Republic of New Africa (RNA)
The Republic of New Africa (RNA), was founded on March 31, 1968 when some 200 black people from across the country gathered in Detroit, Michigan and signed a "Declaration of Independence," proclaiming black people in the United States "forever free and independent of the jurisdiction of the United States." The aims of RNA included the following: 1) to free black people from oppression; 2) to support and wage the world social revolution until all people everywhere are free; 3) to build a new society that is better than what we now know and as perfect as can be made; 4) to end the exploitation of man by man; 5) to assure justice for all; 6) to place the Major means of production and trade in the hands of the state.
The leaders of RNA proclaimed their organization "the government for the non-self governing blacks held captive within the United States." They demanded that the territory which now comprises the United States be partitioned into two separate states, one for blacks and one for whites. In negotiations with the United States Department of State they demanded that Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina be set aside as the territory for the new republic, and that the United States government provide this new state with $400 billion in reparations.
Anticipating the difficulties involved in negotiations with the government of the United States, officials of RNA urged black people to migrate to Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of blacks, and peacefully take over the electoral offices of that state. In case of resistance, armed force would be used. The military forces would be made up of urban guerrillas who would be ready to strike simultaneously throughout the United States, should the need arise. They maintain that a significant number of blacks sympathetic to their position are already armed and are engaged in a holding action. All blacks who were unarmed were urged to purchase guns for self-defense.
Inasmuch as the President of the Republic of New Africa was in exile in the People's Republic of China at the time of his election, the loaders of RNA believed that as a last resort military assistance, including nuclear weapons, could be secured from China. Additional support could come fromother Third World nations.
Republic of New Afrika (RNA)
In contrast with other black groups which were politically oriented, the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) called for the creation of an independent black nation out of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The group itself was set up as a shadow government with a president, a vice president, a minister of defense, a minister of justice, etc. Another RNA goal was that the U.S. Government pay all black citizens $10,000 for their ancestors' slave labor. The RNA publicly espoused the peaceful attainment of these goals; however, RNA leaders also publicly advocated support of revolutionary groups which preached violence. There have been no terrorist acts claimed by the RNA.
Members of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) founded the RNA, one of the groups in the M19CO alliance, in 1968. Most of the original RAM group were arrested in 1970, but RNA was resurrected by members of the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army following the Brink’s robbery. Their goal is to create a separate Black nation that was to include the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
The leader of the RNA in the 1980s was Randolph Simms, also known as Coltraine Chimurenga, a Harvard University doctoral student. He and other members of the group were arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery, illegal possession of weapons, and a variety of other offenses. During his trial, prosecutors showed a videotape of an RNA rehearsal for an armored car robbery during which Simms gave explicit instructions to kill the victims.
The trial lasted for two months, and after five days of deliberation, the jury acquitted the defendants of the conspiracy charges but convicted them of a lesser charge of illegal weapons possession. The judge suspended the sentences of all but one of the defendants and placed the remaining defendants on probation for periods of two to three years. Collette Pean was the only defendant sentenced to three months in prison and to perform 200 hours of community service. She also was assessed a $1,561.10 fine (Smith, 1994).
A militant group with views similar to those of the RNA was the New Afrikan Freedom Fighters. During October 1984, nine persons associated with this group were arrested In New York City. They had been planning to blow up police cars and then kill police officers as they ran out of a nearby police station. This was to be a diversion to effect the escape of Nathaniel Burns, a participant in the October 1981, Brinks robbery. Searches of their safehouses yielded weapons, ammunition, and explosives. During August 1985, eight of the nine were convicted of various firearms violations and other charges.
Another militant faction with views similar to the RNA was the New Afrikan People's Organization (NAPO). The stated objective of this group was to win independence for New Afrika and establish a socialist republic. This, according to the organization, can be accomplished through a people's war. Several RNA leaders and key members were NAPO national leaders.
Some members and/or associates of black leftist groups were involved in the October 1981, Brinks robbery. Marilyn Jean Buck, for example, the only white Black Liberation Army member, was a participant. Chokwe Lumumba, the RNA minister of justice, had been the defense attorney for several defendants in the Brinks robbery case. Jeral Wayne Williams, also known as Mutulu Shakur, who reportedly directed the robbery, was an RNA member. An FBI Top Ten fugitive, Shakur was captured during February 1986. Another RNA member, Cheri Dalton, was a fugitive wanted in connection with the October 1981 robbery.
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