexico, Guatemala and the Amazonian region, and African-descendants in Brazil and Colombia.

The War Against Black People
In order to contain the oppressed peoples within its colonial possessions, the United States settler-colonial government has built the most full-spectrum network of repressive enforcement structures in human history. They include the Police, Sheriff’s, Rangers, Customs, FBI, Homeland Security (including INS), CIA, Secret Service, prison guards, as well as the numerous private security and other protective services. It has also created the largest and most invasive surveillance system in human history. This system includes everything from satellites, police, FBI, and DHS operated surveillance drones, and electronic tracking and monitoring via our cellphones, computers, tablets, email, Facebook, Twitter, and chip-filled passports, driver’s licenses, and identification cards.

These forces of occupation and repression have been strategically deployed over the last 70 years to wage a grand strategy of “domestic” pacification to sustain the colonial occupation of North America via a never ending series of containment campaigns that amount to nothing less than a “perpetual war”. This “perpetual war” has been known by many names over the last seven decades such as the “Cold War”, COINTELPRO”, the” War on Drugs”, the “War on Gangs”, the “War on Crime”, and most recently, the “War on Terrorism”. This pacification strategy is designed to contain the various peoples’, social, and religious movements that resist the colonial order of white supremacy inside the United States, the post World War II imperialist world-system, and the vicious strategy of neo-liberal accumulation by dispossession that it has been aggressively imposing on its citizens, colonial subjects, and the rest of the world. The most visible component of this pacification campaign inside the US, has been the astronomical increase in the incarceration of Black people over the last 40 years.

This “perpetual war” intensified both quantitatively and qualitatively after the events of September 11, 2001. Exploiting those events as justification, the United States government launched a new series of imperialist conquests and occupations and further expanded its overall military operations and spending. It has also justified the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which integrates domestic and international intelligence, surveillance, and repressive institutions of the United States government. Even further it has provided a rational for the implementation of extensive “constitution free zones”, the expansion and deepening of the militarization of the police, and the passage of some of the most repressive legislation in United States history, such as the Patriot, Homeland Security, and National Defense Authorization Acts to name a few.

And the United States government’s grand strategy of domestic containment and pacification via perpetual war shows no signs of either slowing down or coming to an end on its own accord any time soon. Extrajudicial killings are clearly an indispensible tool in the United States government’s pacification pursuits.

Confronting the Crisis
Despite being virtually ignored by the corporate media, our July 2012 report did receive considerable coverage in various Black and progressive media outlets. It’s dissemination via these channels insured that the Every 36 Hours report reached thousands of people throughout the United States and the world. It’s reception helped to stimulate righteous indignation and outrage in many isolated quarters. However, unchanneled and unorganized indignation and outrage are not enough. We must turn this indignation and outrage into organized, sustained, and determined mass action to stop this crisis. 

As we noted in the July 2012 report, the first critical step is organizing the Black community to proactively defend itself. We must end our reliance on the model of protest mobilizations that occur after the police have executed one of our loved ones. This must cease being our primary means of securing justice. We have to see the war on Black people for what it is and proactively organize ourselves to resist it. To aid in launching and promoting these necessary organizing initiatives, we have authored and released “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense”. It can be found at

Let Your Motto Be Resistance” draws on the long history of Black peoples’ struggle to realize self-determination and defend our persons, our rights and our dignity from the assaults of the oppressive settler-colonial government and the forces of white supremacy. Building on this history “Let Your Motto Be Resistance” provides, in summary form, a vision of how we can (re)organize our communities from the ground up.

Self-defense in and of itself is not enough, however. We will not turn back “Operation Desert Storm” and the military machine that aims to keep Black and other oppressed people subordinate and contained, until we defeat and dismantle the systems of colonialism, national oppression, white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism. It is imperative that we build a broad and dynamic mass movement capable of transforming the system and building a new social order.

More specifically, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is calling for a broad alliance of Blacks, Indigenous peoples, Latinos, Arabs, Asians, and progressive whites that will challenge the various forms of state repression, including racial profiling, mass incarceration, mass deportation, displacement, and of course, extrajudicial killings. It is our hope that local, regional, and countrywide peoples’ alliances will form and stand as the core of the Peoples’ Self Defense Networks proposed in “Let Your Motto be Resistance”.

To honor the memory of every Black man, woman, and child summarily executed at the hands of the police and other agents of the United States government in 2012, let us organize our communities to end the terror being waged against us.

For more information about the report or any of the proposals contained within it, please contact Kali Akuno at