Vote for your freedom!

W.A.T.E.R. 17 | 4/12/2011, 5:25 p.m.

Restoration Plaza was flying the Black Liberation Flag a week ago, as the Committee to Honor Black Heroes and the December 12th Movement hoisted a fundraiser for political prisoner Sekou Odinga. Prof. James McIntosh from CEMOTAP (the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People), moderated the program that included speakers such as Philadelphia's Pam Africa, Fred Hampton and M1 from Dead Prez.

Freedom Party gubernatorial candidate Charles Barron took to the mike and extolled the virtues and bravery of political prisoners who took up the call of the Black liberation struggle and have been incarcerated for close to 30 years. Odinga's son Amoche listened to grassroots organizers demand the release of the former member of the Black Liberation Army, who was eventually hit with a consecutive 25-years-to-life state sentence and a forty-year federal sentence for a host of charges, including under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and participating in the liberation of political exile Assata Shakur.

Political prisoner advocate and MOVE member Pam Africa went hard urging vigilance for Mumia Abu Jamal, saying that authorities are focusing hard on ignoring the evidence and still going after the man on death row for a murder he did not commit. In the vein of liberation and justice, not far from the minds of the people in the audience was Barron's latest effort for Black self-determination and progress. Asked about the latest leg of The Movement, Barron pressed the need to get out the vote.

After acquiring almost three times as many signatures required by the state of New York to be on the ballot for this Tuesday's statewide election, members and supporters of the recently established Freedom Party are very confident that they will achieve their goal of garnering the 50,000 required votes in order to legally authenticate themselves as a political party.

"We're excited because on November 2 we're definitely going to get the minimum 50,000 votes to become the first Black- and Latino-led party in the history of this country to be recognized by a state," optimistically predicted Barron.

"Secondly, with 300 to 400 thousand votes, we'll have leverage over those sell-out Negro politicians that go behind doors and cut deals, and try to bring Black votes to the white oppressor based upon deals they cut in the room--that will be over with!" the Brooklyn councilman said. He then warned, "There are 3 million Black and Latino registered voters in New York State--half of that, and I'm the next governor of the state of New York! We can do this!"

Tirelessly grinding for many months in preparation for this election, the councilman explained the importance of utilizing a strategic game plan. "We have to come off the plantation. It's time for liberation politics, but our people are conditioned and it's time to free our minds. We're using electoral politics as a tactic--it's not a panacea. It's an instrument for social change and transformation, and providing some pain relief for our brothers and sisters in the mean time"