by Kwame Shakur
I recently had a conversation with one of my elder comrades, Bilal Sunni-Ali, who has been a leading figure in the Black Liberation and New African Independence Movement since the 1960s.
He was explaining how the People’s Assembly is a foreign concept in North America. He remembered the first time he heard the term used to organize our people was in Gary, Indiana. It was during the ‘70s, and the work that was started at the assembly lasted decades.
He went on to say how significant this assembly was that we’re having because it’s the first time in the 50-year history of the Republic of New Africa that he has heard the term, “New African People’s Assembly,” so he is looking forward to seeing what becomes of it.
The reason that it is a foreign concept in this country is because the People’s Assembly is used to organize the “PEOPLE” and educate them to their own political and economic strength.
In a capitalist, neo-colonial society like the United States, those in power do not want us, the oppressed nation or “lower class,” to organize amongst ourselves or have self-determination. Decisions are supposed to be made by a small minority group – their politicians, billionaires and corporate business owners.
The biggest threat to them is when the people wake up and realize that WE have the power and the right to control our own affairs, and that we don’t have to wait for their elections to vote for their elected officials, or go to their town hall meetings to create change in our community. We can organize our own People’s Assembly and become a power to be RECKONED with.
Black August in Terre Haute, Indiana
NALC (New Afrikan Liberation Collective) is a cadre organization under the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM). For the past several years, we have been networking around the kkkountry and building relationships with other New Afrikan revolutionary nationalist individuals and organizations who share our vision and determination to unify the leadership within the Republic of New Afrika in order to develop a national strategy that would allow us to rebuild the NAIM.
Citizens of a colonized nation who are struggling for independence and self-determination cannot achieve liberation if their government and various collectives and organizations are moving in dozens of directions with no cohesive program to guide the course of their struggle.
This overstanding is what led to NALC adopting and pushing FROLINAN (Front for the Liberation of the New Afrikan Nation) as the foundation we need to build organizational structure throughout the New Afrikan Nation. FROLINAN is the work of the brilliant comrade Jalil Muntaqim, who originally developed the blueprint back in the mid ‘90s. Anyone who identifies as a New Afrikan revolutionary and citizen of the RNA should own a copy of Jalil’s book, “We Are Our Own Liberators.” Inside you will find the FROLINAN Handbook as well as the FROLINAN National Strategy.
The FROLINAN National Strategy operates on our Three Phase Theory (3PT): 1) Class struggle for national unity, 2) National unity for self-government, and 3) Self-government for national independence. Over the last couple of years, I’ve talked about “planting the seeds to grow FROLINAN” in terms of NALC successfully getting some of our movement’s leading comrades and formations to get behind the initiative to develop this front.
Well, on Aug. 17, 2019, in my city of Terre Haute, Indiana, we were able to see the results and growth of those seeds with the Re-Build: New Afrikan People’s Assembly. In December 2018, Jalil sent me a letter in regards to the work I was doing to establish FROLINAN that included a communique on “Building Community, Liberated Territory and Creating Autonomy.” In it he suggested that I hold a People’s Assembly; this would allow us to introduce the community to our political line, raise national consciousness and set Phase 1 of our 3PT in motion.
Although we are New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalists, and we are trying to educate the people to the importance of nation and nationality, the overall objective of the People’s Assembly was to unify the New Afrikan/Black community toward self-determination and working with us to create programs for decolonization. With that being said, we overstand that everyone isn’t going to proclaim their nationality as New Afrikan or join one of our organizations.
This is why our panel also had two brothers from the Moorish Science Temple and Queen Mother Mashariki of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), who spoke alongside NALC Minister of Education Sis. Kilaika Shakur.
With food and a live band, the People’s Assembly was a social-cultural celebration that brought out generations of New Afrikan people in Terre Haute. It lit a fire that had been out for years in the city. Elders and activists who had lost their energy or drive to organize events are now excited and ready to rebuild our community. Our comrades and my family are networking with several local supporters to start a steering committee geared toward taking control of land to build a new community center for the people.
At the same time we were holding the People’s Assembly in Terre Haute, our comrades were having New Afrikan Family Day in Jackson, Mississippi. We could have had the New Afrikan People’s Assembly that day in our nation’s capital while the majority of our leaders would be present, but we chose to rebuild in Terre Haute.
To show other comrades and FROLINAN members that although our National Territory (Kush) and the New Afrikan Nation is South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, New Afrikan people and conscious citizens are ALL over the kkkountry. In our first phase and early stage of struggle, we have to rebuild and establish community control in New Afrikan communities WHEREVER WE ARE!
I have to thank my amazing mother; the People’s Assembly wouldn’t have happened without her. Neo-colonial sock puppets from the community were working with city officials to stop us and shut us down at every turn. Three months out, City Council blocked us from having the event in my hood so my mom went to the Parks Department and rented a pavilion and shelter at Deming Park.
My mom had been on the ground passing out flyers door to door and passing out Bay View newspapers throughout the city at New Afrikan-owned businesses. A month out, the Parks Department called and told her we couldn’t have it at Deming Park because she “lied” about the event and somebody had brought the Parks Department a copy of the flyer.
The Parks Department told us that we needed to get insurance and approval from City Council to move forward. After finding an insurance company that said they would cover us, we got a call the next day saying they had done their search and seen my articles online so they wouldn’t insure the assembly. My mom’s motto has always been “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” and true to that she went straight to the mayor’s office and had a face to face meeting with the mayor, who approved the Assembly.
Re-build to Win!
Free the Land!
Re-building community in Terre Haute
The following is a letter sent out to each and every person who attended the Aug. 17 People’s Assembly:
Three weeks have passed since our convening of the Re-Build: New Afrikan People’s Assembly and to all the attendees and contributors, the New Afrikan Liberation Collective would like to thank you for your participation in this unprecedented gathering.
The NALC considers the People’s Assembly to be a resounding success. Many months of planning and promotion were well spent for the opportunity to see the community come out in numbers despite the fearsome weather. We are truly grateful.
The event has strengthened the resolve of the NALC to push forward with the task of building decolonization programs that will help the New Afrikan people of Terre Haute claim the path of self-determination. We will continue to need your support and your active participation in this process. We look forward to continue working with all participants in the near future.
The Assembly will also serve as a point of inspiration for communities in many parts of the country looking to build their own paths to decolonization, self-determination and liberation. None of this could have been possible nor will the future be possible without you! A very special thanks to the speakers, musicians, cooks and set-up crew who helped make this event possible.
Here are a few things we will be working on and will be in communication with you in the near future: Creating a housing program, education program, employment program, renovating a potential duplex to be owned for a headquarters, obtaining land and following up on the Hyte Center. This is only the beginning!
Re-build to Win! One Love/Struggle!
The New Afrikan Liberation Collective
Send our brother some love and light: Michael Joyner, 149677, WVCF, P.O. Box 1111, Carlisle IN 46391.