It’s a matter of free speech, says Omali Yeshitela, the longtime leader of the St. Petersburg-based Uhuru Movement and founder of the African People’s Socialist Party.
Yeshitela was indicted by a federal grand jury in Tampa last month and accused of working with Russian nationals to sow discord in the United States, spread pro-Russian propaganda and influence elections, along with two other members of the Uhuru Movement, Penny Joanne Hess and Jesse Nevel.
On Wednesday, the three Uhuru members spoke to the press for the first time since their indictment.
“I believe in free speech,” Yeshitela said at the news conference. “If I didn’t believe in free speech, I would never have said anything because they kill Black people for talking in this country.”
Yeshitela founded the African People’s Socialist Party in 1972. The Uhuru Movement is the party’s activist branch, started in the 1990s. The group supports reparations for Black people and has protested racism, colonialism and capitalism for decades. Hess and Nevel are the chairpersons of groups for white allies under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement, respectively.
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