The October 2 rally for jobs initiated by the NAACP and organized labor is an opportunity for the Black is Back Coalition to clarify and address the most pressing needs of African people in the United States and the world. At least 100,000 are expected to converge on the Washington Mall, a large proportion of them Black and other people of color.
NAACP President Ben Jealous and his trade union allies initially framed the demonstration as an effort to force the U.S. government to “create jobs and stop moving money out of education and into wars and prisons.”
We at Black is Back are, of course, in general agreement with that broad sentiment, but we also know that Power concedes nothing without a demand. The NAACP and Big Labor have made no demands on the Power in the White House, and it is unlikely that they will do or say anything on October 2 that might discomfort the Democratic Party.
That’s our job, along with thousands of others who will be in Washington to demand an end to imperial wars, racist oppression, corporate bailouts, and an historic break with apartheid Israel.
We believe our militant presence is necessary to demonstrate once again that African Americans have not been duped by the Black man in the White House. Our Black is Back formation will spoil any attempts to turn the October 2 rally into a campaign event for Obama and the Democrats.
As we stated in our recent Call for a Black is Back mobilization this coming November 13, “the only change we have experienced” under Obama “is an intensification of the exploitation and oppression of Black people and oppressed people worldwide, by the global white power machine.”
We will gather at 14th Street NW and Constitution Avenue, adjacent to the formations mobilized by the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC), a coalition of organizations that share our determination to speak Truth to Power at the Washington Mall.
UNAC has prepared 3,000 placards for its affiliated protesters, signifying the four demands endorsed at their national conference in July:
- $Trillions for jobs and education, not wars and bank bailouts.
- Bring the troops, mercenaries and war dollars home from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, now!
- Stop government attacks on unions, Muslims, immigrants and people of color. Civil liberties for all.
- End U.S aid to Israel. Billions for jobs, not occupation. End the siege of Gaza. Free Palestine!
Black is Back unites with these demands, which are fully consistent with our own. We further demand an end to the war against African people here in the U.S., through police terror, mass Black incarceration, displacement from home and neighborhood, economic exploitation and enforced joblessness, and the myriad assaults to which Blacks are daily subjected.
We say no! to Africom and the continued horrendous exploitation and oppression throughout Africa!
We say no! to U.S. and UN occupation of Haiti and to the rape and murder that accompany that occupation!
We say no! to the escalated U.S. terror being exported throughout South America, the Caribbean and the entire Africa world!
We say no! to political complacency and to unity with imperialism in its present black face!
Resist forever! Surrender never!