The Real Reason For The Uhuru Movements Attack On Chernoh Alpha M. Bah And His US Allies!
This is the OFFICIAL Communique Of The International Support Committee Of The African Socialist Movement of Sierra Leone
Released May 26, 2012
On May 23, 2012 the Uhuru Movement published a dishonest, unprincipled and slanderous communique attacking Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, Chairman of the African Socialist Movement of Sierra Leone. Accused of being counter revolutionary supporters of neocolonialism and imperialism in Sierra Leone Ajamu Bandele, Iyapo Ngina-Bandele, and Matthew Willis as members of the US-based International Support Committee of the African Socialist Movement stand firm in our principled position of support for our comrades of the ASM-SL as they contest the “REAL” neocolonialist in the national elections for 11 seats in parliament and council under the banner of the National Democratic Alliance. We could imagine that many people are unable to make an informed and principled stance around this struggle and so this article is an attempt to present some facts and make clear the position of the International Support Committee of the African Socialist Movement.
Since the release of this preemptive strike against them Ajamu and Matthew have taken the initiative to defend the honor, dignity, and integrity of themselves in the comment section on the Uhuru News site. As Uhuru member after Uhuru member launched assault after assault labeling us reactionaries, criminals, petty bourgeoisie, neocolonialist, imperialist, and straight up enemies of the people it became increasingly clear the depth of the dogmatic brainwashing and mind control that permeates throughout the ranks of the Uhuru Movement. Last night, we were officially blocked from making comments on their site while a number of our post were being removed in the mist of continual attacks by Uhuru members. This is an obvious attempt to silence our voices and to assassinate our characters so that when we exposed the true nature of the Uhuru Movements activities and allies in Sierra Leone and what really happened in the split between the ASI/APSP and the African Socialist Movement (formerly The Africanist Movement), the general public would categorically dismiss anything that we had to say concerning the Uhuru Movement since we were “outed” by the APSP as supporters of imperialism.
Any one who has ever been a member of this movement or followed its activities for any period of time knows that there is a general tendency for them to launch pubic slander campaigns against former members that “dare to struggle, dare to win” within the undemocratic centralist process of criticism/counter criticism of the Uhuru Movement in the name of “revolutionary principle”. This current attack against us is not to be taken in isolation from the many unprincipled slander campaigns that this political cult has engaged in throughout its existence to discredit genuine revolutionary forces that decided to break free from the Stalinist styled discipline of the African Peoples Socialist Party. Criticism is used as a weapon to intimidate members into not making struggle to overturn the internal contradictions of the movement.
It is the bourgeois arrogance of this self proclaimed “advanced detatchment” that causes it to view itself as the ONLY legitimate revolutionary African organization in existence. This arrogance causes it to view its leadership as the ONLY legitimate African leadership in existence. There is this self-righteous “Uhuru Movement or nothing” attitude that is evident in all of its literature. The public must be made aware of this fraudulent and corrupt organization that we understand to be the Political Cult Of Yeshitelism. Any former member of the Uhuru Movement that continues the revolutionary work is attacked as in the case of Fred Hampton Jr. and his mother MaMa Akua Njeri or Sticman and M1 of Dead Prez! You can now add Ajamu Bandele, Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, Iyapo Ngina-Bandele, and Matthew Willis to that list.
This is not a new thing with this movement as there is a clear precedence of what to expect if one has the audacity to organize independent of “party discipline and principle.” Slander campaigns labeling former members petty bourgeoisie thieves, opportunist, hostile anti-party forces that high jacked the party line and use it for selfish reasons. They claim that the party made us who we are. That we had all of these contradictions that the party failed to understand while we were in the mist of the organization. Blah Blah Blah!For those with eyes to see it is clear what is happening here.
One might be asking what does the Uhuru Movement stand to gain from attacking former members? Well Every case is different but we believe that there is a deep fear that an ex-member might come out against the APSP and make public the corruption and contradictions up in that movement. So it becomes necessary to engage in these slander campaigns to discredit and isolate these forces before they expose them. These are preemptive strikes that are defensive in nature. That is what we are looking at here.
Chernoh will be releasing a detailed statement as to what really happened in their split with the ASI/APSP. He will be setting the record straight and bringing forth undeniable evidence to support his criticism of the Uhuru Movement’s activities in Sierra Leone. It should be understood that this slander campaign comes at a time in which we were are actively organizing to tour Chernoh and a delegation of comrades from the ASM-SL in the US to win support for the campaign to contest the neocolonalist parties in the national elections in Sierra Leone for 10 seats in key districts where the ASM-SL have strongholds under the banner of the National Democratic Alliance. Chernoh was also prepared to answer any questions concerning the split with the Uhuru Movement and to expose the relationship that the ASI/APSP has with members and long time supporters of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party or SLPP which is one of “REAL” neocolonial political parties that has monopolized state power over the last 50 years.
When we were contacted by Chernoh, back in September 2011 we took the position that we will at least consider supporting the African Socialist Movement to build a base of support in the US independent of the Uhuru Movement. We had questions and we requested answers. After an investigation of the facts we decided that based on the history of Chernoh Alpha M. Bah and the former Africanist Movement as genuine revolutionaries fighting for the anit-imperialist struggle for African Liberation and Socialism we were duty bound to assist our comrades in Sierra Leone by any means necessary. It became obvious early on that we could be on a collision course with the Uhuru Movement but we stand on revolutionary principles and the side of truth, not the fear of struggle with reactionary dogs.
Some background of the dynamics of the political landscape in Sierra Leone is in order here so let me “make it plain”. Sierra Leone is a country that is split between two political traditions and divided by two regional lines. The petty bourgeoisie of the North-West represented in the APC which is the party currently in power verses the petty bourgeoisie of the South-East represented in the SLPP which is the party that went out of power in the 2007 elections. The country has been run by these two neocolonial political parties of the bourgeoisie for the past 50 years since “flag independence.” Smaller parties have emerged in recent years but they are splinters and sub-products of the two dominant tendencies.
The African Socialist Movement in a strategic alliance with the National Democratic Alliance is the first political party to wage an assault against these traditional divisions. The NDA is a pro democratic party that has a platform and strategy for unifying the electoral body by dismantling the divisions of the traditional monopoly. After the split with the ASI/APSP Chernoh and his comrades continued to work for the consolidation of a national democratic front in Sierra Leone. It is important to remember that every country is a front of the worldwide socialist revolution and that each front has its own internal dynamics and is in a specific stage of the revolution. The socialist revolution in Sierra Leone is in the early phase of the National Democratic stage. The tactics and strategies being utilized by revolutionary forces in that country can not be taken out of this context and be correctly understood. Contesting the petty bourgeoisie through electoral politics is a tactic of seizing the forum and political machinery of the state as a means of raising the class-consciousness of the masses and broadening the base of support for the revolution. Any criticism of the methods used by the socialist revolutionaries in any country must take into account the concrete conditions and the relationship of contending forces to imperialism and the people.
In 2007 the Africanist Movement launched the first attempt to strike a relationship with pro-democratic forces in Sierra Leone to broaden their base beyond the two regional lines. One of the organizations that signed the memorandum is the Passengers Welfare Organization or PAWEL under the leadership of one Milton Bayoh. He had been operating a kind of nursing school but he was unable to get approval from the state or funding for the development of the school. During that process of working with this particular force it was discovered that he was an opportunist seeking to exploit the Africanist Movement to gain access to its supporters in the US (at the time the APSP/Uhuru Movement) as a means of legitimizing and financing the PAWEL nursing school. It was also discovered
that Milton Bayoh was a registered member of the SLPP. The Africanist Movement broke ranks with him and his organization the same year.
Milton Bayoh and, the current “poster child” of the Uhuru Movement, Nurse Mary Koroma are both from the South-East of the country. After returning from the United States without a base of support and the full support of the Uhuru Movement, she collaborated with Milton Bayoh and the together they transformed the PAWEL nursing school into the AAPDEP-SL Nursing School. So you see what we are truly looking at is a “triangle of opportunism”, involving a poor nurse a member of the SLPP with a nursing school in need of financial support and credibility, and then there is the Uhuru Movement that has covered up the split between the ASI and the Africanist Movement and began throwing money and support around to anyone in Sierra Leone that would turn over their already existing institutions and farms to the AAPDEP control. The ASI had to save face and so it began to opportunistically recruit forces that it came into contact with through the Africanist Movement to legitimize the ASI/AAPDEP presence in Sierra Leone.
Mary Koroma, desperate to prove to the Uhuru Movement that she had a following, formed the alliance with the supporter of neocolonialism, Milton Bayoh and his PAWEL. In its desperation the Uhuru Movement entered this alliance with the full support of its brainwashed membership. Mary has become a celebrity and is being paraded around as evidence of what the great Uhuru Movement is doing in Sierra Leone. There is no political base or mass support for AAPDEP in Sierra Leone! It operates just like a NGO cloaked as a revolutionary initiative. What revolutionary organization is being built in Sierra Leone since the split with the Africanist Movement?
We do not wish to discredit the work in and of itself since I am it is certain that African workers and peasants are benefiting from the services being provided to them. This is not a criticism or attack on AAPDEP as an institution. We unite with the development initiatives to build grassroots initiatives to address the immediate needs of African people. Rather, this is to expose the nature of the relationships behind the scenes of this work and the motivation of the forces involved in this “triangle of opportunism” as it relates to the struggle against Chernoh and our comrades of the ASM-SL.
They centered their attack on Chernoh around the statement that he made as the National Spokesman of the NDA calling on the UN to deploy a temporary force to help secure the democratic right of the people to vote in the November elections without being intimidated by the APC administration that has recently purchased $5 million in arms and ammo for the police in the mist of heightened political repression against opposition forces. The NDA appealed to the UN to disarm the neocolonialist of their newly purchased weapons. The APC claims that they bought the weapons to “maintain peace and keep the country safe for investors” and Chernoh countered this by saying that it is a false pretext to arm the police forces in the name of “peace and investment” during an election given the history of political violence in Sierra Leone. He was saying that it is the NDA that is truly concerned with the maintaining the peace in the country by demanding that the UN force the neocolonialist to give up their $5 million of weapons and deploy a peacekeeping force to secure peaceful elections.
The UN is an international institution that is dominated by the imperialist but there is a precedent for revolutionaries to use the UN to win international support for their struggles and to apply pressure to the neocolonialist. Chernoh was labeled a neocolonialist agent of imperialism based on this position. They are attempting say that he is running for political office so that he can join the petty bourgeoisie and serve the interest of imperialism. These accusations are baseless and slanderous beyond measure. Many revolutionary and democratic forces took their causes to the UN as a tactic to advance their struggle. As a means of soliciting international support for their cause. This position statement made by Chernoh has been blown out of proportion and taking out of context deliberately to justify the attacks made against us in the APSP communiqué.
In February, an Uhuru Movement member in Philidelphia came under heavy criticism for “liking” a facebook announcement that she saw on Ajamu’s page, announcing an alliance between the ASM-SL and the Black Star Action Network. She was labeled a “cheerleader of anti-party forces”. This was interesting due to the fact that not even 2 weeks prior the olive branch of peace and reconciliation was extended to the APSP by Ajamu directly to Chairman Omali Yeshitela and Diop Olugbala (who was criticized by Iyapo and Ajamu for his role in the sabotaging of the Free Ajamu Campaign). It was determined that it would be most principled to take the initiative in resolving any unresolved issues between Ajamu and Iyapo as they would launching the Black Star Action Network in Tampa the following week. Ajamu was informed by Omali that there was no unresolved issue and that we should just do the work only to be informed about being labeled “anti-party forces” a few weeks later.
This is mentioned to expose that on one hand, the duplicity and hypocrisy of the APSP communique attacking us. In it, the impression is given that Chernoh was a master manipulator and thief who out-witted the Uhuru Movement and split with a boat motor and radio device. The split between the two organizations happened in early 2011 and so the question is why make this criticism of Chernoh NOW? Why not back then while he was allegedly committing these acts? Some one has to answer these questions honestly. This labeling of Ajamu and Chernoh as “anit-party forces” was in February yet Chernoh did not make the statement concerning the UN deployment until April. Why is this significant? The APSP has never come out with an open statement declaring Ajamu and Chernoh “anti-party” forces and in fact when asked straight-up if there was a problem, Uhuru Movement leader Chairman Omali Yeshitela lied and said that there was no unresolved issues with Ajamu.
Even though we were being summed up as “anti party” as far back as February to our knowledge it is now revealed that in the case of Chernoh he was considered “anti party” while still in the ASI. I mean, If he was so criminal then why not expose him then and sever all ties? Why hide the split from the public only to emerge with this unprincipled and slanderous attack after almost 18 months of silence concerning Chernoh?
In early April, Chernoh made a post on his facebook with a link to an article covering his statement concerning the deployment of UN forces in Sierra Leone. And again like has happened on a number of occasions someone from the Uhuru Movement spying on ex-members pages to monitor what we might say about them, launched an attack calling Chernoh a fake and an agent of imperialism for his statement. This was even more confusing because it was Penny Hess, the chairwoman of the African Peoples Solidarity Committee (APSC). APSC is the organization of white people that function as the financial backbone of the APSP. It was clear that Penny Hess was being sent to pick a fight with Chernoh for the APSP. A few people made comments defending Chernoh, sending her back to her own leadership and ask them about the supporters of neocolonialism that they are in bed with in Sierra Leone. Former APSC member, Matthew Willis was one of those that went on the post and made a comment in support of Chernoh. That is why 22 paragraphs were devoted to criminalizing him in the APSP communique. Through the grapevine we learned that a statement was being prepared in response to that struggle on Chernoh’s facebook page and we just waited until May 23, 2012.
It was in defense of Penny Hess’s childish attack on Chernoh’s facebook page in reply to his posting of an article on his facebook page that this throw down was initiated. We did not start this fight, Yeshitela’s Uhuru Movement did. And the reason why they did it is because their relationship with agents of neocolonialism in Sierra Leone was going to be exposed by Chernoh Alpha M. Bah and his allies in the US. As we pointed out above, this is the true reason for this public slander campaign targeting Chernoh and his US allies. It was a preemptive strike of desperation designed to discredit and demonize us before we get a chance to expose them. Those of you that know us can attest that we are genuine revolutionaries with an undeniable history of putting in work for the people.
It is our hope that this article sheds some light on what is really going on here and that those who have unity with us stand with us against this counterrevolutionary attack. This is not about subjective feelings toward the Uhuru Movement since we have all moved on and built our own respective organizations, having never stopped serving the people. We are not criminals or agents of imperialism. It is those that falsely accuse others that are best suited for the label. We are not motivated by revenge or retaliation. We sincerely want the truth to be known and to warn any one considering joining Uhuru, or that is currently an active member, please know the true nature of the Uhuru Movement. We are making a call to other former Uhuru Movement forces to join us and to make public their own experience with this Political Cult Of Yeshitelism. We make this statement for the people based on revolutionary principles.
We demand that the Uhuru Movement make a through self criticism for this public slander campaign and that they confess and disband their relationship with agents of neocolonialism in Sierra Leone.
Lastly, we call on you all to support the International Support Committee of the African Socialist Movement as we are organizing to tour our comrade Chernoh Alpha M. Bah throughout the US. We are seeking sponsors and organizers to help make this tour possible. The ONLY revolutionary Socialist organization actively challenging Imperialism and neocolonialism in Sierra Leone is the African Socialist Movement and we are calling on you to join us in a building base of support within the US. For more info email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Dare To Struggle! Dare To Win!”
Internation Support Committee of The African Socialist Movement