An unidentified person used a flamethrower to set fire to a Pan-African flag over the weekend, which was flying outside the headquarters of the Uhuru Movement, a Black international socialist group based in Florida.
According to the Associated Press, a driver of a white Honda sedan pulled up to the St. Petersburg headquarters, according to security video released by the group, and shows the person removing a flamethrower from the trunk and shooting a tower of fire at the flag flying about 30 feet (9 meters) above the ground. The group says the man stopped when a worker inside the building yelled at him. He then puts the flamethrower back in the trunk and then drives away.
A photo supplied by the Uhuru Movement shows the flag with a large hole.
The local St. Petersburg police are investigating the situation and are actively working to identify a suspect.
Akile Anai, the group’s director of agitation and propaganda, said the attack is in the same vein as the May killing of 10 Black people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. Police say that the arrested suspect in the Buffalo massacre is a white nationalist. Anai also said such attacks are caused by the decline of a “social system and facade of normalcy based on oppression, colonialism, and exploitation.”
The Uhuru Movement is part of the African People’s Socialist Party, which says it is “uniting African people as one people for liberation, social justice, self-reliance, and economic development.”