The lightly edited statement was issued April 23, 2023.
The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) condemns the indictment of Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and other members for expressing their views on Ukraine. The indictment charges them with “conspiring to covertly sow discord in U.S. society, spread Russian propaganda and interfere illegally in U.S. elections.” This indictment attempts to criminalize freedom of speech and discourage all who oppose U.S. foreign policy from expressing their views.
This attack on the APSP and on freedom of speech should also be seen in the light of other cases that the government has used to silence critics, such as that of Julian Assange, who is being prosecuted for telling the truth about U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that of Daniel Hale, who was sentenced to four years in prison for letting people know that the U.S. drone program in Afghanistan mainly killed innocent civilians.
These attacks are growing and indicate that we are entering a period like McCarthyism of the 1950s or the Palmer Raids of an earlier period, during which antiwar activity was outlawed.
It must also be noted that while many groups and individuals oppose U.S. policy in Ukraine, this attack is against a Black organization. It is racist. Perhaps the government believes that Black people will get less support in the U.S. and they can therefore use this indictment to set a precedent for attacking all those who express dissident views.
We must join together and demand that the indictments be dropped and that freedom of speech be supported and expanded in the United States.
You can support the fund for the legal defense of the APSP by going to tinyurl.com/4wr8j5t5.
UNAC previously put out a petition in support of the rights of the APSP. That petition can be found at tinyurl.com/2v7uvhfw. Please sign.
— the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition
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