On January 17, 1961, Patrice Lumumba, a Congolese revolutionary, independence leader and the first democratically elected prime minister of the Congo, was overthrown and assassinated by CIA-backed forces.
With Lumumba’s assassination, neocolonial forces won an important victory in the mineral-rich country. They were able to install a dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, who for decades facilitated (and profited from) the pillaging of the country’s natural resources and labor power by transnational corporations, as well as the brutal repression of all opposition. Mobutu was finally ousted, but democracy in the Congo is fragile and leaves much to be desired. Corporate, imperialist interests continue to reign supreme over the interests and well being of the majorities.
60 years following Lumumba’s assassination, the Congo is still grappling with the central questions of how to stand up to imperialist domination, how to defend national sovereignty, how to build truly democratic institutions that will defend and work for the people, how to leverage the country’s resource wealth in favor of the people and not favor secessionist processes, and how to address the pressing socio-economic issues of poverty, lack of basic services, and growing violence.
In order to address these crucial questions as well as what the impact has been on the rest of the region, and the world, Peoples Dispatch will join Progressive International, Friends of the Congo, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Centre for Research on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Centre Culturel Andrée Blouin, International Peoples’ Assembly, Socialist Forum of Ghana, Pan-African Television, and African Risings in an event “Long Live Patrice Lumumba.”
The event will be moderated by Tricontinental director Vijay Prashad who will be joined by Kambale Musavuli from the Centre for Research on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nanjala Nyabola – Progressive International, Kenya, Nnimmo Bassey – Progressive International, Nigeria, Vashna Jagarnath of Pan-Africa Today, Marie-Claire Faray -Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Kwesi Pratt Jnr. of the Socialist Forum of Ghana.
The event is Sunday January 17 at 2pm UTC (Kinshasa at 3pm, Johannesburg, 4pm, EST 9am) and can be viewed on the Peoples Dispatch Facebook page.
Also can be viewed at the Progressive International pages:
- YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcSu9rtmZr4
- TW: https://www.twitch.tv/ProgressiveInternational
- FB: https://www.facebook.com/100645961493632/posts/248670626691164/