Candidate Accountability: Demand a Commitment to a Peace and Human Rights Agenda

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP)

The novel coronavirus pandemic both revealed and accelerated the irreversible crisis of the global capitalist system and, consequently, the domestic conditions shaping the 2020 U.S. presidential election and every level of U.S. governance.

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) asserts the deepening structural crisis is causing unprecedented forms of capitalist structural violence that can be measured in unnecessary deaths, sickness, hospitalizations, mass hunger, homelessness and collective trauma. This crisis, along with climate change and the interlocking issues related to imperialist war, militarism and domestic repression, are the main challenges facing the public.

Yet, the diversionary psychodrama passing itself off as politics in the United States has consigned these issues outside of the pre-approved range of items for public discussion.

However, BAP took on the task to raise the issues that others have avoided during this election season to suggest the people must demand from public officials a minimum program that opposes war, repression and imperialism.

We launched the Candidate Accountability Pledge as part of our broader campaign, No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad, to say public officials coming to our people for support must embrace an agenda that in the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., addresses the ongoing issues of “racism, materialism and militarism” that characterize the politics of the United States as the “greatest purveyor of violence on the planet.”

In these last few weeks of this effort, we highlight our demands. They go beyond the election because we know the state is increasingly relying on the use of violence domestically and abroad, and that both Democrats and Republicans are committed to this strategy to maintain the power of the capitalist dictatorship. So, we suggest the people demand their elected officials and candidates:

  • Oppose the militarization of U.S. police through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program
  • Oppose Israeli training of U.S. police forces
  • Call for and work for the closure of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)
  • Advocate for the closure of 800+ U.S. foreign military bases
  • Oppose Trump’s “Operation Relentless Pursuit”
  • Commit to opposing all military, economic (including sanctions and blockades) and political interventions
  • Advocate for an end to U.S. participation in NATO
  • Support efforts to cut the U.S. military budget by 50%
  • Demand the U.S. Department of Justice document and investigate the use of lethal force by domestic police officers
  • Commit to passing resolutions that commit the U.S. to uphold international law and the U.N. Charter
  • Sponsor legislation and/or resolutions to support the U.N. resolution on the complete global abolition of nuclear weapons

Over the last few weeks, we have attempted to raise the visibility of these demands.

For example, our September 24 webinar, “Full Spectrum Dominance: From AFRICOM to Indo-Pacific Command”, focused on our ongoing work to shut down AFRICOM, but we also drew attention to another U.S. command structure, the Indo-Pacific Command, which is being used to strengthen U.S. offensive capabilities against China.

Then on October 1, over 300 organizations from global civil society joined us by endorsing and taking action in support of the International Day of Action on AFRICOM. For that day, we asked organizations and individuals to call on the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to investigate the impact of AFRICOM on the African continent. The effort to sign onto that letter continues.

We are disseminating an especially important conversation BAP members hosted and presented on October 7 on Black Women and Anti-Imperialism.

On October 14, BAP co-sponsored and National Organizer Ajamu Baraka participated in a discussion on policing in Nicaragua and the Caribbean that is receiving international attention.

BAP member organization Friends of the Congo yesterday launched “Congo Week in Harlem”, an annual 7-day event that draws attention to the ongoing struggles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to its rich history and culture. Many believe the DRC would be one of the richest countries if it was allowed to exercise real national sovereignty, free from predatory U.S. and Western companies.

BAP is a member of the Black is Back Coalition (BIB), which is organizing the “Black People’s March on the White House” on November 7-8. For BIB, the election’s outcome will not change that Black and Brown colonized workers in the United States and abroad have no choice but to resist the U.S. state’s criminal activity as it desperately attempts to shore up the capitalist order.

And we are still moving toward our fundraising goal of $30,000, so we can continue to work for peace and People(s)-Centered Human Rights. Help us.


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