On July 29, 2022, a federal indictment was unsealed that charged Alexandr Ionov, a Russian citizen, with conspiring with unindicted native St. Petersburg, Florida neighborhood activists self-identified because the African Folks’s Socialist Celebration, aka the Uhurus, to behave as unregistered brokers of Russia, a overseas energy. Ionov, who’s in Russia, was not arrested. The indictment alleges that Ionov supported the Uhurus’ affiliated native candidates for St. Pete Metropolis Council and St. Pete Mayor and carried out a years-long overseas “malign affect” marketing campaign that used the Uhurus and not less than two different U.S. “fringe” political teams to sow discord, unfold pro-Russian propaganda, and intervene in elections in the US on behalf of the Russian State Safety Companies, referred to as the FSB. On the identical day, a search warrant was executed by the FBI at Uhuru Home in St. Petersburg and on the headquarters and residential of the Chairman of the African Folks’s Socialist Celebration, Omali Yeshitela, in St. Louis, Missouri. Throughout the search, Yeshitela was handcuffed however not taken into custody, and the constructing was broken.
In a press convention that very same day, Akile Anai, who beforehand ran for St. Petersburg Metropolis Council, and who mentioned she serves because the Director of Agitation and Propaganda for the African Folks’s Socialist Celebration, known as the fees in opposition to Ionov and the investigation into her relationship with the Uhurus and Ivanov “a propaganda marketing campaign in opposition to Russia” by the U.S. authorities and an assault on her group. In media studies, some neighborhood members in St. Petersburg and Yeshitela himself have criticized the FBI’s aggressive execution of the search warrant on the Uhurus and in contrast it to historic precedents of the U.S. authorities’s aggressive suppression of and violence towards different Black activist actions just like the Black Panthers and the Philadelphia MOVE Home the place police dropped a bomb that killed 11 folks.
To realize extra perception into the bigger geopolitical context of those prison expenses and their historic precedents, on August 10, 2022, MidPoint host Shelley Reback interviewed famous impartial journalist Marcy Wheeler, aka @emptywheel on Twitter and elsewhere on the web, who makes a speciality of reporting on nationwide safety points, and Prof. Golfo Alexopoulos, Director of The Russia Institute on the College of South Florida. The present is out there for on-demand listening right here: