In recent weeks the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP USA) has received a few queries from people regarding the relationship of Chernoh Alpha M. Bah to the work of the African Socialist International (ASI) or Uhuru Movement in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Some of the queries were a response to our reporting on the work of our Movement under the leadership of the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), a project of the ASI. Since early last year the AAPDEP work has grown exponentially and some wanted to know if Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is involved in that work.
Others have been confused by a number of press releases and other information regarding Chernoh’s activities in Sierra Leone posted on social media.
This included an announcement that Chernoh is running for a seat in the Sierra Leone Parliament and a declaration by Chernoh that he has appointed a former member of the African People’s Socialist Party USA as Chernoh’s representative in the U.S.
It was the African Socialist International and Uhuru Movement that introduced Chernoh Alpha M. Bah to most of his contacts in the international community and most of his activities prior to the recent period have occurred under the banner of the African Socialist International and Uhuru Movement. It was the African Socialist International and the Uhuru Movement that introduced Chernoh Alpha M. Bah to most people around the world.
Because of this it has become increasingly obvious that the Party must make a statement to set the record straight regarding our relationship to Chernoh Alpha M. Bah.
Chernoh is no longer with the ASI
First of all, we want it known to the world that Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is not a member of the African Socialist International, the Uhuru Movement or any other organization or committee associated with the ASI in Sierra Leone or anywhere else in Africa or the world.
This is because Chernoh Alpha M. Bah has proved to be an opportunistic and dishonest force of the highest order.
Chernoh has betrayed his commitment to African Internationalism, the revolutionary theory of the African working class; the African Socialist International and the masses of people around the world that attempted to support the Sierra Leonean Front of the African revolution through projects nominally associated with Chernoh.
Chernoh is now openly in support of parasitic capitalism, the system that must be overturned by Africans everywhere before we can achieve human dignity, freedom and self-determination.
The work of the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) has nothing to do with Chernoh Alpha M. Bah and this work has happened despite Chernoh’s efforts to prevent its development and to discourage and undermine it once it was in place.
ASI’s first contact with Chernoh
The African Socialist International came into contact with Chernoh Alpha M. Bah in 2005. He was among a number of contacts made by the ASI from our London office.
The objective was to locate African activists on the Continent of Africa that could be won to African Internationalism and the goal of building the African Socialist International, the political instrument for winning the liberation and unification of Africa and African people. The African Socialist International is an international organization of the advanced detachment of the African working class.
In October of 2005 Chernoh was flown to London to meet with leaders of the ASI. In December of that year a delegation from the African People’s Socialist Party UK and the APSP USA traveled to Sierra Leone and participated in mass meetings organized by Chernoh.
Although Chernoh stated at the time that contact with the ASI was a life-changing experience and that before meeting the Party he had reached his limitations with no idea how to move forward, there were contradictions.
One such contradiction was rooted in Chernoh’s desire to adopt reckless, typically petty bourgeois, anti-revolutionary tactics for ascension to power without the educated participation of the masses and proper development of revolutionary organization. This contradiction made it necessary for the Party to briefly suspend our relationship with Chernoh.
We mistakenly attributed this contradiction to a lack of political development on Chernoh’s part and his assumption that a handful of actors taking power in the name of the people was an acceptable standard.
Chernoh given a second chance
After Chernoh’s serious and strident declaration of unity with the principles, tactics and strategy of the ASI, which is centered on the key role of the people’s participation in the struggle for power, we re-engaged in our relationship with Chernoh Alpha M. Bah.
We would learn over the course of time that Chernoh’s disdain for the people and their participation in shaping their future was not informed by ignorance but by his class aspirations to enter into the ranks of the neocolonial petty bourgeoisie in Sierra Leone on the backs of the people’s misery and at their expense.
Indeed, for all the resources the ASI provided for the Sierra Leone work under Chernoh’s leadership, absolutely nothing was developed to forward the struggle or well-being of the people that was not actually transported there by organizations of the ASI from outside Sierra Leone.
Chernoh uses ASI resources for personal gain
One example is the 2008 Rainwater Harvesting System that AAPDEP, under the leadership of Aisha Fields, and working with the Gbanelol community of Lungi, Sierra Leone, established to bring clean water to that community. Chernoh used AAPDEP to come to Gbanelol and create a project that only served to give him influence in the community without having to build anything himself.
None of the people of that community were organized into AAPDEP or the ASI. None were won to membership in any movement organization that would allow the people of the community an opportunity to participate in their own emancipation. Instead, the project was one that allowed Chernoh to be a “Big Man” in the community without contributing to the development of the people themselves.
The Rainwater Harvesting Project also brought African technicians organized by AAPDEP from the U.S. and was an unqualified success, providing 3,000 liters of water daily during the April through September rainy season. This is no little thing in a country where only 22 percent of the population has consistent access to clean water.
In 2008 AAPDEP also initiated a process to begin dealing with the critical issue of health care in Sierra Leone. As with the Rainwater Harvesting Project, this was done without any effort or participation on the part of Chernoh Alpha M. Bah.
AAPDEP’s website explained the significance of the program thusly:
“In early March, AAPDEP Health Care Team Coordinator Dr. Michelle Strongfields traveled to Sierra Leone in order to begin AAPDEP health care projects in Oloshoro, a coastal community located inside the country's capital, Freetown.
“While in Sierra Leone, Dr. Strongfields lead a community workshop on the prevention, identification and treatment of waterborne diseases, worked closely with the local health care committee of Oloshoro to complete a community pediatric health assessment and began laying plans for a community health workers program and clinic.
“Tens of thousands of Africans die needlessly every year in Sierra Leone from preventable and treatable waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery. Many victims are infants and young children who succumb to the dehydration associated with such illnesses.”
These were not charity programs put in place with the intent of forming some kind of parasitic relationship with the people. These were programs designed to empower the community and bring the people into active political life in their own interests. These were not programs designed to give Chernoh or any of the AAPDEP organizers neocolonial authority over the people to build their own little fiefdoms.
But this is exactly what Chernoh Alpha M. Bah actually did. For example, with the assistance of ASI and AAPDEP supporters around the world, including a sizeable donation from a longtime supporter, in 2008 AAPDEP acquired a 40 horsepower boat motor for $4,200 to support a fishing project that was developed by a community in Gbanelol.
However, the community apparently refused to go along with being a showcase and resource generator for Chernoh, so Chernoh kept the motor from the project. Chernoh treated the motor as his personal property, later refusing to return the motor so it could be used for a current AAPDEP project where a community is building boats without the benefit of any kind of electric or power tools.
Now that the people have built boats by hand under these most difficult circumstances as a project to help the people feed themselves and bring in resources for the community, they do not have a motor because Chernoh has stolen the motor for himself.
This is a resource that was stolen from the people of Sierra Leone, from the ASI and from all the supporters who contributed the money for the motor after being won to friendship with Africa through the work of our movement.
But even prior to this struggle we were learning more and more about the character of Chernoh Alpha M. Bah. In fact a process was begun as late as 2011 to salvage the initial fiasco with the motor and develop a plan of action for a fishing project that would use the motor in Tombo Village. This plan of action was initiated while Chernoh was in the U.S., having been brought here by ASI forces to provide emergency health assistance for him due to a life-threatening bout with malaria.
ASI provides Chernoh with healthcare
Our Movement raised the money to bring Chernoh to the U.S. as well as the resources for his healthcare. Dr. Michelle Strongfields organized another African physician and supporter to provide care in Philadelphia. Chernoh stayed at the home of Stephen Fields and Dr. Strongfields, both strong supporters of the Uhuru Movement. Chernoh remained in Philadelphia from December 2010 until late January 2011 under the care of the physician that had overseen similar treatment we provided him in 2008.
On two occasions the Uhuru Movement organized health care for Chernoh in the U.S. On one of those occasions he was critically ill. One comrade from our Movement in London took off from her job to accompany Chernoh to the U.S. on this healthcare mission.
The ASI paid for her ticket to ensure his wellbeing during the travel and she literally nursed Chernoh for the duration of the flight. We did this because we are revolutionaries and assumed we were dealing with a revolutionary comrade that had assumed for himself the task of the liberation and unification of Africa and African people worldwide.
However, what adds to the disgust with Chernoh’s behavior is his willingness to accept top rate healthcare for himself but do everything in his power to disrupt AAPDEP’s presence in Sierra Leone and its project of bringing healthcare to the masses of our people there.
This is a common trait of the neocolonial petty bourgeoisie in Africa. They will refuse to provide the most basic services for the suffering people while enjoying for themselves medical care and other benefits in the U.S. and European capitals. Like the typical neocolonial petty bourgeoisie Chernoh does not want the people to receive what he received through his connection with the ASI and other contacts provided him through this relationship.
ASI’s shortcomings made us vulnerable to deception
Early on in our relationship with him others frequently alerted us that Chernoh was a dishonest force. These warnings often came from former supporters of Chernoh that refused to work with him any longer. We were also told that when sent to Kenya on an ASI mission in 2008, Chernoh had engaged in unprincipled and dishonorable activities that compromised our organizational efforts in that East African imperialist-created state.
On each occasion we dismissed the criticisms of Chernoh as coming from forces that were in disunity with the goals of the African Socialist International. This was an error arising from the inexperience and organizational and structural weaknesses of the ASI work at the time. Without the structures in place to guarantee organizational accountability our work relied too heavily on the assumed ideological, political and organizational integrity of our leaders. This is changing.
In 2006 and 2007 the ASI toured Chernoh Alpha M. Bah throughout the U.S., raising at least $17,000 from Uhuru Movement supporters that Chernoh was supposed to use for building the ASI work in Sierra Leone. During that same period the ASI also held meetings in London where approximately $800 were raised for the Sierra Leone work.
Additionally, from 2006 to 2010 shipments of a mix of second hand clothing, shoes, books, radios, televisions, printers, VHS video player, generator, crutches, walkers and some medical equipment worth several thousand British pounds were sent to Chernoh by ASI forces in the United Kingdom to support the work he was supposed to be doing at home in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone conference reveals depth of contradiction
We were forced to begin looking seriously at the contradictions with Chernoh during an ASI-sponsored conference to build the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone in November 2009. An article in Uhuru News, the online production of the Party’s newspaper, The Burning Spear, spoke glowingly of the Sierra Leone Conference:
“The November 16th through 18th conference held in Sierra Leone, West Africa officially launched the African People’s Socialist Party on African soil. The event offers new opportunities for the International African Revolution to consolidate itself, and to advance the cause of world socialism not seen since the defeat of the Black Revolution of the Sixties….
“The three-year organizing process, led by the African Socialist International and the Africanist Movement culminated in a Sierra Leone national interim leadership committee. They [the ASI] put forward the Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) to guide the work over the next year that promises to organize all of Sierra Leone and neighboring Liberia and Guinea (Conakry) as well.
“The Africanist Movement, led by Comrade brother Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, who is also International Organizer of the African Socialist International (ASI), voted to disband the [Africanist] Movement, ceasing all political activities in the name of the Africanist Movement, and becoming officially the African People’s Socialist Party-Sierra Leone.”
What we did not know and the article could not say at the time is that Chernoh had used ASI resources to organize a conference to present a fait accompli, or accomplished fact.
His intent was to trap the ASI with responsibility of paying for the consequences of the dissolution of the Africanist Movement and the financial requirements of putting the African People’s Socialist Party on the ground in Sierra Leone. The absence of any kind of registration fee and the promise of free food contributed to the ability to bring an enthusiastic audience to the founding conference.
However, no work had been done to build the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone. The fact is that the neocolonial petty bourgeoisie in power in Sierra Leone has made it extremely difficult to register a political party.
To protect its monopoly on power the petty bourgeoisie has made the process so expensive it would be very difficult for African workers to challenge them for control of the neocolonial state through the electoral process.
But the turnout for the founding conference was significant and the obvious enthusiasm for the idea of consolidating the Party led Uhuru News to make this statement in its report:
“The three-day conference, which averaged 300 participants per day was also attended by an eight person U.S. delegation headed by African Socialist International Chairman, Omali Yeshitela, delegates from Guinea (Conakry), and African Socialist International Secretary General and African People’s Socialist Party leader in the United Kingdom (Britain), Luwezi Kinshasa.”
Chernoh maneuvers to be “big man”
Three important contradictions were revealed to ASI leaders during this conference:
First, Chernoh refused to allow the people to make financial contributions to the conference, which would have allowed them to become stakeholders in the conference and the effort to build the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone. Chernoh claimed the people were too poor to make contributions to their own liberation. Instead, disregarding the position of the ASI he unilaterally decided to leave the people dependent on his “good will.”
Chernoh was able to bring international forces to Sierra Leone and host a major conference in a fancy center owned by the British Council based on resources from the ASI. The conference was able to provide free food for the people.
The people were to be dependent on their relationship with Chernoh who, through his connection with the ASI was the “Big Man” over a powerless people, the very definition of neocolonial rule.
Secondly, the Party produced a Sierra Leone edition of The Burning Spear newspaper while in Sierra Leone. This was done under the leadership of Omowale Kefing, The Spear editor at the time. While Chernoh is trained as a journalist and has had articles appearing in various media sources in West Africa, he did nothing but drag his feet in the process of getting The Spear, the political organ of the ASI and the African working class, published and distributed in Sierra Leone.
While The Spear was finally printed it was done despite Chernoh, not because of his assistance.
Finally, perhaps the most revealing of all was Chernoh’s absolute refusal to even get the contact information from the participants of the conference and put it in a process to use to build on in order to establish the Party in Sierra Leone.
The ASI delegation left the conference without any real knowledge of who the many people who attended the conference were and where they were located in Sierra Leone, something that would obviously be needed if there was a genuine intent to build the Party there.
In reality, the Party did not actually exist in Sierra Leone and Chernoh had even broken Sierra Leone law by declaring its existence, knowing fully well what it took to legally register the Party. He had made a unilateral decision to dissolve the Africanist Movement, a mass youth organization he had created and led, without even informing many of the people who were part of the organization.
He gambled that since the Uhuru Movement was so determined to build an organization to liberate our people in Sierra Leone we would be forced to fork over the money Chernoh wanted to use to establish the Party as a legal registered organization, especially since the Africanist Movement no longer existed.
It was a poorly disguised attempt to extort the African Socialist International and the revolution for the resources to advance his own selfish petty bourgeois interests.
Instead, we determined that Chernoh had the responsibility to build the movement and the Party using the Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) written for him by the ASI to mobilize the masses.
Having already refused to promote the RNDP because of the alleged illiteracy of the masses, the idea of assuming responsibility for raising the resources for the Party through winning support among the masses was unacceptable to Chernoh.
Chernoh hijacks ASI platform to seek office
Today, in order to further his own personal interests Chernoh is running for a seat in Parliament on a platform consisting of the very same Revolutionary National Democratic Program of the ASI.
This is another instance of Chernoh refusing to use ASI resources for the working class of Sierra Leone while stealing them for his own personal advantage to win support from a base less “illiterate” than the African workers and revolutionary democratic forces.
Chernoh has no program other than his own self-interest, so he is attempting to hijack and steal the people’s Revolutionary National Democratic Program. In addition, Chernoh’s campaign literature completely revised history by erasing his prior connection and obligation to the ASI and Uhuru Movement. In other words Chernoh is attempting to actually steal the prestige of the ASI and Uhuru Movement by kidnapping our program, pretending it is his.
Needless to say, this will not work. The African workers and revolutionary national democratic forces affiliated with the ASI will never concede our Revolutionary National Democratic Program to a reactionary force that would use our program against the interests of the very same people it was designed to support.
See the ASI's RNDP produced for Sierra Leone and then see it hijacked as Chernoh's platform for his own personal campaign below:
Chernoh violates democratic centralism
Chernoh also refused to adopt the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) as the organizational vehicle for carrying out the work, including popularizing the RNDP.
Building InPDUM was the ASI proposal for revolutionary political work in Sierra Leone in the face of his dissolution of the Africanist youth movement. Chernoh claimed that our members in Sierra Leone voted to reject the InPDUM proposal.
Chernoh stated that only the Party could be built there or the members of the movement would consider us as going backwards. It had to be the Party or nothing.
We were later to learn that this was a lie, that Chernoh never talked to them about the proposal to build InPDUM. In fact, ASI members who were formerly under Chernoh’s leadership state that Chernoh had never presented them with the RNDP!
Although our relationship with Chernoh began to deteriorate following this issue of the Party’s registration, we were still engaged with him. As stated earlier in this document, we provided healthcare for Chernoh in the U.S. in late 2010 through the end of January 2011. However, we were clearly in struggle with him.
Chernoh continued to refuse to provide the ASI with the names and information concerning members of the Uhuru Movement and leaders associated with the Party-building in Sierra Leone. Chernoh also violated a number of other serious tenets of Democratic Centralism, the basic organizational principle of the African Socialist International, spelled out in its constitution. He refused to send in reports or to write for the Party’s journal to inform the world about the conditions and win support for the struggle of our people in Sierra Leone.
He later informed us of an association with a coalition formation called the National Democratic Alliance. We eventually learned of Chernoh’s complete movement away from the ASI through his creation of something he calls the African Socialist Movement. It is this last formation that he has used to bring former members of our Movement and some unwary Uhuru contacts into his web of deceit and counterrevolution.
This is why we have been forced to make this intervention through this paper. For a while we were reluctant to make this struggle, thinking it a distraction from our important work in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. Many of the criticisms of Chernoh revolved around questions of organizational discipline and ideological unity with the mission of the revolution.
For a long time the struggles and criticisms of Chernoh were carried out internally with the assumption that it was possible to win him to unity with the revolutionary aims of the African Socialist International.
However as Chernoh’s actions became more openly reactionary and antagonistic to the Party, the organized detachment of the African working class and the masses in Sierra Leone, the contradictions of this imperialist-serving force for whom the Party had built so much international support demanded public exposure.
Chernoh attacks AAPDEP work in Sierra Leone
Chernoh Alpha Bah’s actions are not important in some abstract way. They are the actions of an enemy of the people and the Revolution. As recently as the early part of 2012 Chernoh stormed up to an AAPDEP office in Allentown in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The office is attached to an AAPDEP clinic and school.
Chernoh saw the big sign that announced the presence of the AAPDEP office and went to the building to challenge the public relations officer with a declaration that they had no right to put up such a sign. stating that AAPDEP belonged to him, Chernoh.
After a serious argument with the AAPDEP officer, who charged Chernoh with being a thief, Chernoh went on his way, although he continued to find other ways to attempt to harass and undermine AAPDEP.
The fact is that Chernoh has never been a friend or real supporter of AAPDEP. He never organized a single individual into AAPDEP. Nor has he used the tremendous resources provided by AAPDEP for projects in Sierra Leone to help the people achieve any level of organizational or political self-reliance or self-realization. Everything he has done has been to promote Chernoh as the “Big Man” at the expense of power to the people.
January 2012 visit uncovers Chernoh’s deceit
Much of what we did not understand earlier was made clearer when AAPDEP and ASI leaders from the U.S. and England visited Sierra Leone in January 2012. While in Sierra Leone we had an opportunity to meet with some of the members of our movement we had lost contact with because of Chernoh’s refusal to provide their contact information, despite our repeated demands.
These members were initially angry with the ASI because they thought we had deserted them. They then informed us that Chernoh had instructed them to never talk to us or answer questions when we were in the country. He would handle that.
They told us that they had never seen the Revolutionary National Democratic Program. They stated they were given no political education and that Chernoh was a commandist leader who prohibited political discussion or any disagreement with his unilateral decisions.
They said that when meetings did happen Chernoh would speak in Fula with members from his ethnic group, increasingly giving the organization and ethnic or “tribal” character.
They stated that they became bored and disenchanted by the fact that they did not understand what was being said. They would simply leave the ethnic-based meetings that fed into the counterrevolutionary practice of “tribalism” always used by the African petty bourgeoisie to split and lord it over the masses.
Chernoh steals the people’s land, equipment
It was during this January visit to Sierra Leone that we learned that Chernoh had stolen land purchased by a leading member of our movement who had been persuaded by Chernoh to buy the property in 2010. We learned that Chernoh had taken the money given for the land to pay for his own plot of land that abutted the property he conned the comrade in to buying.
It was also during the January trip to Sierra Leone that we learned Chernoh had stolen the radio transmitter that had been purchased by the ASI with support of friends of Africa and our movement to establish a radio station for the movement in Sierra Leone.
Chernoh stole the transmitter after his counterrevolutionary behavior had become so obvious that we had refused to send the antenna built for the station through the efforts of a longtime supporter. As a result the antenna is still in the possession of the ASI.
Chernoh promotes neocolonial “tribalism” for personal gain
The InPDUM comrades who traveled to the town of Makeni, the site of the proposed station, learned that Chernoh had used the transmitter as collateral to borrow money from Fula chiefs with the promise that most of the jobs at the proposed radio station would go to Fula youth and that the Fula would not have to pay for advertisement.
“Tribalism” violates every tenet of African Internationalism. While different ethnic group or “tribes” have always existed in Africa, Tribalism, the hostility between groups based on suspicions and some assumptions of groups being better or more deserving than others, was created as a means of divide and rule by our imperialist enemy.
Tribalism is something that the neocolonial African petty bourgeoisie uses to obscure and undermine the national and class unity of African people and workers. Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is a tribalist and a thief.
The imperialist “investors” who come to steal our resources in Africa do not come as members of different tribes or ethnic groups.
They do not come as Gauls and Bretons or Celts and Goths. And they are only French, British, Belgians, etc., when dealing with each other in some competitive way. When dealing with Africa and Africans they are white, European. In other words their tribal identity is subordinated to their national identity, an identity that was forged in the process of enslaving and colonizing Africa and the world.
Tribalism is the enemy of African liberation. African liberation can only come as a consequence of the liberation and unification of Africa and Africans worldwide. Indeed, this is a fundamental task of the African revolution – to consolidate the African nation, not reinforce ethnic or “tribal” identity and politics at the expense of the unification of our nation.
This is not an attack on ethnic identity, something that has persisted primarily because of the balkanization of Africa that has prohibited the emergence of an all-African continental economy that is the basis of national unity. This is recognition that ethnic identity must be subordinated to our national identity.
Chernoh is an agent of imperialist white power
Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is not only a thief, but he is also someone consciously at work to aid and abet imperialism in its ongoing assault on the freedom and happiness of African people in Sierra Leone and throughout the world. Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is an agent of imperialist white power that had wormed his way into the midst of our revolution and he must be exposed.
We have recently learned that Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is now running for a seat in the Sierra Leone Parliament and is calling on UN intervention in the country to protect parasitic imperialist “investors”, the same “investors” he criticized when associated with the ASI for paying diamond miners 30 cents and cup of rice a day!
Chernoh’s allies in the U.S.
In press releases he has promoted himself as a revolutionary, and he is being assisted in the U.S. by former members of the African People’s Socialist Party or the Uhuru Movement.
However, we are clear: Genuine revolutionaries are not thieves, commandists and tribalists. Chernoh is not a revolutionary and his parliamentary candidacy is designed to thrust him fully into the ranks of the neocolonial petty bourgeoisie of Sierra Leone at the expense of our people.
One person working for Chernoh in the U.S. is no longer associated with the African People’s Socialist Party because of a disagreement with the manner in which the Party handled his arrest on charges of selling drugs. In fact, the Party did not handle his case as efficiently and effectively as it could have been handled. One aspect of this was due to an element of ineptitude on our part.
However, the bigger difficulty that impacted on our conduct around the case was the limitations placed on us by our perception of an unwillingness of the person to give the Party enough information to mount a defense and to convince other Party and movement members in the region that his arrest was politically motivated. Our lack of confidence was compounded by different, conflicting explanations, given by different members of his family to explain his arrest.
When he and his wife left the African People’s Socialist Party with a blistering attack on the Party our response was subdued and limited to members of our Movement. A million or so Africans are imprisoned within the U.S., many on the same or similar charges, and we were not engaged in a moral struggle with this person, but were motivated by the interests of our Party and revolution.
Nevertheless we had no interest in making a public criticism around criminal charges for which this person had been imprisoned and for this reason we have not used his name in this paper. We are only dealing with the case now because this person’s connection with Chernoh’s current activities calls into question his motivation and because people may incorrectly infer a connection with Chernoh by our Party due to their common past relationship to the Uhuru Movement.
Counter-revolutionaries cannot remain in the Uhuru Movement
We are aware of the existence of a vile nest of former Party and Uhuru Movement forces whose existence and unity seem to revolve solely around opposition to the African People’s Socialist Party. For them the Party will never be able to do anything correct.
They have either abandoned the revolution or have been evicted from the Party or Movement because of an inability to meet the requirements of membership in a revolutionary African Internationalist Party. They never step forward to support the Party or any of our efforts such as AAPDEP in Sierra Leone. Their collective happiness revolves around any ability to attack the Party for any possible error or contradiction.
And, because there are contradictions in all things and processes, the Party does make errors and our permanent opponents, like the broken clock that is correct at least once a day, may occasionally identify a real error. The fact is that it is easy to be for the revolution or the Party when things go the way one wants them to go. The real test is unity with the revolution and Party when things do not go ones way, when it is difficult to be united.
However, we have always made it clear that both membership and discipline in the Party are voluntary. One joins the African People’s Socialist Party and accepts its discipline because we have clear rules of discipline that we fight to uphold. But also one joins because of unity with the aims, program, constitution and principles of the Party, because of recognition that it is necessary for the success of the revolution.
Unfortunately there are some who would rather blame the Party for their own abandonment of the principles upon which their participation in the Party was based.
There are scores of such persons. They lurk in dark spaces and throughout cyber space waiting to pounce on any contradiction involving our Party and Movement and some wait to do whatever harm they can do to the Party, all to justify their retreat from revolutionary principles by making the Party the enemy. In fact, for some attacking the Party is their primary goal in life. Needless to say, their attack on the Party is aiding and abetting imperialism.
Expelled APSC member sides with Chernoh
Another ally of Chernoh is Mathew Willis, a former member of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, an organization of Euro- Americans or white people that functions as an organization of our Party under the leadership of our National Central Committee.
Willis’ support of Chernoh is particularly odious. Willis was expelled from the African People’s Solidarity Committee and subsequently left the Uhuru Solidarity Movement after rejecting criticism that he failed over several years to carry out work assignments both directly from Party members and from APSC.
The struggle with Matthew came to a head when Matthew, projecting his own political disunity onto the general white population, declared that it was impossible for the solidarity movement to win support from other white people for the African Liberation Movement. According to Matthew it was against the interests of white people to do so.
The African People’s Solidarity Committee was formed by the Party in 1976 working under the Party’s leadership with the express purpose of building political and financial solidarity from within the white population for the work of the African People’s Socialist Party.
Matthew’s statement flew in the face of the reality that the solidarity committee has active branches with a strong base of supporters in various U.S. cities and is currently projecting growth in Europe.
During a meeting with Matthew called by the leadership of the Party and attended by members of the solidarity movement, criticisms were raised of Matthew’s work and stance in the movement.
Matthew was criticized by leaders of the African People’s Socialist Party for his white nationalist stance and his inability to get anything right when called for by African leaders. He constantly violated Democratic Centralist principles and exhibited the perennial imperial arrogance by refusing to carry out what was demanded by African leadership, substituting what he thought best and doing it when he wanted to.
APSC also raised criticisms of Matthew stemming from complaints from a battery of women who accused him of being a sexual predator during street fairs and other events coordinated by the Party’s fundraising institution Uhuru Foods.
In the course of the meeting we learned that at least one of these women was an Uhuru Foods volunteer who refused to participate as long as he was around. Matthew was urged to take the opportunity to unite with the criticisms being made by the Party and change his stand. He refused to do that, thus making the choice to leave the movement.
Being in the African People’s Solidarity Committee is a difficult task for many Euro-Americans or white people. Within the week of this writing, Mary Koroma, the leader of the AAPDEP work in Sierra Leone, upon getting a good view of APSC, commented that their work is very difficult. This is a statement coming from a woman whose work is centered in an area of poverty and political oppression.
This is because parasitic capitalism has benefited whites of the world from every class and walk of life. This is because whites have a tradition of being boss, in charge of the world and are under severe psychological stress at the moment because of the obviously changing world where whites have to come into close contact with their own relative insignificance and dependency on the colonially oppressed peoples of the world and others that are not white.
Willis attacks African leaders to defend Chernoh
Willis came to Chernoh’s defense when APSC Chairwoman Penny Hess criticized Chernoh on social media for his campaign ploy of calling for United Nations intervention in Sierra Leone to provide stability for investors. In defending Chernoh Willis made a point to state that Malcolm X had used the United Nations when it was convenient to him and that Marcus Garvey had met with the Ku Klux Klan.
This is particularly insidious from Willis, first of all, because Malcolm X used the issue of the United Nations to internationalize the struggle of Africans in the U.S.
Malcolm X used the United Nations as an institution to win an understanding among Africans in the U.S. of our connection to the rest of the world and among the world’s peoples of the existence and struggles of Africans in the U.S.
Malcolm X’s use of the United Nations was designed to undermine the significance of the U.S. government in the minds of Africans. It was an attack on African petty bourgeois-promoted U.S. patriotism. He never called on the United Nations to protect the interests of investors.
However, even if Willis’s analogy of the actions of Malcolm X and Chernoh being synonymous is correct—and it is not—how does the issue of Marcus Garvey meeting with the Klan fit into that analogy?
Obviously it does not. Willis’ position can only be understood to mean that revolutionary African leaders do not have principled standards by which Chernoh’s action may be measured and condemned.
Chernoh’s actions, according to Willis are acceptable and possibly revolutionary in the African context because of the purported actions of Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey. However, Chernoh is not Malcolm X and he is not Marcus Garvey. Both Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey died fighting imperialism. Garvey did not call for the UN to come to Africa to protect investors, he called for the withdrawal of the League of Nations and other European imperialists and raised the slogan: Africa for the Africans, those at home and abroad.
Garvey’s connection with the Klan occurred at a time when, unlike Willis, Europeans in the U.S. and the world were open in their intent to dominate and brutalize Africans. Africans were being lynched throughout the U.S. and it was impossible to get the Mathew Willises of the day to intervene in stopping the violence.
Garvey met with the Klan to attempt a truce of sorts. But, he also publicly stated his readiness to fight the Klan with the same kind of violence the Klan was visiting on Africans.
Needless to say we have heard of no such declarations from Chernoh. Willis is no longer with the African People’s Solidarity Committee because, unlike others in the organization, he is unwilling to fight the Klan and would, instead, rather fight the Party by upholding a vile neocolonialist enemy of our people and our struggle.
But enough of that. We can’t stop Willis or anyone else from standing on the wrong side of history. We can only inform the world of our position in this struggle and stand on our own history of 40 years of consistent revolutionary activity as a Party.
Our Movement grows once Chernoh’s out of way
We must speak, however, to the possible assumption of some that the ASI and Uhuru Movement are disgruntled because in losing Chernoh our movement has lost an invaluable resource in Sierra Leone and the African revolution in general. Actually, we think we have already made the point about who Chernoh really is. However, it may be helpful to provide an example of our continued work in Sierra Leone by which Chernoh’s participation can be measured.
The biggest example is the work of AAPDEP, an organization through which we had attempted to initiate work in Sierra Leone for some time while Chernoh was associated with our movement.
During Chernoh’s involvement in the ASI, all projects of AAPDEP and the ASI in Sierra Leone were brought in from the outside. None of the AAPDEP work resulted in building AAPDEP, the ASI or the Uhuru Movement until Nurse Mary Koroma took leadership of the organization on the ground in Sierra Leone.
In some cases, such as with the Oloshoro fishing project, we suffered setbacks under Chernoh who eventually stole the boat motor as described earlier.
From 2005, when we first came into contact with Chernoh, until sometime in 2011, when Chernoh left our movement because he was no longer able to advance his own personal agenda and under criticism from the ASI, Chernoh created absolutely nothing that contributed to the development of the revolution, our movement or the people of Sierra Leone and Africa.
New accountable leadership builds AAPDEP
Nurse Midwife Mary Koroma, who leads our AAPDEP work in Sierra Leone, visited the U.S. for training in 2011. When she arrived she was already running a birthing clinic that she had organized. She was trying to make a concrete impact on the conditions of our people in a country where the average life expectancy is 37 years, the infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the world and the maternal mortality rate is one in eight.
Since April of 2011 when she returned to Sierra Leone Nurse Midwife Mary Koroma has organized more than 400 members of AAPDEP. She has started a nursing school in Allentown and a vocational institution in Mokanji.
Under her leadership AAPDEP has begun adult education in weaving, tailoring, hairdressing, art and crafts and Garra tie dying. This institution helps to support other endeavors, including the preschool for children of those women who attend the adult education program.
AAPDEP has acquired a cassava farm on 4 acres in Mokanji. In Kabiama Town the AAPDEP program under Nurse Mary’s leadership has a two-acre groundnut farm and AAPDEP office space. A clinic has been initiated in Gbangbatoke along with a fishing project where the people are making their own boats but need motors to facilitate the project. An office has been opened in Moribatown where a three-acre vegetable and groundnut farm and an office center were also established.
In the AAPDEP Office Center in Allentown there are nine coordinators that lead programs in health, education, youth, young women advocacy, agriculture and public relations, along with the Director and Deputy Chair.
Now, in addition to all the other work, AAPDEP is in the process of developing a computer training program. They have three computers and need more. They also need generators to provide electricity to operate the computers.
Chernoh exposed as charlatan
This is just a glimpse of the work that has transpired in Sierra Leone in little over a year. This is work that has happened despite the harassment by Chernoh Alpha M. Bah and his allies in the U.S. and elsewhere. These developments in such a short period of time clearly expose Chernoh for the charlatan that he is. It also helps us to understand what we could have done with the resources stolen from the movement and the people by Chernoh Alpha M. Bah. This shows us in bold relief just who Chernoh Alpha M. Bah really is.
In addition to the AAPDEP work, Uhuru members formerly tied to Chernoh are returning to the fold of the revolution. Currently we are building the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement with these forces that are enthusiastically moving to achieve political education and are engaging Chernoh in political struggle on every occasion during his campaign for parliament.
It was InPDUM that tracked down the radio transmitter that Chernoh had stolen and used for collateral for money borrowed for his own use.
Chernoh part of opportunist gang
Our Movement is growing in Sierra Leone. Chernoh represented a rut in an unpaved road. He was a lesson from which our entire movement will learn. We know there are other Chernohs out there in the world. We have met many of them. They recognize the hunger of Africans worldwide to see a free and united Africa and African people in control of our own resources to be used for the future of our children and our people, something they are willing to sacrifice for their own personal greed.
We have met others – from Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Berlin, London, South Africa and the U.S. Some of them have also succeeded in stealing resources from the people and the revolution. But we know that there are more of us than there are of them. Our people want to be free from imperialism and increasingly we are beginning to understand that for this to happen we have to have our own independent revolutionary party under the leadership of the African working class.
African Internationalism opposes reactionary internationalism
The African Socialist International is a Party of the advanced detachment of the international African working class aligned with the poor peasantry. African Internationalism is revolutionary internationalism. However, the African petty bourgeoisie is also organizing. It is increasingly conscious of the growing limitations of imperial white power to rule in the same old way. This realization is leading the African petty bourgeoisie of all countries to seek unity in common African exploitation of the resources and masses of Africa.
This is reactionary internationalism. It includes a motley crew of Pan Africanist forces of various countries and continents. They are seeking to combine their talents and resources to compete with the traditional white imperialists for the benefits of imperialism. This means they are not interested in overturning imperialism and the parasitic devastation imperialism imposes on Africa and the internationally dispersed African nation.
Chernoh’s actions expose him as a reactionary internationalist. He is willing to sacrifice the interests of the workers and toiling masses of Sierra Leone and Africa through building alliances and relationships with his counterpart in the U.S. and elsewhere with an implicit or explicit promise of common profit from an imperialism whose “investments” are protected by the UN and other armed agents of imperialism. Reactionary internationalism is opposed to African Internationalism.
Reactionary internationalism fights to preserve the imperialist status quo, with the only difference being the elevation of the African petty bourgeoisie to greater significance in the imperialist looting of our resources.
ASI is the organization of African Internationalism
The unity of the African People’s Socialist Party is based on revolutionary principles. It is not a unity based on a reconciliation of different organizational, political or ideological lines. It is not a unity that sacrifices revolutionary principles in order to hold on to members that refuse to live up to revolutionary standards or that want to be revolutionary in words but reactionary in actions. It is not unity based on the lowest common denominator.
The African Socialist International, the revolutionary Party of the worldwide African Socialist Revolution, is a new feature of our revolutionary movement. It is not Pan Africanism, a petty bourgeois concept that achieved its political life and definition from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as part of an effort to destroy the revolutionary anti-imperialist movement founded by Marcus Garvey.
Unlike Pan Africanism that has no ideological center, African Internationalism is an organization committed to a socialism that achieves its identity as the achievement of state power by the African working class aligned with the poor peasantry in the struggle against parasitic capitalism.
Unlike Pan Africanism that permits several different organizational identities and centers, African Internationalism, like the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA), founded and led by Marcus Garvey, has only one identity and one democratically elected centralized leadership.
African Internationalism demands unity of theory and practice
Unlike Pan Africanism that does not require unity of theory and practice, African Internationalism reveals the viability of its theory in its practical work. Pan Africanism is a concept that only claims to explain the world. African internationalism is a theory that requires work to change the world.
Unlike Pan Africanism that has historically been a belief system beneficial to petty bourgeois intellectuals, African Internationalism is the theory of the African working class that is designed as a guide for the working class that produces all value to become the new ruling class after overthrowing neocolonialism and other imperialist forms and striking out to create a society without classes and a world without borders.
The struggle for revolutionary discipline is ongoing. It is the basis for having basic standards of Party discipline to which all our organizations are held accountable. It is also the basis for strengthening Party protocols that will minimize the kinds of errors made by the ASI with Chernoh Alpha M. Bah.
Democratic Centralism is the basic organizational principle of our Party. More than just a concept, Democratic Centralism has specific kinds of constitutionally mandated applications that include subordination of lower to higher Party organizations, the minority to the majority and the whole Party to the leading Party organizations.
ASI’s principles, structure and discipline ensure victory for African liberation and defeat of imperialism
The ASI is currently working to reinforce the leadership structures and protocols of our Party to make them more capable of executing the mandate of our International as established by our Main Document and resolutions stemming from the various ASI conferences that are used to establish the Basic Line of the ASI.
Frequent International leadership meetings and general International membership conferences will be reestablished, some of which will be open to the public, that allow checkup on the status of our work and movement.
More and more Africans and our allies are coming to the conclusion that the African Socialist International and its manifestations throughout the world is the Party of our liberation and reunification. They understand that such a Party must stand on revolutionary principles and discipline; that such a Party must be an army of revolutionary soldiers, locked in united will and action and determined to raise the Red, the Black and the Green over the hilltops of a free Africa under the leadership of the African working class.