FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2020
On the 12th anniversary of AFRICOM, Hawkins-Walker campaign joins international call to shut it down
Today we are joining with organizations from across the world that have endorsed the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP)’s International Day of Action on U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The International Day of Action on AFRICOM aims to raise the public’s awareness about the U.S. military’s existence in Africa, and how the presence of U.S. forces exacerbates violence and instability throughout the continent.
Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins noted, “The US military is in Africa to protect US-based global corporations and banks with interests in oil, minerals, cheap labor, and illegitimate debt collection. The US is not there to protect the people in America or in Africa. The real security threat that Americans and Africans share is the climate crisis. The US should disband AFRICOM and offer aid in a Global Green New Deal to help Africa leap out the destructive 19th century fossil-fuel age into a sustainable 21st century solar age. Africa needs reparations for centuries of slavery, colonization, and today’s neocolonial exploitation, not more outside military intervention. The most effective way for the US to promote peace and prosperity in Africa and the world is with aid, not arms.”
BAP’s campaign demands: 1) the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) oppose AFRICOM and conduct hearings on its impact on the African continent with the full participation of members of U.S. and African civil society, 2) a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa, 3) supporting calls for Africa to be demilitarized and established as a zone of peace, and 4) along with AFRICOM, all U.S. global command structures and bases be closed down.
Black Alliance for Peace National Organizer Ajamu Baraka explained, “Both corporate parties are united in their support for the U.S. African Command and all of the global command structures and over 800 U.S. bases across the planet. The International Day of Action to shut down AFRICOM is part of our ongoing campaign to close down AFRICOM by raising the awareness of the U.S. public to the existence of these structures and the role they play in undermining the possibility of peace and authentic national self-determination.”
The United States always had its hand in the exploitation of Africa, but it has never been widely regarded as a colonizer. This country benefits from its inaccurate reputation as a benevolent justice-loving democratic nation. However, the United States has played a leading role in maintaining an imperialist grip on Africa.
Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Angela Walker expressed, “I cannot fight for the liberation of Black people inside the United States without acknowledging the oppression of African peoples under U.S. imperialism. The same capitalist forces that seek to deny the right of self-determination to Africans are the same forces that murder Black Americans with impunity. On this day, the Hawkins-Walker campaign and I personally are proud to stand with the Black Alliance for Peace in calling for the end of AFRICOM. We add our voices to demand the complete withdrawal of US forces from Africa, the demilitarization of the African continent, and the closure of US bases around the world. We amplify the demand that the Congressional Black Caucus oppose AFRICOM and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent, with full participation of members of US and African civil society. There is no liberation for Black people on US soil without an end to the oppression of Africans throughout the Diaspora.”
Baraka, Hawkins and Walker are all U.S. military veterans and acutely understand the impact of U.S. imperialism and militarism on both U.S. troops and targets of U.S. foreign policy.