Federal investigators raided the offices and homes of leaders involved with the local Black Liberation group suspected of Russian collusion early Friday morning.
Officials from the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and the African People’s Socialist Party said the FBI carried out a “violent” raid with flash grenades and drones around 5 a.m. Friday morning.
At a press conference on Friday, President Omali Yeshitela said he and his wife were handcuffed during the raid as investigators searched their home. He said the FBI threw flash grenades into his home and carried out the raid without knocking or showing him a search warrant.
Yeshitela said the FBI believes the Uhuru movement and the African People’s Socialist Party may be involved in some way in manipulating Russia in the US election.
“What they claimed is that they are indicting someone, a Russian nationalist who is in Russia,” Yeshitela said. “They claimed they were investigating the African People’s Socialist Party which I lead in the Uhuru movement because of an association we may have with the Russian government.”
The raid appears to be related to the one in St. Petersburg, Florida, which happened around the same time Friday morning. The Tampa Bay Weather reports that federal law enforcement and St. Petersburg police conducted searches at multiple locations, including the Uhuru home in Florida, under search warrants apparently related to an indictment against a Russian national .
According to a federal indictment obtained by the TimeAleksandr Viktorovich Ionov allegedly worked with unnamed Russian Federal Security Service officers to use members of American political groups as foreign agents for Russia.
Ionov recruited members of various political groups to attend government-sponsored conferences in Russia to encourage participating groups to advocate for ‘separation from their home countries’, the indictment says .
The indictment does not explicitly name Yeshitela or the African People’s Socialist Party, but describes two co-conspirators as residents of St. Petersburg, Florida and St. Louis.
The indictment against Ionov identifies him as the founder and chairman of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, a Moscow-based organization that advocated “the sovereignty of nation states, including the sovereignty of Russia.”
Yeshitela said he visited Russia in 2014 as part of a conference organized by a Russian organization that deals with an anti-globalization movement in Russia, but his involvement in the country did not extend to the country. -of the.
“This movement held conferences in Russia, organizing people around the world who opposed globalization and fought for self-determination,” Yeshitela said.
Yeshitela founded the African People’s Socialist Party in 1972. According to his website, party members aim to liberate oppressed African populations from “American capitalist-colonialist domination”.
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is an organized group of white people in solidarity with black liberation under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party. The FBI raided the group’s Uhuru Solidarity Center in southern St. Louis.
Yeshitela explained that his party is not made up of pacifists; they believe in “just wars” which are “fought by people trying to free themselves”.
“We are not only supporting Russia in this war against Ukraine, we are supporting Palestine, even as the American government and American citizens leave this country every day to go to Palestine which is murdering Palestinian Arabs every day.”
Yeshitela added, “Don’t tell us we can’t have friends you don’t like.”
When asked if he had ever accepted money from the Russian government, Yeshitela replied “No”, but laughed and said that he “apologies for not receiving money from Russia “.
Rhya Fogerty tells RFT that the FBI took the phones and laptops of some involved in the movement. Fogerty works with Black Power Blueprint, an initiative linked to the African People’s Socialist Party with a mission to transform northern St. Louis.
“It’s all about the right of Africans to be free; to control their work, their lands, their communities, their resources,” Fogerty said. “The government claims these things are so convoluted.”
It is a story of rupture. We will provide updates when more information becomes available.