1. What are the five key principles of reparations under international law?

2. How do you think reparations will be achieved?

3. What is a social movement?

4. What is the ISMAR?

5. What does the term Maangamizi mean?

6. Why is it important to focus on the legacies of enslavement as they are impacting on people of Afrikan heritage today?

7. What are the manifestations of the crime of genocide in international law?

8. Name five of the manifestations of genocide as mentioned in the Stop the Maangamizi Petition?

9. What is the history of the Stop the Maangamizi petition in the UK?

10. What are the goals of the Stop the Maangamizi petition?



Petitions are not necessarily an end in themselves but often form part of wider protest actions including, other forms of direct action.The most significant thing about petitions is that a group of people break through fear, intimidation and intellectual terrorism to declare that we are the ones opposed to something, stand for something and this helps more people to come forward to support the cause. The more people who do so, the more people are willing to stand up for the said cause.

In fact, petitions are not just about what gets handed in to the Prime Minister or parliament. By speaking to and grounding with our people, we are waking them up and getting them to sign up to and agree something whereby they append their name to a campaign in history. They are the ones who are recorded as openly standing up in history to say that we must ‘Stop the Maangamizi’.

In essence, by signing the historic Stop the Maangamizi/ We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition (SMWeCGE) that are signing an agreement with history and destiny. Essentially, the action of marching and handing in the SMWCGE petition is about Afrikan people taking people, extra-parliamentary action/activity and engaging in extra-parliamentary struggle, gathering our forces to impress upon the British state and its parliament that reparatory justice is the biggest issue for our people.

When we are outside of our homeland and without access to land and the full benefits of the resources that our people have generated, reparatory justice cannot be just about self-repairs as essential as this is, but must also tackle external repairs. This is because we are estopped from effectively repairing ourselves in so many ways, including, truly building community and establishing own autonomous self-determined institutions. We must remember that we are here because they were there in our homeland and we have never recovered from the harmful intergenerational effects of the Maangamizi. As Malcolm X brilliantly stated: “If you stick a knife nine inches into my back and pull it out three inches, that is not progress. Even if you pull it all the way out, that is not progress. Progress is healing the wound, and America hasn’t even begun to pull out the knife.” This quote does not just relate to those that are unjustly ruling America but also those who exercise and wield the coloniality of white supremacist power in the UK and other parts of Europe.

We have to also find ways of tackling the system and confronting as well as challenging oppressive power structures with our own people based power, if we are to bring about systemic change and we truly want to stop the genocide/ecocide. We also recognise that people’s and political pressure must be mounted at every level, politically, culturally and legally. By promoting, discussing and reasoning through the contents of the petition, we are helping to raise popular legal consciousness,* building peoples power and knowledge for effecting and securing reparatory justice.

Petitions are equally as likely to play more of a role building a sense of community among campaigners in addition to sometimes influencing parliament or Whitehall. So, they still play an important role in mobilising support for other more revolutionary and other more advances types of reparatory action. Therefore, it is important to note that the SMWeCGE petition is a tactic, it is not a strategy! The strategy for effecting and securing reparatory justice, both internal and external, cannot be a singular one because the movement, and those who comprise it, have many different and sometimes contradictory goals. Hence the annual 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March is just one column or pillar in a wider International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and is also a tool for mobilising people around the goal of acquiring the consciousness for effecting/taking and securing (internal and external reparations). The other columns of the ISMAR include:

  • Street Column (Those who take forms of street action)
  • Parliamentary & Extra Parliamentary Column
  • Legal & Extra-legal Column
  • Political Economy Column
  • Faith Column
  • Labour (workers) Column
  • Women’s Column
  • Youth & Students Column
  • Veterans Column (Elders)
  • Edutainment Column.
  • Sports & Recreation Column
  • Academic Column (including reparations scholar-activists).

The ISMAR is itself a column of the wider Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM).

The aims of the march formalised in 2015 being:

1. To draw attention to Afrikan peoples’ global determination to not let the British State and other perpetrators get away with the crimes of the Maangamizi (Afrikan hellacaust and continuum of chattel, colonial and neo-colonial enslavement);

2. To hand in the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide petition requesting an All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice in order to raise consciousness about the fact that all the attacks on us, in both individual and collective instances, amount to Genocide/Ecocide in Maangamizi continuity, necessitating reparations;

3. To increase awareness of the necessity to ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ and its current manifestations such as austerity, attempts to recolonise Afrika, mentacide and deaths in police, psychiatric and prison custody;

4. To demonstrate Afrikan peoples’ strength, capacity and determination to speak truth to, and challenge establishment power, with our growing grassroots power to effect and secure reparatory justice on our own terms;

5. To highlight Afrikan people’s grassroots demands and initiatives for effecting and securing reparations.

*Legal Consciousness is the sum total of views and ideas expressing the attitude of people toward law, legality and justice and their concepts of what is lawful and unlawful. The SMWeCGE petition is part of a social justice lawyering approach to utilising law to effect and secure forms of reparatory justice.


commission of inquiry 3

To get a sense of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) it is best to understand what a truth commission is.

• Truth commissions are generally understood to be “bodies set up to investigate a past history of violations of human rights in a particular country -which can include violations by the military or other government forces or armed opposition forces.”[1] Priscilla B. Hayner, in Unspeakable Truths delineates four main characteristics of truth commissions:

1. First, they focus on the past and its impact. The events may have occurred in the recent past, but a truth commission is not an ongoing body akin to a human rights commission.

2. Second, truth commissions investigate a pattern of abuse over a set period of time rather than a specific event. In its mandate, the truth commission is given the parameters of its investigation both in terms of the time period covered as well as the type of human rights violations to be explored.

3. Third, a truth commission is a temporary body, usually operating over a period of six months to two years and completing its work by submitting a report. These parameters are established at the time of the commission’s formation, but often an extension can be obtained to wrap things up.

4. Fourth, truth commissions are officially sanctioned, authorized, or empowered by the state. This, in principle, allows the commission to have greater access to information, greater security, and increased assurance that its findings will be taken under serious consideration. Official sanction from the government is crucial because it represents an acknowledgment of past wrongs and a commitment to address the issues and move on. Furthermore, governments may be more likely to enact recommended reforms if they have established the commission.

Goals of Truth Commissions Include:

• Recording the past
• Identifying perpetrators
• Overcoming denial
• Restoring dignity to oppressed groups
• Promoting healing
• Educating about the past.
• Preventing future violence
• Forming the basis for a new pluriversal democratic order
• Promoting reconciliation
• Creating a collective memory.

There are many factors that will determine the composition and mandate of the APPCITRJ including how much we are able to bring pressure to bear on relevant decision-makers and institutions. There has already been some thinking, analysis, activism. research and consultation on what the purpose of the APPCITARJ should be although this is an evolving process, the APPCITARJ seeks to: acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of the imposition of Afrikan chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement within and beyond the British Empire; examine subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent; examine the impact of these forces on living Afrikans and Afrikan descendant communities, as well as all other peoples; make recommendations to Parliament and similar bodies at local, national and international levels, including the European Parliament, and; determine appropriate methods of dissemination of findings to the public within and beyond Britain for consultation about proposals for redress, repairs and for other purposes.

On the Importance of Speaking our Grassroots Power of Truth to Establishment Power


The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim… he or she has become a threat.”

James Baldwin, ‘The Devil Finds Work’, 1976

In speaking, the so-called victim becomes an agent, and his/her narrative is especially threatening because it dares to expose violations and violence when others declare that such oppressions do not exist.

What next?

In partnership with the 1st August Emancipation Day Afrikan Reparations March Committee and other reparatory justice organising processes, we will continue to consult our communities and constituencies of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) on the following four themes:

1. Is the APPCITARJ necessary/important?
2. Aims, hopes and fears?
3. Powers and structure?
4. What are the other ways to deal with the legacies of the Maangamizi and enforce accountability?

[1] Priscilla B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths. New York: Routlege, 2001, p. 14.


Reparations are not just a legal case or a political claim but also a social movement. In ‘An Approach to Reparations’ Human Rights Watch maintain that “when addressing relatively old wrongs, claims of reparations should not be based on the past abuses of enslavement and colonisation solely, but on its contemporary effects.”[1] They point out that people today, i.e. the descendants of the enslaved who can reasonably claim that today they personally suffer the effects of past human rights violations through continuing economic or social deprivation are deserving of reparations.


There is great potential in utilising the 1948 Convention on the Prevention of Genocide as an advocacy tool. In his book Never Meant to Survive: Genocide and Utopias in Black Diaspora Communities, Joao H. Vargas, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology establishes that the relentless and intergenerational oppression and marginalisation of large numbers of Black people in modern societies constitutes genocide, in that groups among us are subjected to conditions of life that are sufficiently destructive to amount to instances of genocide. In this regard it is important to also understand indirect genocide (which involves creating life conditions which destroy a group and facilitate intra-community violence).

According to Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish lawyer who coined the term genocide, genocide has two phases: one, the destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor.[2] In the 1948 Genocide Convention, genocide is therefore defined as follows:

Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Vargas poses the following challenge: “We either begin to address, redress, and do away with what make possible the multiple facets of anti-Black genocide, or we succumb to the dehumanising values that produce and become reproduced by the systematic and persistent disregard for the lives of Afro-descended individuals and their communities.” [3]


Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished. [4]

The call to make Ecocide an international crime dates back to 1972 when over 7,000 people took to the streets in Stockholm in 1972 to demand that Ecocide be a crime. It was the time of the Vietnam War and world leaders had met in Stockholm to resolve environmental issues at an international level for the first time. A draft Ecocide Convention was submitted into the UN in 1973 which intended to make ecocide the 5th crime against peace (in addition to the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, the crime of aggression).

In 2010, the proposal to amend the Rome Statute to include an international crime of Ecocide was submitted by Polly Higgins into the International Law Commission (ILC).

The inclusion of Ecocide law as international law prohibits mass damage and destruction of the Earth and, as defined above, creates a legal duty of care for all inhabitants that have been or are at risk of being significantly harmed due to Ecocide. This campaign continues!

[2] Raphael Lemkin, ‘Axis Rule in Occupied Europe’ (1944)
[3] J.H. Vargas Never Meant to Survive: Genocide and Utopias in Black Diaspora Communities (New York, Toronto, Plymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008), p.x


family history

We encourage you to begin doing family and community research on how we each have suffered and continued to suffer the crimes of the Maangamizi. People of Afrikan and Afrikan Diaspora heritage in the UK and Europe are organising towards establishing commissions of inquiry and local, national and international people’s tribunals to hold the governments of Britain, and Europe to account.

The evidence that you are able to gather is important so that we can arrive at a comprehensive assessment and a full picture of what our individual and collective journeys and experiences of the Maangamizi have been as people of Afrikan heritage both in the Diaspora and the Continent of Afrika.

Each person and representative of families and communities have to become our own advocates and experts on our own situation and then we can bring all these experiences together as part of us becoming ‘reparations enforcers’ to hold to account all those who are continuing to profit from ill-gotten gains and are complicit in the perpetuation of the Maangamizi today.