American black groups indicted by feds for anti-Ukraine war memes, accused of working with Russia

Critics are crying foul after the leaders of several black leftist groups were indicted, allegedly “for posting memes and other political content against the war in Ukraine.”

The indictment was announced Tuesday by the Department of Justice against Omali Yeshitela, the chairman and founder of the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement (APSP); Penny Joanne Hess, an APSP leader; Jesse Nevel, an APSP leader; and Augustus C. Romain Jr., aka Gazi Kodzo, an APSP leader and the founder of Georgia’s Black Hammer organization.

The indictment essentially says that the four APSP members were “recruited, funded, and directed” by three Russian nationals to do Russia’s bidding.

“As a part of the campaign, [the Russian nationals] allegedly recruited members of political groups within the United States … to participate in the influence campaign and act as agents of Russia in the United States,” the indictment reads.

One of their intentions “was to create the appearance of American popular support for Russia’s annexation of territories in Ukraine,” according to the indictment.

In May of 2020, for example, they reportedly sent a request to Yeshitela and the others “to make statements in support of the independence of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, a Russian-backed breakaway state in eastern Ukraine.”

Then on the day that Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, they emailed Nevel “pro-Russian talking points in support of the invasion.”

“Thereafter, throughout March 2022, the APSP repeatedly hosted [the Russian nationals] via video conference to discuss the war, during which [the nationals] falsely stated that anyone who supported Ukraine also supported Naziism and white supremacy, and Yeshitela and another APSP member allegedly made statements of solidarity with the Russian government,” the indictment continues.

Critics like Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald believe what’s really happening here is that these four Americans are being indicted for practicing their free speech rights to voice their dissent over the war in Ukraine.

As proof, Greenwald notes that the content on Black Hammer’s Instagram page is “exactly what you’d expect from American Black leftist/socialists, including attacks on Biden for the war, anti-DNC stuff and #BLM cases.”

As proof, he also points to the following video of Yeshitela doing nothing more than speaking at a “Peace in Ukraine” rally last month:

Greenwald, for his part, believes the indictment is yet another example of the U.S. government simply criminalizing dissent.

The irony, he writes, is that the U.S. government proudly and unapologetically does the exact same thing the Russian government has been accused of doing.

That being said, not everybody agrees with Greenwald’s analysis. Some believe the indictment has nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with money.

“I’m confused. Isn’t the claim that Russian government officials paid Americans to engage in political advocacy, and those Americans didn’t disclose their activity and hid the financial transactions?” one such critic, Matt Stoller of the American Economic Liberties Project, asked Greenwald.

The journalist responded to this critique by stressing that the allegations contained in the indictment are just that — allegations.

“What you’re reading from is called an indictment. These are unproven allegations asserted by prosecutors, many of which are often proven to be false. Nonetheless, dissidents around the world get money linked to the US Govt, often without knowing and sometimes knowingly,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, one critic linked this indictment to the burgeoning case against President Joe Biden’s crack-smoking youngest son, Hunter, by noting that if he can get away with accepting diamonds and drugs from Chinese Communist Party-linked entities, then these four black leftists should have the right to accept whatever from Russia:


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Vivek Saxena


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