By David Sole
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched several, coordinated, pre-dawn raids on the offices of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and its Uhuru Movement affiliate in St. Petersburg, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri. The home of Omali Yeshitela, chairperson of the APSP, was also targeted at 5 AM in St. Louis, marked by the use of flash grenades and drones. Computers, phones and other records were confiscated but no arrests were made at this time.
The APSP was founded in 1972 at the height of the anti-Vietnam war and Black Liberation movements. It has been active since in many struggles against racism and imperialism, publishing the “Burning Spear” newspaper.
The FBI is trying to link the APSP with a Russian national who isn’t even inside the United States at present and who is accused of being an agent of a foreign government. APSP leader Yeshitela had traveled to Moscow in 2014 to participate in an international conference against U.S. imperialism.
But it is the strong opposition to the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine that the APSP has taken that appears to be a main reason for the attack on this organization. Of course, many left and progressive organizations have also blamed the U.S. and its puppet NATO alliance for provoking the outbreak of hostilities between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
Many fear that this targeting of the APSP may be only the beginning of attempts to silence growing opposition to Biden’s Ukraine military adventure.
The Burning Spear reported on July 30:
“Scores of FBI and local police agents broke down doors, broke windows, used flashbang devices and drones and threatened residents with automatic weapons. They stole computers, hard drives, phones, office equipment and files—both business and personal. They temporarily detained APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela, APSP Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela, APSP AgitProp Director Akilé Anai, APSC Chairwoman Penny Hess, and APSC members Kitty, Jesse and Amanda.”
In the days following the FBI raid many organizations issued solidarity statements condemning the repressive actions by the government. These included the Black Workers for Justice, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the United National Antiwar Coalition, The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice among others.
The actions of the U.S. government and its Federal Bureau of Investigation should come as no surprise. For many decades the FBI played a leading role in persecuting socialist and communist organizations, as well as trade unionists and anti-racist/national liberation groups.
It is well documented that the FBI, under its fanatical director, J. Edgar Hoover, made every effort to undermine, smear and destroy militant leaders of the Black liberation movement in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was especially targeted by the FBI as was Malcolm X. Many believe that the FBI was involved in the assassination of both leading figures.
The FBI Cointelpro operation was directed against the revolutionary Black Panther Party. The tactics used included sophisticated campaigns to turn organizations against one another as well as numerous mass arrests and frame-ups. Straight out murder of Panther leaders, as in the case of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Chicago in 1969 were not uncommon.
The anti-Vietnam war and anti-imperialist movements were also regular targets of the FBI’s dirty tricks.
Current efforts are underway to suppress the growing opposition to the U.S. role in causing and continuing the Ukraine war. Now, over 5 months after the start of the Russian Federations Special Military Operation public support is waning, especially after Congress passed authorization to funnel $50 billion in military aid to the right-wing Ukraine regime that was installed in 2014 by a CIA/State Department coup d’etat.
U.S. mass media have become willing tools of the Pentagon giving out totally one-sided and often erroneous reports in an effort to rally support for this proxy-war. Knowledgeable military analysts, such as former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, are not allowed on major networks due to his views contrary to the Pentagon and White House. Ritter was briefly banned from Twitter in an attempt to keep the public from hearing him.
The German government is targeting anyone who may publicly support Russia’s attempt to protect the ethnic Russians in the Donbas region and keep Ukraine from allowing NATO bases on Russia’s border. According to Aljazeera.com the Interior Ministry announced “The Russian war of aggression on the Ukraine is a criminal act, and whoever publicly approves of this war of aggression can also make himself liable to prosecution,”
On June 26 Visiontimes.com reported
“German reporter Alina Lipp faces criminal charges and three years imprisonment because she reported on the situation in the Donbas region, where she sympathized with Russia. Currently living in Donetsk, Lipp saw her bank account frozen and raided for €1.600 without further explanation. German authorities say that she may not defend herself in court as that may thwart the investigation.”
The deteriorating military situation for Ukraine and the escalating confrontation with China are intensifying the frustration of the U.S. ruling class. It is entirely possible that the attack on the African People’s Socialist Party is only the opening shot in a broader offensive to stifle the voices of the workers and oppressed peoples here at home. That type of thinking will, no doubt, lead to broader resistance and revolutionary struggle.