Drop the charges against APSP supporters!
Defend the right to dissent!
On Tuesday 18 April the US Department of Justice charged four people associated with the black nationalist African People’s Socialist Party/Uhuru Movement (APSP) for “weaponizing” free speech in what the Washington Post characterized as:
“a malign campaign pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda in Florida and Missouri—expanding a previous case that charged a Russian operative with running illegal influence agents within the United States.”
—washingtonpost.com, 18 April 2023
The four militants indicted on these outrageous, anti-democratic charges (Omali Yeshitela, Penny Joanne Hess, Jesse Nevel and Augustus C. Romain Jr.) face a possible sentence of ten years in prison if convicted. The sinister, anti-democratic attempt to brand critics of NATO’s devastating war in Ukraine as “Russian agents,” recalls the deranged anti-communist witch-hunt led by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.
The Justice Department alleges that the APSP was utilized by Kremlin agents “to create the appearance of American popular support for Russia’s annexation of territories in Ukraine.” The US/NATO war in Ukraine is not going well; despite a massive propaganda barrage, popular enthusiasm for lavishing financial and military resources on Volodymyr Zelensky’s corrupt puppet regime is waning in the US and among its NATO allies.
The indictment against the APSP is intended to intimidate anyone who opposes US imperialism’s attempts to use Ukraine as a weapon against Russia, with the ultimate objective of carving up the Russian Federation into several more easily controlled neo-colonies, thus removing a geopolitical rival and facilitating the seizure of its abundant natural wealth by US corporations.
The subhead on the Justice Department’s 18 April press release alleges: “Defendants Sought to Sow Discord, Spread Pro-Russia Propaganda and Interfere in Elections Within the United States.” While the details of any supposed electoral “interference” have not been spelled out, the charge recalls the “Russiagate” hoax that attributed Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential election to Russian interference. (Four years later Donald Trump made the equally absurd claim that he lost the 2020 election because of a massive voting fraud.) In 2019, after an investigation lasting almost two years, former FBI head Robert Mueller reported finding no evidence of any collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Yet allegations of “Russian interference” are still used to justify internet censorship and other infringements of democratic rights—the most egregious case being the persecution of Julian Assange for exposing the hideous crimes of US imperialism in Iraq.
The APSP is being openly targeted for daring to voice opposition to NATO in Ukraine:
“Much of the alleged cooperation involved support for Russian’s invasion of Ukraine. In March 2022, [APSP leader] Yeshitela held a news conference in which he said the ‘African People’s Socialist Party calls for unity with Russia in its defensive war in Ukraine against the world colonial powers.’ He also called for the independence of the Russian-occupied Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.”
—apnews.com, 18 April 2023
While we do not share APSP/Uhuru’s pan-Africanist ideological framework, we also want to see a Russian military victory over the Western imperialists and their vassals. But regardless of one’s attitude to the conflict in Ukraine, it is vital to defend the democratic rights of the APSP—because the charges against them represent an attack on the rights of everyone in the United States.
Down with the witch-hunt! Defend free speech and political rights!
Opposing US/NATO proxy war in Ukraine is no crime!
Drop the bogus ‘conspiracy’ charges against APSP/Uhuru militants!