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Press Conference: Defend the African Community’s Right to Economic Self-Determination

by Wendy Craig
What: Press Conference: Defend the African Community’s Right to Economic Self-Determination, and Human and Civil Rights on this MLK Day!
When: Friday, January 13th, 2023 at 10am
Where: Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles, 3742 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610
Who: African People’s Education & Defense Fund and Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles
Black Star Industries and Uhuru Foods and Pies
Contact: Stephanie Midler, 510-763-3342 ext 3 or 727-510-4360 (cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

What: Press Conference: Defend the African Community’s Right to Economic Self-Determination, and Human and Civil Rights on this MLK Day!
When: Friday, January 13th, 2023 at 10am
Where: Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles, 3742 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610
Who: African People’s Education & Defense Fund and Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles
Black Star Industries and Uhuru Foods and Pies
Contact: Stephanie Midler, 510-763-3342 ext 3 or 727-510-4360 (cell)

On Friday, January 13, Uhuru Furniture, a project of the African People’s Education & Defense Fund (APEDF) and Uhuru Foods & Pies, a project of Black Star Industries as well as community partners are holding a press conference to to denounce the July 29th, 2022 FBI raids on Uhuru Movement leaders and institutions in St. Louis, MO and St. Petersburg, FL.

We will announce our plans for Uhuru Furniture's annual MLK Day event and volunteer project, set to take place on Monday, January 16th.

Uhuru Movement leader Chairman Omali Yeshitela, keynote speaker via video at the MLK event stated:
“ Like MLK, the black community freedom struggle of today is coming under attack. The same FBI that surveilled, harassed and killed MLK is currently targeting Uhuru Movement leaders and institutions.

“On July 29th, 2022 the FBI carried out a military pre-dawn raid on seven offices and homes of Uhuru Movement leaders. They attacked my home with flashbang grenades, pointed laser sights at my chest when I came out of my house, and sent in drones that almost hit my wife, APEDF Board President, Ona Zene’ Yeshitela. The FBI destroyed property and confiscated computers, phones, files and historic documents in all these locations. No one was arrested but today we face bogus charges and could be indicted at any time.

“APEDF programs for African self-determination are being attacked today by the same system that keeps our communities impoverished and denies African people basic human rights and economic empowerment. This is an attack on the entire African community and we call on people from all walks of life to stand with us to defend the right of African people to organize in our own interest and create programs to solve the dire problems our community faces daily!”

APEDF and BSI uphold and defend the right of the African community in Oakland and around the country to organize for economic and political self-determination and carry on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The MLK Day event will recognize MLK and all the black leaders and millions of working people who have fought for the democratic rights of the African community for decades, work that is being carried on today by the Uhuru Movement.

APEDF, BSI and the Uhuru Movement have been upholding the human and civil rights of the African community for over 35 years in Oakland, working to end the disparities in health, health care, education and economic development for our community.

California has the 4th highest GDP in the world, yet here in Oakland, life expectancy for the black community of East Oakland is 15 years less than those living in the Oakland Hills, just miles away. In Alameda County the black community has the lowest life expectancy of any group, Infant mortality for black babies is over 4 times higher than white babies and the black community has the highest rate of death from all cancers. The list of disparities could go on.

APEDF and BSI are leading in providing solutions for these devastating conditions faced by the black community through building economic programs and institutions for self-determination including Uhuru Furniture stores and the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplaces in Philadelphia and St. Louis that provide jobs and job training and that create economic opportunities for hundreds of families through vending.

APEDF’s biggest project is the Black Power Blueprint that is transforming the north side of St. Louis, MO, with a community center, community gardens, a farmer’s market, a state of the art basketball court, a doula training program, African women’s health center and more.
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