Join the Black Alliance for peace and take part in its campaign in October to shut down Africom



#ShutDownAFRICOM Toolkit

October 2021

About BAP: The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) seeks to recapture and redevelop the historic anti-war, anti-imperialist, and pro-peace positions of the radical Black movement. Through educational activities, organizing and movement support, organizations and individuals in the Alliance work to oppose both militarized domestic state repression, and the policies of de-stabilization, subversion and the permanent war agenda of the U.S. state globally.

The BAP Campaign: “No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad” is the key programmatic work of the Alliance. The campaign represents a broad strategic and tactical framework. It responds to the changing dynamics of the moment while providing a common collective direction for the 1) peace, 2) People(s)-Centered Human Rights, and 3) anti-imperialist educational and organizing work of Alliance members.

One subsection of the campaign is:

U.S. Out of Africa: Shut Down AFRICOM. This work emerges out of the efforts of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, an organization BAP was instrumental in building that is committed to closing the estimated 800 to 1,000 U.S. military bases established outside the United States. We have developed the U.S. Out of Africa Network (USOAN) as the organizing arm of the U.S. Out of Africa: Shut Down AFRICOM campaign.

Objective: October 1, 2021 marks 13 years since the United States African Command (AFRICOM) was established. The purpose of AFRICOM is to use U.S. military power to impose U.S. control of African land, resources and labor to service the needs of U.S. multinational corporations and the wealthy in the United States. Throughout the month of October, please join us to demand the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from

Africa, the demilitarization of the African continent, the closure of U.S. bases throughout the world, and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) must oppose AFRICOM and support hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent.


Starting: October 1, 2021


Primary Hashtags:

#ShutDownAFRICOM

#USOutOfAfrica


BAP Social Media Handles:

Twitter: Blacks4Peace

Instagram: blackallianceforpeace

Facebook: Black Alliance for Peace



The following toolkit includes:


Ways to support:


AFRICOM Fact Sheet


What is AFRICOM ?

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is one of 11 of the US Department of Defense combatant commands with a geographic function and mission that provides command and control of military forces. AFRICOM is responsible for all US Department of Defense operations, exercises, and security operations on the African continent, its island nations and surrounding waters. AFRICOM initially began in 2007 and became fully operational on October 1, 2008. In 2019 there were 44 African countries partnered with AFRICOM. AFRICOM’s role is to support and work in tandem with US foreign policy in Africa to support its national interests.


How did AFRICOM come about?

In 2007 the US Department of Defense (DoD) came to a decision that AFRICOM was necessary due to the increasing strategic importance of Africa and instructed then president George W. Bush to direct the creation of it.


What is the REAL purpose of AFRICOM?

The real purpose of AFRICOM is to enable terrorism while at the same time prosecute the “war on terror” in Africa. This contradictory action ensures that Africa is in a constant state of war and instability. In doing so AFRICOM nurtures and justifies its own reason for being while developing a dependence of African states on AFRICOM for their defense. This is done to comply with the US (and its European allies) ‘strategic interests’ and objective which is the control of and unfettered access to Africa’s natural resources via their comprador neocolonial “partners”. Research data shows that since the founding of AFRICOM there has been a marked increase in terrorist groups operating in Africa. The dependency on AFRICOM by partner African states also facilitates the training of most of Africa’s military by US or NATO forces thereby increasing their allegiance to US imperialist interests.



Why is BAP against AFRICOM?

As referenced in our principles of unity, BAP takes a resolute anti-colonial, anti-imperialist position that links the international role of the US empire, which is an empire based on war, aggression and exploitation, to the domestic war against poor and working class Black people in the United States.



What can we do ?

Join the U.S. Out of Africa Network (USOAN) which is the organizational arm of the shut down AFRICOM campaign designed to educate the public about the destructive US hybrid war and imperialist policies perpetrated by AFRICOM.

Support the yearly International Month Against Action on AFRICOM (October 1) which 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. Sign up to get regular updates on our work.


Events

  • October 1: AFRICOM at 13: Building the Popular Movement or Demilitarization and Anti-Imperialism in Africa. Register at: bit.ly/africom13


  • October 17: BAP-ATL and Friends of the Congo-ATL AFRICOM Teach-In at 3PM during Congo Week. Register at bit.ly/africomatl


  • October 18: Socialist Workers League-Nigeria online teach-in on Facebook at 7PM WAT


  • October 21: Arise Black Child and Mutapa anti-AFRICOM presentation on Zoom and Facebook at 6PM South Africa Time. Zoom Meeting ID: 821 4940 3318, Passcode: 136932


  • October 23: Movement for African Emancipation is organizing an in-person AFRICOM teach in on 3PM WAT. Zoom Meeting ID: 810 8752 9655


  • October 24: Ebukhosini Solutions is organizing an online workshop on AFRICOM on Zoom at 1PM South Africa Time. Message +27746904012 on WhatsApp to register.


  • October 26: BAP - LA Political Education on AFRICOM at 7pm PT



Teach-In Guide

Popular Education Session: U.S. Africa Command

Goal - Participants will receive a basic understanding of the purpose, history, and impact of AFRICOM on the African continent and develop a commitment to anti-war, anti-militarism, and the total liberation of Africa.

Session Outline

  • Welcome & intros (if turnout small enough): name, pronouns, affiliation(s), what you hope to take away, how you heard, etc (5 mins)

  • Group agreements/ground rules for the session [i.e. one mic, step up-step back, etc. Write them out for all to see](10 mins)

  • View BAP video: “What is the Black Alliance for Peace” (https://youtu.be/I3cg-tX1_1A) (5 mins)

  • Open discussion - What do we know about history between Africa and the U.S.? (10 mins)

  • Read “Why We Focus on Africa,” which you can find at https://blackallianceforpeace.com/africom2021 (15 mins)

  • View BAP video: “Shut Down the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)” (https://youtu.be/DudSbg_3Bac) followed by Q&A and/or reflections by attendees (15 mins)

  • View BAP video: “Why Should African/Black People Care About NATO, U.S. in Africa?” (https://youtu.be/S1oQ5Ra5tWQ) from 4:01 (12 mins)

  • Read the U.S. Out of Africa: Voices from the Struggle interview in AFRICOM Watch Bulletin #27 on the connection between DOD 1033 and AFRICOM. (10 mins)

  • Breakout group exercise: Shut Down AFRICOM brainstorming. [Give each group the task of coming up with a list of the following to report back to the larger body] (20 mins)

  • What strategies/tactics should the campaign and U.S. Out of Africa Network pursue?

  • Who are some potential allies of the network and campaign?

  • Who are some opponents?

  • Group feedback about session [what did they like, dislike, etc.] (7 mins)

  • Get commitments to join U.S. Out of Africa Network (https://blackallianceforpeace.com/joinusoutofafricanetwork) and/or BAP as members or supporters (https://www.blackallianceforpeace.com/join) (5 mins)

  • POST SESSION: email strategies, tactics, and reflection notes to Usoan@blackallianceforpeace.com


Sample Messages


Imperialism will only be defeated through the sustained actions of the organized people throughout the world. Join us in supporting the International Month of Action to Shut Down AFRICOM.


October 2021 is the 13th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM. The Black Alliance for Peace is launching an International Month of Action with an October 1 webinar and other events to amplify the Shut Down AFRICOM campaign.


October 2021 is the International Month of Action Against AFRICOM. The aim is to expose the American empire’s white supremacist, imperial, and colonial project on the continent.


The Black Alliance for Peace’s International Month of Action Against 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.


As part of the International Month of Action Against AFRICOM, we demand:

-The complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa

-The demilitarization of the African continent

-The closure of U.S. bases throughout the world






Resources


BAP AFRICOM Fact Sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HL0bYvJya2UUi2ROVbeDHCaiyX-U0Fc1/view


Shut Down the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM): https://youtu.be/DudSbg_3Bac


AFRICOM Watch Bulletin: https://blackallianceforpeace.com/africomwatchbulletin


Why We Focus on Africa: https://blackallianceforpeace.com/movement-news/whywefocusonafrica


Why Should African/Black People Care About NATO, U.S. in Africa?: https://youtu.be/S1oQ5Ra5tWQ


Building the Movement to Shut Down AFRICOM: https://blackagendareport.com/building-movement-shut-down-africom


The Tigray War in Context: A Report by the Horn of Africa Pan Africans for Liberation and Solidarity: http://hoapals.org/the-ongoing-war-in-tigray-ethiopia/


AFRICOM's New Somalia Drone Strikes Bring Bipartisanism To Imperialism: https://player.fm/series/by-any-means-necessary/africoms-new-somalia-drone-strikes-bring-bipartisanism-to-imperialism


What is AFRICOM?: https://youtu.be/7tex_hHIqKE


What is AFRICOM and How Does It Affect Me?: https://youtu.be/mPGjOD9HsBg


2021 Toolkit to Shut Down AFRICOM - Google Docs


The U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM campaign is demanding the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa and the demilitarization of the African continent. The campaign is an integral element of the Black Alliance for Peace’s general opposition to U.S. global militarization, with its offensive command structures, approximately 800 to 1,000 overseas bases, and the United States' status as the number one arms merchant on the planet. The International Month of Action Against AFRICOM (October 2021) 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. Learn more about the International Month of Action Against AFRICOM at https://blackallianceforpeace.com/africom2021.

If you would like to join the U.S. Out Of Africa Network, which is the organizational arm of the campaign, please visit https://blackallianceforpeace.com/joinusoutofafricanetwork. You can also email us at USOAN@blackallianceforpeace.com or visit

blackallianceforpeace.com/usoutofafrica to learn more.

Black Alliance for Peace's Africa Team

Margaret Kimberley

Netfa Freeman

Jemima Pierre

Mark Fancher

Gustavus Griffin

Maurice Carney

Jaribu Hill

Lyndon Wilburg

Tunde Osazua




Resist U.S. Colonization of Africa | https://blackallianceforpeace.com/africom2021

1



"Keeping Democracy Alive" radio program, June 18, 2020

Interview with Tunde Osazua, U.S. Out of Africa Network Coordinator

BURT COHEN: I’m Burt Cohen, and if we keep on pushing, we are keeping democracy alive. Well, it seems that the murder of George Floyd has shaken awake a lot of us to the fact of systemic racism, which Black people have always known about. The fact that millions of white people could not help but watch an actual grisly killing as it happened, all eight minutes 46 seconds. It was a shock to the system, which brought out millions in angry protests, not just here in America, but all over the world. Of course, systemic racism is hardly limited to this side of the Atlantic. The policy of white male domination and control is hardly new, and it does not stop at national boundaries. I remember hearing the phrase darkest Africa when I was growing up in the '50s. It was common to paint that huge continent as a fantastic, exotic, mysterious place with what we now see as incredibly racist images of the savagery which only existed in white people's imagination.

Anyone that may remember having a globe that had Africa nearly entirely divided up between British, French, German, and Belgian ownership. Something called the scramble for Africa started around 1870 when 10% was under European domination, but by the start of the First World War in 1914, it was around 90%. The European colonialists had several motives: a desire for valuable natural resources, the quest for national prestige, rivalry between European powers, and religious missionary zeal, which went together nicely. I remember wondering about all those neat straight-line borders. Who drew them?

Where the local people even consulted?

So, where are we today? Well into the 21st century, with this new worldwide activism against such incredible racism, does it carry forward toward the liberation of Africa and the end of colonialism and imperialism, at last? Today's show focuses on an ongoing U.S. out of Africa: Shut Down AFRICOM! campaign, with one of its leaders. Tunde Osazua is a member of the Black Alliance for Peace’s Africa Team, and the coordinator of the U.S. Out of Africa network, which is the organizational arm of the Black Alliance for Peace’s campaign designed to end the U.S. invasion and occupation of Africa. Tunde, thanks so much for being with us.

TUNDE OSAZUA: Yeah, thanks for having me.

BURT COHEN: Well, the U.S. has military bases pretty much everywhere on the planet. We know about Afghanistan and Iraq. But even members of Congress were surprised when four American military personnel were killed in Niger. I am guessing nearly everybody who's listening never heard of AFRICOM. To get us started, what is AFRICOM? What are its purposes and goals?

TUNDE OSAZUA: United States Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) is a full-spectrum combatant command. It’s responsible for all U.S. Department of Defense operations, exercises, and security cooperation on the African continent, its island nations, and surrounding waters.


AFRICOM is the colonization of Africa by the U.S., and constitutes the new scramble for Africa tantamount to when, as you mentioned, in the 1800s, the colonial powers fought over which of them would dominate which parts of the resource rich continent.

The purpose of AFRICOM is to use U.S. military power to impose U.S. control of African land, resources and labor to service the needs of U.S. corporations and the wealthy in the U.S.

U.S. military presence in Africa did not begin with AFRICOM. However, AFRICOM now formalizes that presence with better coordination and strategic focus for realizing the long-term geopolitical goals of U.S. imperialism in Africa.

BURT COHEN: And, certainly, the First World War which regularly listeners know I’m fascinated with, included fighting in Africa. Not you know, it was just the European colonial powers there who were fighting over the treasures that they could find. It amazed me. And there's one story about some troops coming in there, and a whole bunch of bees attack them. And they couldn’t deal with that. Anyway. So how did AFRICOM get there? Did the nations of Africa ask them to be there? And what was President Obama's role regarding AFRICOM?

TUNDE OSAZUA: Yeah, so, in 2007, the Bush administration announced that it would establish the first U.S. African command structure, or announced AFRICOM, essentially, and Libya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe denounced the concept, with most other African states taking a similar stand soon afterwards. And in 2008, Bush visited Africa and encountered almost unanimous rejection of his AFRICOM plan. Only Liberia showed an interest in hosting the AFRICOM headquarters.

So, since its inception, AFRICOM has been based in Stuttgart, Germany, just because of the fierce opposition from many African states. It was established on October 1, 2008, but it's been forced to maintain its headquarters in Germany.

After being rebuked continent wide at its inception in 2008, the Obama administration paved the way for the proliferation of AFRICOM on the continent, as quisling African leaders became more cooperative with the “Black” U.S. president.

During the reign of Barack Obama there was a 1,900% increase in the U.S. military presence on the continent.

BURT COHEN: Wow! 1,900% increase on the continent.

TUNDE OSAZUA: Yes, to parallel that to domestic affairs, under Obama, there was a 2,400% increase in the value of military equipment transferred from the federal government to police forces across the United States through the Department of Defense's 1033 program, which is something the Black Alliance for Peace points out pretty often, just to make that connection. We feel like there are a lot of connections, as you've already kind of spoken about, between policing and militarism on the continent, the African continent, and here, in the United States.


BURT COHEN: Yes, well, at least a lot of us. Millions of Americans have known for a long time and now, even as white people and recognizing that it's like, right, in our face. We can't possibly miss it. How many American missions are there in Africa? And what are the three categories of American military missions there?

TUNDE OSAZUA: Right. So, in 2015, there was a report that revealed that there are three main forms of U.S. military presence in Africa that were categories of basing. There were the forward operating sites, the cooperative security locations, and contingency locations.

And there are currently 46 various forms of bases. There are 46 bases that take on these forms on the continent as well as military to military relations between 53 out of the 54 countries in Africa and the United States.

In terms of missions, the U.S. was conducting 10 missions per day in 2017, according to General Thomas Waldhauser, and that amounted to over 3500 exercises, programs, and engagements per year on the continent.

And to speak to what we were talking about earlier; the 1,900% increase is the most dramatic growth in deployment of America's troops in any region of the globe over the past decade. So, this increase in the amount of missions and the bases and everything have come about because of AFRICOM and the coordination that the U.S. Africa Command has promoted on the continent for the U.S. military.