The Party for Socialism and Liberation condemns the FBI’s raids and McCarthyite attacks on the African People’s Socialist Party.
In their latest attempt to smear radical organizations and stifle political dissent, on July 29 the FBI carried out several raids targeting the APSP’s Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida, their Uhuru Solidarity Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and the residence of their chairman, Omali Yeshitela. According to the FBI, these raids are part of a federal indictment of a Russian national, Aleksandr Ionov, who leads a non-governmental organization alleged to receive funding by the Russian government.
Using the pretense of “law enforcement,” this was a political operation pure and simple. Ionov is the one charged, not the APSP, but he is currently overseas — as the FBI well knows. Living abroad, they know he will not ever stand trial here to rebut the government’s charges, nor will the APSP receive its official opportunity to counter the claims in the indictment. In short, the FBI gets its indictment reported in the mainstream media, undoubtedly filled with whatever sensational stories they could concoct as if these were established facts. Their aim is to portray, without rebuttal, a long-established Black radical organization as controlled by “the Russians” — a ridiculous proposition.
This attack on the APSP is part of a long tradition of attacks on people’s organizations that critique U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. empire. The U.S. state has always accused anti-racist, socialist and other progressive movements of being “fifth columns” of foreign countries in order to stifle critical voices and intimidate the domestic population into silence. The attack is part of the anti-Russia frenzy that was whipped up during the Trump administration and has now reached incredible proportions throughout the West. In such a context, even making basic points against NATO’s expansion results in being smeared as a Russian asset.
The APSP says it sides with Russia in the current Ukraine conflict, and so what? There are a variety of positions about the current conflict that have been adopted by anti-imperialist forces on the left who have been exposing the dangers posed by the U.S.-promoted eastward expansion of NATO toward Russia. Most of these organizations, including many which opposed Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, believe that the Pentagon and NATO recklessly created the current crisis. Ukraine moving to become a part of NATO made a military confrontation almost inevitable. Many organizations of the Global South hold similar views. Meanwhile, corporations and groups across the United States are actively raising money to send supplies and even weapons to Ukraine, but any group that sees the conflict differently and believes that Russia was pushed into the war should be investigated and raided? The whole thing makes a mockery of the concepts of civil liberties and free speech.
Mainstream political forces in the United States routinely work with foreign governments to influence U.S. political discourse — whether these be right-wing governments in Latin America, Ukraine or Israel. But as long as the government is a U.S. “ally,” this behavior is completely normalized and never results in criminal charges.
At present the U.S. government is facing a crisis of legitimacy. The U.S. capitalist class is unable and unwilling to tackle profound and cascading crises that are facing the working class, and is resorting to reckless warmongering abroad to preserve itself and reassert its standing as the global policeman. While the working class is suffering from an economic crisis, pandemics, a decaying infrastructure, unchecked state violence, domestic terrorism and the reversal of hard fought democratic rights that the people have earned through struggle, the U.S. government is hard at work with a new round of scapegoating.
We call on all class-conscious and progressive people to reject this out of hand. We defend the right of the African Peoples’ Socialist Party to speak out against U.S. foreign policy. Stop the persecution!