Let’s March on Washington, One More Time!
Osagefyo Kwame Nkrumah suggests that “there are moments in history that are hard to discern, yet fatal if let slip by.” The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party(GC) suggests that there are also moments in history, in the mass movements of the people, that are equally as hard to discern, yet pregnant with the potential for re-birth, revitalization, renewal and Revolution.
The October 15, 1995 Million Man March was the largest march in the history of Washington, DC. More than 1.2 million Africans, predominantly men, travelled by plane, train, bus, van, car and on foot to DC, and gathered at the steps of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall.
The 1995 Stay-at-Home Campaign was the largest general strike in United States history. More than 4 million African People, including men and women who marched to DC, those who refrained from working and shopping, and children/youth who stayed at home participated in this historic action. Other people, like 400,000 federal workers in DC, stayed home as well as the whole world watched!
These twin and conjoint events were one moment in the African protest tradition, in our repertoire of contention with police brutality and murder, mass incarceration, poverty, political powerlessness, war and racism. We believe that the 20th Anniversary Commemoration on October 10, 2015 should and can be a much larger and more powerful, movement-changing and life-changing moment in history.
The A-APRP(GC) issues a call to our members, supporters and allies in every corner of the African Diaspora, Africa, and the World, to help us build the Kwame Ture Brigade, to assemble and rally in Malcolm X Park, to march on the White House, and as an independent, radical and revolutionary, Pan-African and International contingent, join the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March at the National Mall in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 10, 2015. We march and protest in solidarity and harmony with our People and other Oppressed Peoples who have taken the mass movement to the streets, again! We ask you to join us!
Kwame Ture, and other members of the Non-violent Action Group (NAG) at Howard University, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), the Black Panther Movement worldwide, the Movement to Take Nkrumah Back to Ghana, the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG), the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, et. al. and you struggled, sacrificed and suffered together, over the past 55 years. We made and changed the course of history together. Let’s do it again! The struggle continues. Victory is certain!
The world is on fire! African and Oppressed Humanity are in the streets battling and fighting for justice and human dignity. The A-APRP(GC) issues this call to all progressive, radical and revolutionary organizations and movements, especially student and youth movements and organizations, in every corner of North America. Join and help build the Kwame Ture Brigade!
If you do not to want to join the Kwame Ture Brigade, build your own contingent and rally independently, and bring militancy to the 20th Anniversary Commemoration. See you in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Encourage your family and friends to attend!
We have our criticisms of the 1995 Million Man March, and have concerns about the 20th Anniversary Commemoration as well. However, after much debate and struggle, we have chosen to rise above these criticism and concerns, and to help build a militant action, from the bottom-up. Our People’s blood, sweat and tears, hopes and lives demand our presence and a militant protest!
The A-APRP(GC) also issues a call to all radical and revolutionary forces, especially students and youth, in every corner of the world to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Stay-at-Home Campaign; and to organize local support actions. Shut it Down on Friday, October 9, 2015, and build the largest student sit-down strike the world has ever seen!
Our Perspective of the 20th Anniversary Theme
The theme of the 20th Anniversary Commemoration is Justice or Else! "Its black lives that are being slaughtered," Minister Louis Farrakhan, the National Spokesperson of the Nation of Islam, said at a recent press conference formally announcing the 20th Anniversary Commemoration. "We know what justice is: it’s fair dealing; it’s the law that distinguishes between right and wrong."
"It’s not about just black men," Rev. Willie Wilson, the pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington DC, and the Director of the 20th Anniversary Commemoration, "But black men, women, children, Latinos, Asians, and Caucasians." This commemoration is not just about the Nation of Islam. It is about our People and their just demands, not only in the United States, but throughout Africa and the African Diaspora, and about People throughout the world.
The A-APRP(GC) knows that Black (African) lives matter in the United States, Azania (South Africa), Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Haiti, India, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tunisia, West Papua New Guinea and in every corner of Africa and the African Diaspora. We know that Indigenous Peoples and Nations, Chicano and Latino lives matter in every corner of the Americas; that Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi, Palestinian, Syrian and Yemeni lives matter in the Middle East; and that live matter in every corner of Oceania, Asia and Europe.
Justice for the People is one of our demands, but for us, justice means that economic and political power is solely in the People’s hands, nothing less. Kwame Ture is correct: “black visibility is not Black Power,” and “revolutionary Pan-Africanism is the highest political expression of Black Power!” We oppose imperialism, capitalism, colonialism, settler-colonialism, neo-colonialism, balkanization, sexism, racism, tribalism, Zionism, Apartheid, and all forms of ethnic cleansing and religious intolerance.
The A-APRP(GC) seeks principled and revolutionary alliances with Indigenous, Hispanic and Latino forces in every corner of the Americas, and with radical and revolutionary forces in every corner of Africa, the African Diaspora and the World.
The A-APRP(GC) has an uncompromising posits that the just demands of the People must be heard. We encourage you to formulate and send your demands, local and national, Pan-African and International, to the Kwame Ture Brigade for discussion and possible inclusion into the demands of the A-APRP (GC). We do not seek to impose our demands on the 20th Anniversary Commemoration; and we refuse to allow it to impose its demands on us!
The A-APRP(GC) is Marching on Washington, DC on October 10, 2015, Why?
Washington, DC belongs to the Piscataway Indian Nation, the only true Caretakers of that land; and because of this fact, we do not need and do not ask anyone’s permission to march on and gather in DC except the Piscataway People.
Washington, DC, whose real name is Nacotchtank, and all of its historic buildings and monuments was built by enslaved African labour; because it was and continues to be the political capital of slavery and slave-like conditions and practices in every corner of the World; and because it is soaked with red, black and brown blood, sweat and tears.
Washington, DC is the Rome of our time, the capital of crimes against African and World Humanity, the citadel of ecocide, genocide and mentacide; because Barack Obama is the new Tiberius Caesar Augustus, the new Pontius Pilate; because the National Mall is the Calvary, the Golgotha of our time; and because the highway grid in the United States, 160,955 miles of roads and highways, is our Via Dolorosa, the Selma to Montgomery March (1965) of our time, our Black Power March (1966).
We are philosophers and ideologues of Revolution, not theologians; but we know that genuine Believers fight for justice and support Revolution. Genuine Believers follow the axiom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
We are organizers, and we build work-study groups and conduct revolutionary political education classes. We are not prophets or messengers, pastors or preachers. We are seeking to build a mass Pan-Africanist revolutionary political party and we are conscious participants in movements for revolutionary social change. We are not qualified, by calling or training, to conduct Bible or Koranic study groups, or build churches and mosques, synagogues and temples.
We are socialists, members of the People’s Class, not wannabe capitalists or illicit business people. We oppose, confront and support the overthrow of reactionary anti-People governments and regimes. Our principles are not for sale, and we do not make deals with them!
As we are not perfect, we atone for the crimes that we have committed and or continue to commit, voluntarily and under duress, against African and World Humanity. We demand that every People, government, corporation and non-governmental organization atone for the crimes that they have committed and continue to commit against African and World Humanity, as well. These crimes will be stopped, and the anti-People class will be held accountable in the Court of World Humanity.
It is unconscionable and unacceptable to demand material or financial compensation as reparations for the crimes that have been and continue to be committed against African and Oppressed Humanity. See Kwame Ture’s Position Paper on Reparations. We could never accept a “tribute penny.” [Bible: Mark 12:14-15] The debt that is owed cannot and will not be paid, due to the ethics of the anti-People class. We will not “condemn future generations to be perpetual beggars for reparations!”
We understand the Commandment to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s." [Bible: Mark 22:21] We do not fear Caesar, cast our votes for him, or lick his dirty and bloody feet. We come to expose him, kick his ass, and help overthrow him. We “came to [help] bring fire to the earth … and it were already kindled!” [Bible: Luke 12:49]
We agree fully with Kwame’s self-authored obituary, “If Africa’s children cannot alleviate her suffering, we can at least share them fully.” We also agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., suffering, [sacrifice and struggle], is redemptive!
The African Protest Tradition
“I have seen [slavery] hanging over [this country] like a black cloud for half a Century," John Quincy Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, on February 3, 1821. "If I were as drunk with enthusiasm as Swedenborg or Westley, I might probably say I had seen Armies of Negroes marching and countermarching in the air, shining in Armour. I have been so terrified with this Phenomenon …”
The National Mall in Washington, DC, 23 blocks totaling 1.9 miles of open and green space between the United States Capital and the Lincoln Memorial, is a stage for national events, a space for public protests, and for the exercise of our human and civil rights. Armies of People of African descent, and other Oppressed Peoples, marching and countermarching on the Mall, in their traditional clothing have scared the United States government, and its colonial predecessors, for more than 500 years.
In 1941, during World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt feared the call for a March on Washington to desegregate the U.S. military-industrial complex. In 1963, John F. Kennedy was petrified by another March on Washington for freedom and jobs. In 1968, Lyndon Baines Johnson was scared stiff by the Poor People’s Campaign and Resurrection City.
In November 1969, Richard Nixon declared that in regards to the Moratorium March on Washington Against the War in Vietnam “under no circumstances will I be affected whatever by it." A few years later, he was defeated in the war against Vietnam and, subsequently, impeached. In 1978, Jimmy Carter was distressed by the American Indian Movement’s (AIM) Longest Walk. In 1983 Ronald Reagan was reminded of the power of African voices in the 20th Anniversary of the 1963 March.]
We offer a selected list [Coming Soon!] of other actions which are part and parcel of our and our allies’ culture and tradition of protests, our and their repertoire of contention against racism, zionism, political repression, sexism, police brutality, genocide, militarism and war and colonialism, in all of its manifestations and forms. Members, supporters and allies of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party(GC) had the privilege to participate in, support and help organize several of these protests.
The 1995 March and Campaign and its 20th Anniversary Commemoration, whether we agree with it or not, are part of this culture, tradition and repertoire. It just so happened that this protest was called for, and organized by Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. To his credit, for two years before the 1995 March, the Nation of Islam organized “Men’s Only” meetings in every major city in the United States, and Minister Farrakhan spoke to hundreds of thousands of African men and women, under the theme Stop the Killings!
Organizers for the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party(GC) helped build the 1995 March and Campaign, at the national and local levels. Kwame and the then A-APRP , as a whole, boycotted it. Kwame Ture did not believe that the Nation of Islam could mobilize 1 million African men. Some of his criticisms of the March and of the Nation of Islam, in 1995, were correct. To our knowledge the problems he spoke of have not been corrected. However, those problems have no bearing on our decision to march and protest! We march and protest for our People and for Oppressed Humanity!
Kwame and our party, at that time, did not understand that moment in history, and the revolutionary role we could and should have played in the March and Campaign. He and we did not understand his mortality, and ours. We have corrected that error; and it has taken 2 decades to correct it.
Minister Farrakhan promised to enable and empower Kwame and Khalid Muhammad to deliver students and youth to the 1995 March, from every campus and community in America. A-APRP(GC) cadre were poised to organize a once-in-a-life-time mobilization and recruitment drive. Four caravans of buses, red, black, green and gold, were chartered, and positioned on paper, waiting for Kwame and Khalid to fill them. Kwame and the then A-APRP let that momentous moment slip by. He corrected his error however, and spoke at the 1st Anniversary of the Million Man March in 1996 in New York.
Imagine 500,000 African youth, the brightest, best and most militant, marching on DC. Imagine hundreds of colleges and universities shutting down, like they did during the Student Strike of 1970 in the wake of the military and police killings at Orangeburg State University, Kent State University and Jackson State University.
The 10,000 buses carrying Ezekiel’s Army of 500,000 African men from coast to coast, would have tied up the national highway grid for two days before and after the March. These buses, according to CNN, would have “stretched for 100 miles if parked end to end. Washington’s RFK Stadium [could] hold only 2,500 buses, and the Pentagon told organizers the buses [could not] park in its huge lots.”
The 1995 March Committee did not have the vision or will to implement this plan. They let that moment slip by; and they have never said one word in 20 years about the Stay-at-Home Campaign, one of our greatest moments, in the history of resistance and protest.
Malcolm X, the National Spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, denounced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) for enabling and empowering children and women to participate in the 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham. More than 1 million students and youth participated in hundreds of demonstrations across the United States in 1963. More than 20,000 students and youth also participated in the 1976 Soweto Uprising thanks to the enablement and empowerment of Zephania Mothopeng and the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania.
Malcolm X, criticized the 1963 March on Washington. He called it a “picnic, “a farce on Washington,” a “circus, with clowns and all.” Members of the Nation of Islam, under orders from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, did not participate in those historical moments.
We wonder what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X and the Organization of Afro-American (OAAU), A. Phillip Randolph and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Whitney Young and the Urban League, James Farmer, Jr. and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Roy Wilkins and the National Association for the Advancement of colored People (NAACP), and John Lewis and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) would call the 1995 Million Man March, and its 20th Anniversary Commemoration. We wonder what Kwame Ture will call this one as well?
Church, labor, women, youth, political, civil rights, nationalists, and leftist leaders and organizers criticized and boycotted the 1995 March and Campaign. Many of the criticisms were correct; some were petty and wrong! They did not understand that moment in our history. Some of these errors, on all sides have been corrected, verbally at least, over the past 20 years; more corrections are needed, Criticisms and demands will intensify!
The 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the Million Man March
The 20th Anniversary March will be successful. It could be much larger however, and even more militant and powerful with your participation. History will not forgive your absence.
Matter is a plenum of forces in tension. It is this tension that is the basis of change. In society, it is this tension generated through conflicting and competing forces that give rise to change. It is this law that informed Kwame as he always said, “[to not] run from struggle, [but rather] run to struggle.”
The A-APRP(GC) is intensifying our struggle to understand this moment in history, and to define the revolutionary role that we must play in helping to make that history. This is an arduous task. Mistakes are inevitable. They are being made, but also corrected in the process.
One mistake that we will not make is to compromise our revolutionary values and principles, our revolutionary ideology and objective, the revolutionary history and legacy our People, or the integrity and dignity of Kwame Ture. We will not compromise our 55 years of struggle to build and maintain our revolutionary relationships with forces in every corner of Africa, the African Diaspora and the World.
The A-APRP(GC) will change its strategy and tactics however, when, where and as often as needed. No one would buy a car, a train or a plane that does not have brakes or a reverse, and that cannot maneuver and turn left or right, when needed and where possible. We will “seize the time,” but we are not opportunists. We will not be disruptive or disrespectful and at the same time, we will not be disrespected, and we will not commit political suicide.
We are going to assemble and rally in Malcolm X Park, march on the White House, and join the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March. We are answering the call to participate in this gathering, and we are determining how best to make our contribution to the cause. We are honest, we are Nkrumahist-Toureist; we work with humility and do not exaggerate or mystify our role in 1995, or our capacity now.
We are trekking to DC by bus, van, car and if necessary on foot, from every corner of North America and the Caribbean. We will charter, pay for and fill our own buses, vans, and cars independently and self-reliantly. We will partner with travel agencies to facilitate plane and train travel, and lodging.
We do not seek fortune or infamy. We do not chase dollar bills or television cameras; and we do not jockey for three minutes on a stage. We do not seek to hobnob backstage with the VIPs. We will join the Official Program, and sit on the grass with and among the People. We will work the cities and highways of North America, and the National Mall (politically, not commercially). We will meet old comrades, sisters and brothers, and friends whom we have not seen in two decades; and network new ones.
The Kwame Ture Brigade is going to assemble and rally at Malcolm X Park, as an independent contingent, and march silently, with banners and signs (no sticks), to the White House on 16th and Pennsylvania Ave. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Silent March Protest Parade against Lynching on 5th Ave in New York in 1914; and the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s (UNIA) Parade on 125th Street in Harlem in 1924 are two examples of this weapon in our repertoire of content, our arsenal of confrontation.
Our signs will contain the pictures and names of hundreds of millions of people whose lives have been stolen by the military and police in every corner of Africa, the African Diaspora and the World. When the front of our March reaches 16th and Pennsylvania Ave, we will sit down in the streets, in silence, in remembrance of and respect for them. We will then march, silently, from the White House to the National Mall to join the official 20th Anniversary Commemoration and Program.
We will uphold the dignity of African and Oppressed Humanity. We will not be disruptive or disrespectful. The whole world will be watching, and our Movement will never be the same, again.
The 20th Anniversary of the Stay-At Home Campaign!
HELL YES, we are going to help, to the best of our capacity, enable and empower students in every corner of the world to shut their campuses down on Friday, October 9, 2015, in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Stay-at-Home Campaign. We ask them to Shut It Down, and build the largest sit-down strike their campus and the world has ever seen. More on this Campaign later!
We are also going to help enable and empower, to the best of our ability, those who cannot join us in DC to organize support activities in every city in North America, and in cities across the World.
Let’s honor the 20th Anniversary of the Stay-at-Home Campaign on October 9, 2015!
Click here, to support and help organize the Shut It Down Campaign!
Let’s commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March on October 10, 1995!
Click here, to join and support the Kwame Ture Brigade!
Click here, to make a Donation to help support these actions!