On Revolutionary Slogans: Why We Say All Power to the People

rashid-2013-self-portrait1Revolutionary slogans must correspond to the objectives of the revolutionary movement. They are not mere slang, catchphrases, or figures of speech. But are instruments of propaganda and agitation, that serve to arouse public opinion, inform the people of the objectives of the struggle, and shows them the path that their struggle must follow.

The slogan, “All Power!,” has taken on a life of its own in U.S. movement circles. It was initially adopted and used by Shaka Sankofa Zulu (aka Zulu Sharod), who, as Chair of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, came into contact with many people, especially on social media, and through his common use of the term passed it on to others, who in turn passed it on to still more people.

While it may be catchy, “All Power!,” is not a revolutionary slogan. It makes no demand and expresses no objectives of the movement in the interest of the masses. The greedy capitalists, the avaricious businessmen, and their armed pig enforcers already have all the power. So in whose interests are we speaking when we merely say, “All Power!”?

In a struggle with NABPP chair, Shaka Zulu, our comrade, Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party General Secretary, Shupavu wa Kirima stated, “ ‘All Power’ may sound catchy to some but politically it is incomplete. Slogans and sloganeering are only meaningful and effective when it helps the people to conceptualize and articulate a revolutionary demand. So when we talk about power, we understand that power exists and is currently in the hands of the capitalist/ruling class. Power/All Power means nothing until it is in the hands of the PEOPLE. The people cannot be an afterthought in anything we do. That’s why we say ‘ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE’.”

If the struggle is about empowering the people, we must INCLUDE them in any demand FOR power. All Power TO THE PEOPLE!, is therefore the correct slogan to arouse the people and organize them around, which is why we in the RIBPP embrace “All Power to the People!”, and reject “All Power!”

We must NEVER exclude THE PEOPLE, especially not from slogans meant to awaken them to the difficult life and death struggle to wrest power from a murderous ruling class that must relinquish its holds on power, if the people and the planet we rely on for our very lives are to survive.

THIS is why we demand All Power to the People!


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