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The Congolese Solidarity Campaign, together with Abahlali baseMjondolo and other progressive African movements, will be in Pretoria to organize a picket outside the embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, Dec. 15, 9:00 to noon. The protest aims to declare the Congolese Solidarity Campaign’s decision to refuse to acknowledge Mr. Kabila as president of DR Congo and to oppose him from extending his power unconstitutionally beyond Dec. 19, 2016, the date his second and last term in office expires.
I answered some heartbreaking calls from Dr. Léopold Munyakazi phoning from an Alabama jail this week. Dr. Munyakazi is a gentle Rwandan born scholar, with a PhD in linguistics and further advanced degrees in French and African linguistics. He has lost his immigration case in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and will all but certainly be deported to Rwanda to face prison or worse.
Earlier this week, the ENOUGH Project to, quote, “end genocide and crimes against humanity,” posted an appeal to consumers titled, “What if Black Friday were conflict-free?” ENOUGH is an NGO operating under the umbrella of the Center for American Progress, a neoliberal Washington D.C.-based Democratic Party think tank. They did not include an appeal to the nation’s weapons manufacturers who require minerals on the U.S. Strategic Minerals list.
Do you have a smart phone? A laptop? Then you play a role in the violence that occurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cell phones, laptops and other electronics don’t work very well without the mineral, coltan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, poor farmers are gathered by armed gangs and enslaved to dig coltan out of the ground.
There has not been any concrete effort to expose the banks that collude and connive with corrupt leaders who are impoverishing the people. No effort has been made by the political elite in Europe and America to force the banks to return these stolen monies to the poorest of the poor.
Once again, the world is rising up against oppression. In the U.S., our time will come. Remember the kind of commitment we saw in Malcolm X, who was murdered 46 years ago this month. On the morning of Feb. 21, Malcolm received a phone call saying, “Today is the day.” He showed up anyway, knowing that that day could be his very last day on this Earth. Malcolm did not let fear control his commitment to the cause of freedom and justice. That is the real stuff we all are made of. Deep inside every one of us is a Revolution waiting to happen.
What makes this conflict particularly sickening is the role of U.S. and European corporations, together with Rwanda and Uganda, in the plunder of DRC's resources. This is a war about self-interest and greed.