“When Africa called, Libya answered,” declared Omowale Clay for the December 12th Movement International Secretariat.
Following their emergency forum on Libya last Friday, the December 12th Movement International Secretariat and the Coalition to Defend Libya and Africa are hosting a “U.S. Hands Off Libya and in Defense of Africa” rally Friday, April 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the United States Mission to the United Nations in Manhattan.
Clay slammed the mainstream media’s unchallenged reportage of the unprovoked U.S. intervention in Libya. Terms such as “massacre,” and “rebels” and are being bandied about with no real context, analysis or genuine fact checking, said the long-time activist. “Colonel Gaddafi is demonized by the West. They have been waiting for an opportunity to bring about regime change in Libya.”
Said Clay, “Under the banner of ‘Col. Gaddafi is killing his own people,’ the U.S. and European armed forces are bombing another developing country: Libya. Once again, the Western fourth estate, the well-organized and financed corporate media, is telling a one-sided story. So today, many people who had little independent knowledge about Libya are now experts, trained and licensed by the New York Times, Daily News, NBC, etc. Even many who had supported Libya are now vacillating under the influence of the media blitz and America’s first Black president.”
As he organizes Friday’s anti-war rally, Clay told the AmNews, “I think it is important to frame the country and its leadership in the words of South Africa’s first Black president and a freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, who called Muammar Gaddafi ‘one of this century’s greatest freedom fighters,’ and insisted that the eventual collapse of the apartheid system owed much to Gaddafi and Libyan support. Mandela said that in the darkest moments of their struggle, when their backs were to the wall, it was Muammar Gaddafi who stood with them.”
“Obama is wrong. The United States should get out of Libya,” Councilman Charles Barron boomed at a rally held on Tuesday at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem, just before President Barack Obama hit the village to attend a $1.5 million fundraising dinner at the Red Rooster and an event at the Studio Museum. “How dare Barack Obama come to Harlem for a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser? Harlem’s median income is $30,000; the poverty rate in Harlem is nearly 30 percent.”
Dozens of folks came out to 125th Street to express dissatisfaction about a number of issues, including America’s involvement and subsequent taxpayer expense of the various wars and conflicts that the nation has put itself in versus severe nationwide cuts and reductions in social services, plus the high level of unemployment.
As he prepares to attend Friday’s anti-war rally, Barron said, “Black people did not vote for Barack Obama for him to bomb an African country, Libya. They elected him to stand up like a man against the forces of imperialism. They voted for him to bail out Harlem, where there is 50 percent Black male unemployment, like they bailed out Wall Street.
“Shame on you, President Obama. Your first visit to Harlem since being elected is for a bourgeois fundraiser for the Democratic Party and you don’t even have the courtesy to walk the streets of Harlem to meet the masses who put you in office. I hope Black people remember this when [Obama] comes back seeking our vote again.”
Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan unleashed a verbal reprimand and warning that pulled absolutely no punches. Addressing Obama on Chicago radio station WVON, the oft-times controversial minister stated, “Go into Libya if you want to. The Libyans do not want foreign occupation on their land. And when you make that kind of move, if you’re not careful, you’ll unite the Libyan people against you! Again, Gaddafi wasn’t sitting in any tent, twiddling his thumbs over these last 10 years! This man has been investing in African development. This man has been moving throughout Africa. This man has friends all over the world! He may not be your friend–but if you take him out and kill him like he’s some ‘rotten fella’ that wants to kill his own people…
“What did you, American government, do in Waco? What did you do when your people rose up? Did you talk ’em out of it? NO! They had weapons; you bombed them! What did you do in Philadelphia with the MOVE movement? Did you talk them out of their home or did you bomb them? We didn’t hear any ‘outcry’ from you religious hypocrites that ‘love’ the lives of human beings! You’re a liar! And a hypocrite!”
In the interim, the Associated Press dissected much of Obama’s Monday night televised speech, questioning the validity of several “facts.”
As Obama addressed his nationwide audience at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on Monday, he proclaimed, “Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and no-fly zone.”
The AP determined, “In transferring command and control to NATO, the U.S. is turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the U.S., both militarily and politically. In essence, the U.S. runs the show that is taking over running the show.”
“Obama told us on Monday night that NATO is taking over from the U.S. in Libya. But the U.S. is NATO,” said Barron, blasting America’s intrusion into an internal struggle in Libya, which was denounced by the African Union while most of the Arab League did not back it.
“Even the African Union advised Obama to get out of Libya,” Barron continued. “This is about oil, natural gas and Israel. This is so they can establish an AFRICOM in Africa, which is an American-run, CIA-, Defense Department- and Pentagon-facilitated military organization. And they are going to use a Black president to do it.”
On the Chicago radio show interview, which has gone viral, Farrakhan stressed, “Listen to this hypocrisy, American people! Is it that American government is ‘so concerned’ over the blood that is being shed in Libya, but you looked the other way when the Israeli Defense Force was bombing the innocent people of Gaza, unarmed men, women and children? You looked the other way when the Israeli Defense Force went into Lebanon thinking that they were going to have an ‘easy’ victory, then you had to come out with your tail between your legs?
“Don’t tell me and wise Black people or white people that you’re interested in Black suffering! Where were you in Rwanda? Where are you in the Congo? Why did you go to Darfur? Because oil is there! No…You don’t want to ‘save the Libyan people’–that’s your noble motive to hide your wicked agenda!”
Farrakhan urged Obama to think of the future. “Don’t you let these wicked demons move you in a direction that will absolutely ruin your future with your people in Africa and throughout the world!” he said. “They don’t like the way you handled [former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak! They don’t like the way you’re handling the situation in the Arab world! I would advise you to be careful, and move with wisdom and skill.”
Clay noted, “The Western powers have for decades supported, financially and militarily, the most oppressive regimes in the Middle East for purposes of maintaining control and domination of the world’s largest oil reserves. Towards that end, the United States and Britain and France in particular have sought, through covert and overt actions, to support the repression…
“This is why it is important to see through the disinformation campaign being waged by the media, and the military campaign being waged by the Western armed forces against the people of Libya, to usher in the most backward forces with whom they can do business.”
For information and to endorse Friday’s “U.S. Hands Off Libya and In Defense of Africa” rally, please call (718) 398-1766.