Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Statement on Self Defense and Black August Resistance
Self Determination Self Defense Self Respect
The murder of Black and Brown people in the US in the month of July, from Jerry Williams in Asheville, NC on July 2nd, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA on July 5th and Philando Castile in St. Paul, MN on July 6th, as well as those not named, has reignited the widespread understanding of the colonial order of white hegemonic power that maintains its hold through systemic racism. The response to public outrage at this amount of state violence has been both individual and collective acts of resistance and aggressive repression at both state and federal levels. These killings should be understood as a continuation of tactics in a perpetual war on the Black nation and other oppressed communities used during COINTELPRO, the “War on Drugs”, the “War on Crime” and, most recently, in the context of national security, “War on Terrorism” and “border safety.” Local police forces, in these cases, but also security guards and vigilantes, are used as an extension of the state to control oppressed communities without fear of recourse, reprimand, or consequences. The response to the documentation of these cases, whether through eyewitness accounts or video footage, further clarifies the position of New Afrikan people to the power arrangement in this country and the importance of the struggle we continue to wage.
As the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, an organization of New Afrikans/ Afrikans in America, our mission is to defend the human rights of our people and promote the self-determination of New Afrikans as a colonized nation in the empire that is the united states. As we continue to wage struggle, the first critical step is organizing to defend ourselves and our communities. We understand that the collective institution of white hegemony, patriarchy, and capitalism have been at the root of our people’s oppression. We understand that without community control and without the power to determine our own lives, we continue to fall victim to genocide.
We have to see the war on Black people for what it is and proactively organize ourselves to resist it. Protest mobilizations that occur after the police have executed one of our loved ones must be matched with creating self defense networks to provide long-term security for our communities. Therefore, we seek to heighten our consciousness about self-determination and national independence as a human right and solution to our colonization. While organizing around our principles of unity, we are building a network of Black/New Afrikan freedom fighters committed to the protracted struggle for liberation of the New Afrikan nation By Any Means Necessary!
Building on those principles, we highlight the tradition of Black August Resistance (BAR). Black August Resistance has been celebrated since 1979 since its founding in concentration camps (prisons) of California to a) honor & celebrate our fallen freedom fighters, b) to bring unity & education to those behind the walls, c) to bring education to our people to honor the history & action of New Afrikans continued resistance. As we kick off for 2016, we invite individuals and organizations to celebrate the BAR in these four ways that have been in place since its inception:
- STUDY: Study the works of our ancestors and elders who have waged war in this struggle to deepen our understanding of this protracted struggle so as to better develop our strategies and tactics. Consider starting a BAR study group in your area.
- FIGHT: Develop and implement actions that continue to resist state oppression, such as mass incarceration, policing of our communities, the under-funding of schools that undergirds the school-to-prison pipeline, etc. Also, share the stories of political prisoners support and write them, demand their release, and call for an end to solitary confinement and the death penalty as a form of torture violating human rights.
- TRAIN: Train the physical body through physical fitness. Consider starting a BAR physical fitness training in your area.
- FAST: The BAR fast is traditionally a sunup (around 6 AM) to sundown (around 8 PM) fast of all foods and liquids. Consider doing the complete BAR fast or making dietary sacrifices that will not endanger your health. Youth often chose to refrain from a dietary items, such as sugars, fast food, sodas, or activities that they we replace with study & train.
Free the Land! Free the Land! Free the Land! -By Any Means Necessary!