PSL statement – Free speech under attack: Drop the charges against APSP!

Photo: March 31 protest in Birmingham, Alabama. Credit — Hands Off Uhuru

The Party for Socialism and Liberation condemns in the strongest terms the politically motivated and racist persecution of the African People’s Socialist Party and its Chairman Omali Yeshitela along with other members of the Uhuru movement. This targeting of a Black socialist organization is part of a years-long campaign of warmongering propaganda promoted by the U.S. ruling class directed against Russia. It is designed to silence dissent against U.S. policies both in the domestic as well as international arenas. 

The corporate media has uncritically parroted the government’s false charges that these activists are agents of Russia. The deluge of propaganda is part and parcel of the new Cold War that the U.S. government is waging. It is meant to imply that any opposition to this profoundly dangerous policy could not possibly be sincere and instead must be the work of sinister foreign agents. The targeting of any individuals and organizations by the state for their opposition to this U.S. war drive is an attack on all people critical of the empire, who the government hopes to intimidate into silence. 

This prosecution mirrors similar criminal charges filed as part of the “Russiagate” hysteria. The Department of Justice frequently files charges against Russian individuals who do not live in the United States and are highly unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court where the government would have to prove its case — and then seeks to tie U.S. residents to those individuals for political reasons.

The Black freedom struggle in the United States has always been critical of U.S. empire. This attack on the APSP has both a racist and an imperialist character, aiming to simultaneously suppress Black political organizing while criminalizing antiwar views. 

As the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine rages on, many nations are beginning to break from the United States and challenge its “rules-based order” in which the U.S. government — backed by its military might and the now dwindling supremacy of its currency — makes all the rules. These nations recognize that the official U.S. national security doctrine of “great power competition” threatens global stability and carries with it the risk of a devastating war.  Many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine because they recognize the main culprit of this war is the United States and NATO. As U.S. global prestige wanes, it will inevitably resort to even more heavy handed tactics against its critics.

We reject all attacks on the right to voice opposition to the recklessness, brinkmanship and escalatory policies of the Biden administration in its proxy war with Russia. We affirm our right to raise the demand for peace. The indictments against the African People’s Socialist Party must be dropped immediately!

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