NEW YORK — Some 100 people attended a program at the Harlem YMCA here Dec. 8 on “Thomas Sankara’s Legacy Today: Sankara Everywhere, Sankara Nowhere.” Speaking were Basninwende Isonore Dianda, a teacher; Inem Richardson, a Barnard College student and researcher; Issa Zoungrana, project coordinator, Stand for Life and Liberty; Dr. Boukary Sawadogo, professor at City College of New York; and Peter Thierjung, Socialist Workers Party. Paul Sankara, brother of Thomas Sankara, attended the meeting.
A wide-ranging discussion followed the presentations. Participants came from New York and northern New Jersey, as well as Boston, Montreal, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Thomas Sankara was the leader of the 1983-87 popular democratic revolution in the West African country of Burkina Faso. The revolutionary government organized millions of Burkinabe toilers in campaigns for land reform, to eliminate illiteracy and curable diseases, and to plant 10 million trees to stem destruction of the soil. It promoted self-sufficiency in food and clothing and drew women into social and political activity. It resisted French and U.S. imperialist pressures and collaborated with revolutionary Cuba.
Sankara was assassinated in 1987 in a counterrevolutionary coup.
The International Committee of Sankara Annual Conference sponsored the event. The next issue will feature a full report.