Ajike Owens Statement
The African National Women’s Organization sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ajike Owens, a 35-year-old African mother who was shot and killed on June 2, 2023, when she attempted to defend her children who were violently assaulted by Susan Lorincz, a 58-year-old white woman, known to the community as a racially hostile aggressor.
Ajike’s life was stolen like the lives of so many other African people domestically colonized within the borders of the U.S Colony-at the hands of White Vigilantes and colonial police.
African and Native people, indigenous to this land, have been suffering from colonial oppression and domination since the U.S. Colony was created. The list of Africans we have lost since this violent occupation continues to grow and the time for justice is now.
Nothing this colonial “justice system” will do, will bring Ajike back. Nor will it stop other Ajike’s from dying in the future. Ajike will never get to hold her children, laugh, cry, or feel anything ever again.
Stand your ground laws rooted in settler colonialism
As Ajike bled out in front of Lorincz’s door; her baby crying over her body, Lorincz had already developed a defense under the Florida law of Stand Your Ground.
We were introduced to this law in February 2012 when a 17-year-old African teenager, Trayvon Martin, was killed by white vigilante George Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense after stalking and harassing Trayvon as he walked home after purchasing candy from the store.
Zimmerman was ultimately acquitted, by a 6-woman jury who accepted self-defense as justification for murdering Trayvon.
However, when Marissa Alexander, an African woman living in Jacksonville, FL, attempted to use this as a defense when protecting herself from abuse, she was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison, despite not having killed anyone.
The violence we are experiencing today is the same violence that stripped African people from our homeland to slave for white colonizers as part of their process of colonizing this land, robbing native indigenous peoples of their homeland.
The same patriotic Americans who so vehemently proclaim allegiance to the colonial U.S. flag are defending their rights to stolen land, the foundation of the stand-your-ground laws that allow the colonizers to go free while African and other colonized people are trapped by it.
It’s not meant for us. The slave master makes freedom illegal for the slave. The trail of African bodies is evidence of this. The problem does not lie with this specific law or with the violent actions of white vigilantes, or the colonial police.
The problem is that, even though African people in the U.S. have fought to chisel out human rights concessions, we still live under colonial capitalism. We will not find peace or freedom until we destroy the pedestal of power that places white power colonial policy over the lives of the colonized. For us, it’s not enough for our lives to matter, we must have the power to prevent harm and exact justice if we are harmed.
Unfortunately, we do not have that power any place on the planet, but it is possible to build it. We are building it.
We must Organize and Replace the colonial mode of production with a system that ushers in Black Power. The time to protect and defend the lives of African and other colonized people is NOW or, we will keep experiencing this violence.
The African National Women’s Organization is an international membership-based organization for African women, formed by the African People’s Socialist Party as a part of our revolutionary strategy to occupy all spaces of resistance. The Party recognizes that African women are specially oppressed under colonialism and that we have an interest in resisting that oppression through organization.
How can we expect justice for Ajike under colonialism, when organizing for African freedom has been criminalized? The U.S. State Department has indicted the Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party Omali Yeshitela and two other leaders of the Uhuru Movement, Jesse Nevel Chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, and Penny Hess, Chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, for promoting this freedom.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela has dedicated over 52 years to building the Uhuru Movement, which boasts African members and supporters from all over the globe. He also organized white solidarity with the African revolution, which calls on white people like Chairs Jesse Nevel and Penny Hess to organize white people to defend our struggle for self-determination and win reparations for the African community.
So there is a stance the colonizer can take to reject their position on the pedestal and to work side-by-side with African people fighting for liberation. This is the future. To not take that stand, sitting on the sidelines acting as if Susan Lorincz is a bad apple, is to maintain your position on the necks of African and other colonized people.
We call on African women in particular to not accept this! You must support your interest by joining ANWO and getting involved with creating a world where colonialism will no longer exist because you had a hand in destroying it. The time has come that we take control of the means of production so that we can live in true Freedom and Prosperity. Not for a few of us, but for “All of Us”.
At our March 2023 Black women’s convention, ANWO established leadership for our safety and security program. We are building our capacity to defend ourselves as the crisis of imperialism deepens and the level of white vigilantism escalates. You can expect future opportunities with ANWO to participate in creating safe communities, protecting ourselves from harm, and training to protect others.
Once again we express our deepest sympathies to the family of Ajike Owens. Ajike’s death will not be in vain. Long Live Ajike Owens. Rest in Power, sis.