Flamethrower used to set fire to Pan-African flag on pole

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – A person using a flamethrower on Saturday set fire to a Pan-African flag fluttering on a pole outside the headquarters of the Uhuru movement, a black international socialist group in Florida.

Security video released by the group shows the driver of a white Honda sedan stopping in front of the group’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, removing a flamethrower from the trunk and firing a lighthouse at the flag flying about 30 feet (9 meters) above the ground. The group says the man stopped when an employee in the building yelled at him. The video shows him putting the flamethrower back in the trunk and then driving away. A photo provided by the group shows the flag with a large hole.

St. Petersburg police said they are investigating the fire and are working to identify a suspect.

The Uhuru movement is part of the African People’s Socialist Party, which says it “unites African people as one people for liberation, social justice, self-reliance and economic development.”

Akile Akai, the group’s agitation and propaganda director, said the attack is in a similar vein to the murder of 10 black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York in May. Police say the arrested suspect in the Buffalo massacre is a white nationalist.

Akai said such attacks are caused by the decline of a “social system and a facade of normality based on oppression, colonialism and exploitation”.

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