Recently, someone sent me a transcript—though only a couple of pages—of a conference call on November 3, 2011 conducted by US Human Rights Network (USHRN) Labor Working Group and the Black Left Unity Network. Apparently, the Black Left Unity Network evolved out of the ‘Social Forum’ held in the summer of 2010 in Detroit. Upon reading the pages, I was elated to learn that such discussion was going on. But the more I read, the more I found myself asking the question, why are they concentrating their attention on Occupy Wall Street? It became more apparent that the discussion was on whether “the white tail was wagging the black dog,” and how best to introduce Black left issues in OWS national protest campaigns.
In my blog, “Occupy Wall Street…A Movement?” I introduce the idea that OWS is not a movement, but rather a social-democratic reformist protest campaign. It is not anti-capitalist, it is not anti-imperialist, and it is not anti-racist. If this is true, then how should the Black left address OWS? Obviously, a social-democratic reformist protest campaign must be challenged as to exactly what they seek to achieve, and how that will impact Black folks in Amerikkka. In this regards, one Sister in the conference call urged that a National Black Liberation Conference be held to evolve a common platform. I totally agree with this position, as there is an overwhelming need for the Black left to define itself, consolidate its political existence, and forge a national determination program and platform in a unified front to OWS or any other progressive initiative.
As was written in previous blogs concerning OWS, a National Black Liberation Conference will need to forge national public policy on issues pertaining to Universal Health Care; Student and Home Programs; National Wealth Distribution/Tax Programs; National Environmental Preservation Programs; Immigration Relief Program; Domestic Security and International Anti-Aggression Protection Act; Natural Resource and Energy Commission; Social Justice and Penal Reconstruction Program, to include the amnesty and release of political prisoners. These issues are common concerns of all oppressed and disenfranchised US citizens; however, each of these issues is crucial to the existence of black folks in Amerikkka. As is often said, “When white folks catch a cold, Black folks catch pneumonia.” Obviously, if the Black left were to devise a program and platform to demand public policy in challenging the current oppressive/repressive conditions, Black folks, as had been the case since the civil rights struggle, will influence and lead a revolutionary national mass and popular movement.
Once again, it is time for the Black left to rise to the historic challenge, to purge itself of the lethargic apathy that prohibited uniform and unified Black political determination and movement. It is time for a National Black Liberation Conference, to at minimum identify specific socio-economic and political issues, and the means/method to challenge the system, and implement a revolutionary determination in a mass and popular movement.
The future holds promise, but only if you take action. Needless to say, we, Black political prisoners are hopeful the Black Left will rise to the occasion.
In fierce struggle,
Jalil A. Muntaqim