For immediate release October 11, 2012
Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity (NPAS) / Group for Research and Initiative for the Liberation of Africa (GRILA) / International League of People’s Struggles-Canada
Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Assassination of Thomas Sankara
Struggle Against Imperialist Impunity in Afrika!
Toronto, ON – The Group for Research and Initiative for the Liberation of Africa (GRILA), Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity (NPAS), and International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Thomas Sankara on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. This public education event will take place in room 5-170 (5th Floor) of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), which is located at 252 Bloor Street West (next to the St. George subway station).
Thomas Sankara, Pan-Afrikan revolutionary and former President of Burkina Faso (1983-1987), led a revolution in Burkina Faso during which the country saw unprecedented participation of the masses toward a collective goal of self-sustained development. Sankara helped to inspire new hope for millions of oppressed Afrikans (on the Afrikan continent and in the Diaspora), who were and continue to b
e weary of and resistant to agents of global imperialist forces who pillage resources of their lands and people. As stated in a petition by the Justice for Sankara, Justice for Africa campaign, “Africa’s difficulties can be traced back to the international networks which initiate wars and assassinations in order to maintain their control over
the continent’s resources – this, with the complicity of many western countries and certain African leaders.”
Those committed to any meaningful concept and material reality of justice must pool our resources to resist oppressive forces. As asserted by Andrew Abraham of NPAS, “if we are serious about our promotion of and commitment to Pan-Afrikanism or the Afrikan Revolution, we need to take stock of our capacity to carry out the work that fate has willed us. Frankly, we are not effectively using the resources at our disposal to fight the forces of oppression.”
We must critically examine the work of revolutionaries like Thomas Sankara, who is widely recognized and celebrated for his efforts to liberate Afrika from the control of international financial institutions, deepening poverty, war, and the pillage of its resources. We must learn to better organize our people and resources – we need to engage in public education about our revolutionary movements to gain and share concepts, strategies, and tactics to continue and intensify the work of the Afrikan Revolution. Dr. Ajamu Nangwaya of NPAS reminds us that “the achievements of the Burkina Faso Revolution are inspiring and indicate what the Afrikan Revolution can accomplish with appropriate leadership practices and a motivated and involved peasantry and working-class.”
Steve da Silva of ILPS explains that, “the groundbreaking developments in agriculture, health, education, and women’s rights and empowerment commenced in Burkina Faso under the Sankara government is a reminder of the only form of ‘development’ that benefits the people: that which cuts off parasitic economic ties with imperialism. What was achieved in Burkina Faso a quarter century ago bears many lessons for liberation and development of the Nepals and Haitis of the world today.”
Sankara promoted a quality of development that was centered on self-determined resistance to and freedom from domination. The aim of this public education initiative is to surface some of the lessons we must learn from the Burkina Faso Revolution and apply in our continued organizing to resist forces of oppression where we live and throughout the Pan-Afrikan world. The movie “Burkina Faso: A Revolution rectified” will be screened, followed by panel discussion featuring Omme-Salma Rahemtullah (GRILA), Steve da Silva (ILPS), and a representative from NPAS. We hope that the relevance and lessons of the Burkina Faso Revolution will interest and inspire Afrikans and people of good conscience in Toronto and everywhere.
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