The event began at 11:30 p.m. with a few words of introduction by the event’s moderators and the singing of Wimbo wa Mapambano. African Liberation Day was distinguished from African Day which was said to be a cooptation by imperialists and their stooges in an attempt to erase the history of resistance in the continent. After giving an account of the history of African Liberation Day, one of the moderators introduced a speaker from the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party so speak on the military industrial complex in Africa. The speaker discussed military interventions by African states at length and argued how they were linked to global imperialism. Outfits such as AFRICOM were exposed as puppets of the United States used to dominate Africa. Zionist Israel was said to have propped up Apartheid South Africa by selling its regime arms and alongside Britain and United States, it was said to be an enemy of the African people. Puppet African regimes supportive of AFRICOM were said to be enemies of African masses while the destruction of Libya and Somalia were attributed to United State’s imperialism – in Somalia’s case it was said that Said Barre was overthrown as he had refused to give away his country’s oil to the imperialists. Terrorism both in the East African coast and in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province was attributed to US’s imperialism.
The moderators then invited the next panel to speak on debt and the recolonization of Africa through institutions such as the IMF. The aid offered to African states, it was said, legitimized the failures of its governments. It was agreed that one of the ways that Africans could organize against such institutions was through joining progressive organizations which were grounded in people’s struggles.
The session on debt recolonization was followed by a presentation on the political situation in Africa and the plight of African peoples around the world. The plunder of the Congo, the overthrowing of the Malian government and the summoning of African leaders by French President Emmanuel Macron were some of the current issues that were mentioned. Attendees of the event were called upon to join a progressive organization – it was pointed out that the forces that united the masses of the continent were more than those that divided them. The panel discussions were followed by an artistic performance which spoke to themes such as imperialism, capitalism and oppression.
Messages of solidarity with the Palestinian masses were delivered, they drew parallels between the masses’ struggles in Kenya and those of the Palestinian masses. Kenyan elites enjoyed the same trappings of privilege in the same way that Jews in Israel did. On the other hand, Palestinians lived in indignity the same way the proletariat in Kenya – those living in informal settlements – suffered. It was said that there would be week of Solidarity with Palestine from June 7th and that there would culminate with a demonstration on the 9th of June in solidarity with Palestine. A statement of solidarity with the attendees of the African Liberation Day by the Red Fightback was also delivered and a video which they had sent was also played. A solidarity message from the embassy of Venezuela was also read. Then lastly, solidarity video from the black alliance for peace was also played.
A number of issues were discussed during the plenary session. The resistance to IMF-imposed Structural Adjustment Policies, the masses’ backlash against rightwing governments in Brazil and Colombia and the global Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) movement. Progressive organizations were called upon to join the Black Alliance for Peace and work with them in a campaign aiming to get the United States military out of Africa. Attendees of the event were alerted about the control of Kenya’s national parks by Israeli, American and British forces. It was said that these powers were extracting Kenya’s natural resources – Israel was specifically said to be taking Kenya’s water which had earlier been said to be a source that would last for more than seventy years but was suspiciously later said to be unfit for human consumption. It was alleged that Kenya was ordered by Israel to reserve the water for Israel. One of the pioneers of the African Liberation Day in Kenya – the first of its kind was held in 1994 in Kenya – closed the plenary session by encouraging attendees of the event and asking them to oppose Zionism.
Resolutions: The following Resolutions were made at the end of the event: • That Attendees of the event educate themselves on panafricanism and African internationalism • That Attendees of the event – those who were not affiliated to any movement – should join a progressive organizations or movements.
Ezra Otieno is a member of the RSL central Committee