*Last month, several members of the African People’s Socialist Party and Uhuru Movement were handcuffed and searched during an FBI raid in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Missouri.
The incident reportedly occurred amid allegations that the movement colluded with a Russian national to interfere in the 2016 elections.
The Department of Justice accused Aleksandr Ionov of using the Uhuru Movement to spread pro-Russian propaganda in the U.S. Per Moguldom, “in an unsealed indictment, the U.S. Department of Justice accused APSP Founder and Chairman Omali Yeshitela, his wife Ona Zené Yeshitela and other members of the Uhuru Movement of working with Ionov,” the outlet writes.
According to DOJ head of national security Matthew Olsen, Ionov “allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning U.S. political groups and U.S. citizens into instruments of the Russian government.”
The FBI murdered Fred Hampton. It infiltrated the Black Panthers and Civil Rights movement. It smeared Malcolm X and told MLK to kill himself. It backed CIA cocaine trafficking into Black communities. It just raided the Uhuru Movement. Jimmy Dore is not your enemy. The FBI is. https://t.co/5sfhjVDbvu
— The People’s Party (@PeoplesParty_US) August 10, 2022
Leaders of the Uhuru Movement have clapped back at the accusations, Fox 2 reports.
“They have accused us of taking money from Russia,” Omali said at a press conference in St. Louis on Friday, July 29. “We’ve never taken a penny from the Russian government. … The U.S. government is attempting to use us, the African People Socialist Party and Uhuru Movement, as pawns.”
Per the African People’s Socialist Party’s website, the organization aims to unite “African people as one people for liberation, social justice, self-reliance and economic development.”
“We are being attacked because of our relationship with forces internationally who support the anti-colonial struggle,” Uhuru member Akile Anai said, according to the Washington Post. “What they are saying about Alex and this relationship with the Russian government — this is all the U.S. government’s attempt to use us as pawns in a propaganda war against Russia.”
Ionov allegedly colluded with members of the Uhuru Movement and other groups in Georgia and California, according to Special Agent in Charge David Walker.
“The facts and circumstances surrounding this indictment are some of the most egregious and blatant violations that we’ve seen by the Russian government in order to destabilize and undermine trust in American democracy,” Walker said.
Omali said at a press conference that they were “forcibly detained by FBI agents … without any meaningful explanation of what was going on.”
In a press release, the Uhuru Movement described the FBI raids as “a series of violent military FBI orchestrated pre-dawn attacks at the offices and homes of leaders” of the party.
FBI allegedly raided seven properties belonging to the Uhuru movement.