To call on Councillors, the Mayor or the Chief Executive as appropriate to:
1. Write to the Speakers of both Houses of the UK Parliament, Chair of the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee, and Chair of the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee to express Bristol City Council’s view that they should consider establishing, and seeking UK Government support for, an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry. The purpose of this unprecedented commission would be to work on the scope of how reparations may be delivered and may also include for example raising concerns about how tax payers were until 2015 paying back compensation paid to enslavers.
The ISMAR’s glocal Afrikan Reparatory Justice process driven by the SMWeCGEC is now advancing with our partners, foremost among them the MAATUBUNTUMITAWO-Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (MAATUBUNTUMITAWO-GAFRIC) on the Continent of Afrika as well as the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC).
Bristol is the best demonstration, thus far, of the combined ground-up and top-down approach working together in equity. The Bristol process has included meetings with Afrikan Heritage Communities, Afrikan Heritage Community elected officials and Afrikan Heritage representatives of Bristol-based institutions, as well as allies. There were also 72 statements received from members of the public in support of the motion and nearly 200 statements received last year when the motion went before the Council as a silver motion.
The passing of this motion is indeed a cause for celebration as now more than ever we have collectively been able to demonstrate that a radical agenda for change, (in the sense of tackling Maangamizi injustices from the root), can win.
There are however two key additions in the motion which surpass the original motions in London passed so far, and that is the inclusion of the following sections:
2. Support Afrikan Heritage Community (AHC) organisations in Bristol to galvanise support for the emerging Bristol AHC led ‘Reparations Plan’ from, and in collaboration with, wider stakeholders including institutions, city strategic leaders, corporate leaders, key strategic programmes/initiatives and cross-party politicians.
4. Recognise that reparative justice should be driven by Afrikan Heritage Communities experiences, voices and perspectives to ensure that advocacy messages not only reflect but also respond to the real needs of the community in order to recognise inequalities.
Of note, is the motion referencing what we in the SMWeCGEC refer to as the PEMPAMSIEMPANGO Glocal Reparations Action Plan for Planet Repairs Alternative Progression (PEMPAMSIEMPANGO-GRAPPRAP), which is a ground-up reparations planning process where our Afrikan Heritage Communities are organised and spearheaded by Pempamsiesafo – Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Special Task Action Research Forces (PARJSTARF) to carry out as a matter of study and applied knowledge-production on the complexities of Afrikan Reparations. Although the passing of this motion is a stepping stone in an emerging participatory reparatory justice Afrikan Heritage Communities-led process, it is a huge leap forward and a vindication of the position of some of us in the SMWeCGEC took to championing such an approach on behalf of our people and were derided by both state and civil society actors for it.
The above resolutions constructively address the concern some of us in the SMWeCGEC have expressed about the top-down CARICOM Reparatory Justice Initiative known as the Ten Point-Plan, where appointments and disappointments are made to national reparations committees/councils by neocolonial CARICOM state bureaucracies. See here and here for further info about ISMAR position papers on such CARICOM Reparations initiatives. We are glad that lessons from our insights and advocacy in support of the right of the masses of Our People to participate in and steer reparations processes, from the ground-up, have not only been learned but also applied in Bristol.
It is truly laudable that Mayor Marvin Rees and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Asher Craig have been in dialogue with campaigners from the ISMAR and acted in ways which have supported and enabled Afrikan Heritage Communities’ grassroots leadership of this glocal participatory reparations process, rather than seek to hijack leadership of the ISMAR. By so acting, they have contributed immensely to strengthening our prospects for the ultimate victory of our Afrikan People at Home and Abroad in ensuring that reparations results in our Planet Repairs winning of MAATUBUNTUMAN in UBUNTUDUNIA as the true guarantees of non-repetition out of which all other reparations gains can be effected and secured as a continuation of the liberation visions of our Ancestors, not only for present, but also future generations.
The full Bristol Motion can be found here. 47 Councillors voted for the motion, 12 voted against, there were 0 abstentions and 4 apologies. You can read the ACC statement of thanks and call to action following the passing of the Bristol Atonement and Reparations Motion here.
“You must not abandon discussion out of tact . . . There should be no concession where there is a question of establishing a scientific truth . . . Remember we are focused on a quest for truth and not on a sacrosanct idol we must avoid debasing”
Cheikh Anta Diop quoted in ‘Great African Thinkers: Cheik Anta Diop’ by Ivan Van Sertima, (1968) p.13
“If you do not understand white supremacy (racism) what it is and how it works everything else you know will only confuse you.”
Neely Fuller, Jr. in The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept (1984)
“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it” Zora Neale Hurston
The battles of the future, whether they be physical or mental, will be fought on scientific lines, and the race that is able to produce the highest scientific development, is the race that will ultimately rule Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act!
As a campaign tackling issues of genocide and ecocide, we in the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) cannot fail to recognise the importance of the debate raging on vaccines for COVID-19 in particular, and vaccines in general, for Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world. We need to make our position clear, more so in the light of two prominent figures, whom we consider friends, in the United Kingdom (UK); Dr Patrick Vernon OBE and Professor Kehinde Andrews openly advertising and encouraging our people to take the COVID-19 vaccine; and also recognising what is driving some vaccine hesitancy initiatives in response to the weaponisation of COVID-19 and other pandemics. Clarification of our SMWeCGEC position may also help to ascertain what our standpoint is for engagement with emergent coalitions, such as the International Coalition Against the Coronavirus and other Pandemics for African Development based in Lomé, Togo on the Continent of Afrika and the recently announced proposal for an Afrikan Coalition Against Genocide in the UK.
We of the SMWeCGEC consider ourselves as critical friends of both Patrick and Kehinde together with whom we hope we share in common a desire to see the best interests of our Afrikan Heritage Communities advanced everywhere, and therefore choose to make this response and publicly communicate it to all in order to contribute, at this dangerous time, to raising critical consciousness within and beyond our Global Afrikan Family; for the purpose of better comprehending the fact that this emergency period of the escalating climate and ecological crises demands of us all the very urgent need to be far more careful than ever before about our thoughts and actions particularly those that are shared on social media.
Indeed, we of SMWeCGEC are striving to ensure in everything that we do that not only do we raise critical consciousness, but work our hardest to advance its progression into critical legal consciousness. We do so to enable us to learn together, to better express, enlighten, and more boldly act out the will of our Afrikan People glocally to become the power of law everywhere; so that we can compel all of humanity to respect, abide by and enforce our Global Afrikan collective will to safeguard legitimate Human, Peoples and Mother Earth rights. Accordingly, we hope Patrick and Kehinde will take our constructively critical observations for what they are meant to promote: iron sharpening iron in the critical engagement best Black Radical intellectual traditions of our Afrikan Heritage Communities throughout the world.
In these times when some Afriphobic racists are louder demanding depopulation, targeting Afrikans, as a means to redressing the climate and ecological crises, Black intellectuals have a duty to stand with their community, to identify with their fears and concerns and support them to test the genuineness of this case for a vaccine and to then use their academic, and in the case of Patrick, health care knowledge to clarify matters in this case. The examples of Kehinde and Patrick as leading public figures taking the Covid-19 vaccine will be cited across Commonwealth countries; so they themselves must become more conscious of the global role they are playing in advocating for these vaccines in what has been referred to (in January 2021) as a “great experiment” by US based Dr Don J. Tynes who works at the Benton Harbor Health Center in Michigan, see news report below.
Although Dr Tynes speaks as a Black medical professional, he is also very clear on the fact that this experiment is one more example of the series of attempts to misuse Afrikan people for experiments that result in genocide and he particularly highlights the role of Black professionals who act as ‘sell-outs’ in seducing, enticing and coercing their own people into such murderous processes of science and technology, (e.g.“…and not trust a Black face, Black faces [also] harm the Black Race”). This is the kind of exemplary truth-telling standpoint in the best interest of our Afrikan Heritage Communities that we wished the likes of Kehinde and Patrick were taking here in the UK.
If Kehinde is serious in his assertion of being concerned about the racism of the Covid-19 pandemic, then the vaccine hesitancy of Afrikan Heritage Communities locally, nationally and internationally must be evaluated from an glocal anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and as someone who constantly advocates revolutionary change, one would have thought also a ‘revolutionary medical’ standpoint.
The motives of anyone who, contrary to the historical and contemporary experiences of their people, advocates that their people should just cast aside their fears and concerns and #TakeTheVaccine, should definitely be questioned. For what is the evidence base and factual knowledge to say it is safe for your people to take a Covid-19 vaccine?; especially when there has been no ‘repair’ of the healthy mistrust that Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world have of establishment medicine which has in many instances been used against them for nefarious purposes. If Afrikan Heritage Communities are to trust any vaccine, we ourselves must be able to prove that it is good for our people by doing our own independent investigations into the efficacy and safety of vaccines and establishing an Afrikan Heritage Communities led independent peer-review mechanism. This is even more urgent given the fact that the speed of the development of these vaccines means that the long-term consequences on those that take the vaccine from Afrikan Heritage Communities are not known. Of equal concern and alarm is the fact that in the UK, and around the world, vaccine producers have been given immunity from civil liability and so individuals are in effect taking full unmitigated responsibility for the potentially serious effects of a vaccine because there is currently is no adequate recourse to remedy in the event of any complications developing.
Whilst we accept, there maybe a case that can be made for some type of vaccine, it is fool hardy to uncritically advocate the use of vaccines produced by a historically anti-Afrikan system, more so by its notorious capitalist pharma-medical industrial complex known for seeking profit at all cost over and above decent values and principles. So where such vaccines become necessary, Afrikan Heritage Communities and our tested and trusted allies should be able to supervise the process of vaccine development, manufacture, culturally safe clinical trials and administration from start to finish; as has also been advocated by Dr Nevers Mumba, a politician in Zambia. Outside such a process controlled by duly representative, trustworthy and accountable organs of the masses of Afrikan People, then it is sheer agent-provocateurism to insist that Afrikans accept and take vaccines made for them by others.
Cultural Safety: An approach that considers how social and historical contexts, as well as structural and interpersonal power imbalances, shape health and health care experiences.“Safety” is defined by those who receive health services, not those who provide them.
By agent-provocateurism we mean, consciously or unconsciously provoking our people into taking courses of action, seemingly radical but actually premature and/or erroneous and therefore not well prepared to succeed, and so more likely to be to the counterinsurgency benefit of our enemies rather than the masses of our Afrikan People in the long-term; therefore bringing overwhelming backlash in the more likely event of failure, to cause huge losses even deaths and more atrocious persecution, demoralisation and reversals of previously won gains, so setting back our clock of advancement to victorious total liberation. Furthermore, those genuinely interested in our Afrikan People’s healthcare and wellbeing should be willing from a Reparatory Justice perspective, to release resources from the accumulated wealth of our past and present generations that they have in their possession so we, as part of our Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs, can utilise them for our needs; as for example to fund proper research that will enable us to design, produce, freely distribute, monitor, evaluate and constantly improve such vaccines of our own making; combining our own indigenous medical knowledge and expertise with modern technological processes.
We can draw inspiration from the attempts by scientists and health professionals in Madagascar who prompted their government to support their initiative in creating their own home based organic remedies and other Afrikan medical solutions from what they have in their own environment to address Covid-19 and the threat of pandemics. This is a good example of how Afrikan professionals can take the initiative in ensuring governments support their own Afrikan solutions to problems affecting our Afrikan Heritage Communities within and outside Afrika. We note the good leadership example, in this particular matter, of President John Magufuli of Tanzania who on the 27th January 2021, speaking at a ceremony on the opening of a public forest in Chato in the Geita Region in Tanzania echoed the sentiments of many Afrikan Heritage Communities when he said: “The ministry of health should be careful, they should not hurry to try these vaccines without doing research, not every vaccine is important to us, we should be careful. We should not be used as ‘guinea pigs“. There is also exemplary leadership in the Afrikan Diaspora on this vaccine question from Minster Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
This issue of our people being targeted as guinea pigs for experimental vaccines and the heightened need for biosafety is a globally shared Afrikan Heritage Communities concern since Covid-19 vaccines has been produced in a system which continues to perpetrate acts of genocide and ecocide against Afrikan people and our environments. It is also the case that the history of disease and warfare are interwoven and not only does the potential exist, but contemporary facts demonstrate, as is currently happening in the foreign orchestrated wars being imposed upon Iraq, Syria and Yemen, that genetic engineering can be applied for biological warfare or bioterrorism purposes, which in itself is the weaponisation of biochemistry for war crimes of genocide.We cannot critically examine and analyze Covid-19 vaccines or indeed vaccine hesitancy without a knowledge of the historical and geopolitical climate in which they are being produced.
Accordingly, we recommend the following points of action:
1. Noting that right now in the current situation of a climate and ecological crisis where depopulation is the eco-fascist solution being popularised for execution against Afrikans and other undesirable colonised peoples of the world, we must recognise that the question of taking or not taking any kind of vaccine is a life and death matter for our peoples across the world. Rather than just focus on the disproportionate impacts of symptoms, we should be courageous at tackling the root causes of such zoonotic viruses and diseases as Covid-19 and other pandemics, as well as building peoples power and community self-defence capabilities to resist and avert the proliferation of genetic engineering and synthetic biology technologies, especially given the lack of legal protection that people have against the iatrogenic harms of vaccine companies.
2. We invite all those interested to join us of the SMWeCGEC in setting up an international working group of the PEMPAMSIESAFO Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Special Task Action Research Forces (PEMPAMSIESAFO-PARJSTARF) to work on addressing Afrikan Heritage Communities concerns about vaccines and pandemics.
PEMPAMSIEASAFO – Afrikan Heritage Communities Self-Repairs forces that are ‘sewing in freedom-fighting readiness’ for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice victory. Asafos are community militia formation to which everybody belongs for community self-defence in some indigenous communities in West Afrika.There are similar formations within Afrikan communities throughout the Continent and the Diaspora of Afrika.
3. We invite all those who are interested to join us in critically exploring, debating and counteracting the role of agent-provocateurism in our Pan-Afrikan Liberation endeavours particularly highlighting its counterinsurgency role for seeking to derail the rising wave of our Afrikan Heritage Community organisation, particularly disciplined glocal movement-building and its necessarily diligent scholar-activist spearheading towards strengthening the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM).
5. Contact us to learn more, including how best you can participate from a Pan-Afrikan Liberatory Perspective highlighting holistic Reparatory Justice, in the ‘Battle of Ideas’ raging on issues such as pandemics, vaccines and depopulation. Under the international law reparations remedy of rehabilitation, collective reparations for the long-term consequences of the Maangamizi, both past and present, can be expressed through public health objectives that aim to stop medical/pharmaceutical wrongs and eliminate lingering racialised health disparities. The ‘Battle of Ideas’ is an important ideological tool in the struggle to transform minds and hearts in support of or against a cause. Within a space where a number of ideological positions struggle for supremacy – reflective of national, ethnic, class and gendered tensions within society – the ISMAR as a revolutionary international social movement should not neglect the importance of winning hearts and minds and mobilising society around a common Reparatory Justice vision that presents a credible political, social and economic narrative around which the movement seeks to transform minds and hearts to support, with all credibility, an alternative to that of the dominant white supremacy racist, capitalist, imperialist, sexist class.
Project Coast: Apartheid’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme, Chandré Gould and Peter Folb, edited by Robert Berold (2002)
This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sets out the common understanding between the Co-Claimants: Marina Tricks, Adetola Onamade and Jerry Amokwandoh, Plan B and the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) (“the parties”) concerning their collaboration, Young People / Global Majority vs UK Gov(a youth-led Global Majority campaign against the UK Government).
In this collaboration, the role of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) is to apply indigenous Afrikan knowledge, culture, concepts, symbols, methods and traditions of justice, in harmony with critical legal praxis, to the law as resistance development of the Global Majority V UK Government case. Our modus operandi entails ensuring that the case supports and is supported by the centuries of rebellion against genocide and ecocide by Afrikan and other Global South Communities of Resistance in link with Communities of Resistance throughout the Global North; and also in defence of Human, Peoples and Mother Earth rights.The SMWeCGEC will also ensure that such extra-legal efforts harmoniously complements the convention legal aspects of the case, in terms of work in the courts.
“Let’s talk about Reparatory Justice with City Institutions”?
About this Event
Many people are joining together to walk the path of racial justice and healing. Whilst it is important to do some deep introspection about how those of us from the Afrikan diaspora relate to each other and seek to heal from the racial wounds of the past and indeed the present. This healing cannot take place until we connect with others on the path towards reparatory justice.
“Lets talk about Reparatory Justice with City Institutions” is the 2nd in a series of 3 discussions on Bristol’s Conversation on Race & Reparations, following on from the 1st meeting held on the 14th January with and between Bristol’s Afrikan Heritage Communities, which started to explore the meaning of Reparations and the specific UK and international demand for An-All Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.
You will also hear from Lambeth Borough Council, the first council in the UK to pass a Reparations Motion. What happens after the motion is passed? Find out how Lambeth are supporting the reparations movement locally and nationally.
The above is the response by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on behalf of the UK Government to a second question asked by Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Green Party Life Peer regarding the UK Government’s intentions on establishing the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ).
As one can see, the result is no more favourable than the first response received from Lord Ahmad on behalf of the UK Government to the first question asked by Baroness Bennett contained in the following Stop the Maangamizi Campaign Briefing Note.
These type of responses are why the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee declared the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Rebellion in 2020; because our people are not being listened to or taken seriously regarding our reparations social-movement demands for the UK Government to establish the APPCITARJ.
If these demands for a community engaged participatory reparations process such as the APPCITARJ are not made, and concretely acted upon by the masses of our people and bringing pressure to bear on elected officials of local and central government, as well as state institutions, then of course we will continue to de disregarded, ignored and disrespected. At the level of popular mobilisation we in the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign continue to advocate the signing, sharing and reasoning through the content of the Stop the Maangamizi Petition as well as lobbying elected officials to support the work of self-repair which you are engaged. Such lobbying in can be done in a variety of ways. We also advocate the development of local, national and international community-owned reparations plans, which we refer to as Pempamsie Plans, such as the process unfolding in Bristol. Pempamsie is the Adinkra symbol for sewing together in readiness -preparatory actions for reparatory justice. building our future out of our principled operational unity despite our diversity. Indeed, part of the repair process is about Afrikan heritage communities developing our own community capacity and power-base as well as our own Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs plans.
Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs are the self-determined efforts that need to be made in building our own power, in such a way, that Afrikan heritage communities are able to identify and enhance ongoing work towards stopping the contemporary manifestations of the Maangamizi, which are putting the individuals, families and other social groups that make up our communities into a state of disrepair; as well as reasoning and consciously carrying out the alternative solutions for glocally rebuilding our power base as communities, in such a way that that they are eventually transformed, in accordance with the principles and programmatic demands of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
The key thing is what more are you and the groupings that you are part of prepared to do to further Afrikan people’s sacred cause of effecting, securing and taking reparatory justice?
“Unless our struggle for Reparations leads to the Pan-Afrikanist revolutionary consientization, organization and mobilization of the broad masses of Afrikan people throughout the Continent and the Diaspora to achieve first and foremost, their definitive emancipation from the impeding vestiges of colonialism and the still enslaving bonds of present-day neocolonialism, to smash the yoke of White racist supremacy and utterly destroy the mental and physical stranglehold of Eurocentrism upon Afrikans at home and abroad, delinking Afrika completely from imperialism of any sort whatsoever, we shall have no POWER to back our claim for restitution and to give us the necessary force of coercion to make the perpetrators of the heinous crimes against us to honour the obligations of even the best fashioned letter and spirit of International Law.”
Kofi Mawuli Klu, ‘Charting An Afrikan Self-Determined Path of Legal Struggle for Reparations’: A Draft Paper for Presentation to the 11th December 1993 Birmingham Working Conference of the African Reparations Movement – UK Committee
This press release contains the full text of the motion as follows:
“This Assembly is committed to eradicating and ending racial injustice and anti-Black racism. In our pursuit of these aims, the London Assembly is passing this motion to recognise formally and mark the United Nations International Decade for peoples of African Descent running from 2015-2024.
This Assembly recognises the work undertaken by the Mayor of London in promoting diversity and inclusion, and celebrating Black Londoners through Black History Month activities, the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, and working with the Black Curriculum to provide relevant education resources and to review the London Curriculum.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to recognise formally and mark the UN’s Decade by embedding in policies where possible, the UN’s General Assembly resolution on the International Decade for People of African Descent. The Mayor’s work should reflect the following requests from the Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent:
Work with schools and community organisations to ensure that the educational histories and narratives of Black people are properly taught and celebrated in schools across London all year round;
Work on reviewing and reworking policies that continue to have a discriminatory effect on peoples of African descent across London;
Consider establishing policy directives to mainstream equality and non-discrimination considerations in all policy-making, including measures to ensure the equal enjoyment of rights and opportunities for people of African descent; and
Ensure that the end of the decade is marked in 2024, celebrating progress made in moving towards racial justice.”
Assembly member for Ealing and Hillingdon, Dr Sahota seconded the motion.
London Assembly member Caroline Russell, one of two Green Party representatives on the Assembly and a councillor for Highbury East within the Islington North constituency moved an amendment to the above motion which included the following text:
“The Assembly also notes that the UN International Decade for People of African Descent2015-2024 calls on those that have not yet expressed remorse or presented apologies to find some way to contribute to the restoration of the dignity of victims, and therefore asks the Mayor to support calls for the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.”
The amendment was also seconded by Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry, the only Green Party councillor on Camden Council, representing Highgate
See below for the recording of the debate about the motion:
The full text of Caroline Russell’s speech is as follows:
Thank you chair.
I am so glad that Assembly Member Arnold has brought this motion – it is something we discussed last summer so I am pleased to hear it today.
However, I am proposing an amendment, not to detract from this motion or water down its aims – but to make it more inclusive of the asks of campaigners – and those are the voices I am bringing to the Assembly today.
This motion recognises the UN’s International Decade for Peoples of African Descent and asks that the Mayor’s work reflects some of the actions listed in the Decade – it rightly highlights celebrating Black history, improving education, and anti-discrimination policies.
However, we on the Green Group believe there is a serious omission in this motion and that is the issue of reparatory justice.
The UN International Decade for People of African Descent also has under the programme of activities for the justice theme the text:
“Inviting the international community and its members to honour the memory of the victims of these tragedies with a view to closing those dark chapters in history and as a means of reconciliation and healing; further noting that some have taken the initiative of regretting or expressing remorse or presenting apologies, and calling on all those that have not yet contributed to restoring the dignity of the victims to find appropriate ways to do so and, to this end, appreciating those countries that have done so.”
In London we owe so much to Africans and People of African descent – and not just here in this city, but in all our connections and communities all over the world.
Let me remind everyone listening here today that it was only in 2015 that our Government stopped paying off the debt they took on to “compensate” businesses and people “forced” to stop trading in human lives.
And over the last 200 years the equivalent of £17 billion pounds in today’s money has been paid out.
This so-called “compensation” went the wrong way.
I spoke with the Stop the Maangamizi campaign just yesterday, a group co-led by the extraordinary legal expert Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu.
She told me that the first thing her campaign group is asking for is to be heard.
For us to hear about the impact of intergeneration harm, for us to hear about what communities are doing to prevent this harm, and for us to hear about how they are healing from this harm.
She asked me to tell you that real reparations mean not just addressing historical enslavement and the money made in human suffering,
But real reparations means recognizing the critical future role that communities and individuals who continue to suffer have to play.
It is vital that communities from the African diaspora are at the heart of the process of any investigation into reparations. Their voices, their stories, their solutions, should be the driving force.
But even working out how to do that starts with establishing a commission to study the impact and legacy of our country’s involvement in slavery and what reparatory justice means.
This is why the amendment I have brought to you today calls on the Mayor to support the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice.
I hope you will vote for this amendment.
Despite the amendment adding teeth to the motion, it fell because only the two Green Party members voted for it. There was value however in raising the arguments and challenging Assembly members to go further than they were clearly prepared to in responding to a global unifying clarion call of Afrikan Heritage Communities to implement their right to remedies and reparations. Nevertheless, this struggle continues unabated!
The GLA motion, which passed unanimously, did not reference or focus on the following key aspects of the IDPAD Programme of action under the justice theme pertaining to reparatory justice:
Ensuring that people of African descent have full access to effective protection and remedies through the competent national tribunals and other State institutions against any acts of racial discrimination, and the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination;
Acknowledging and profoundly regretting the untold suffering and evils inflicted on millions of men, women and children as a result of slavery, the slave trade, the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, apartheid, genocide and past tragedies, noting that some States have taken the initiative to apologize and have paid reparation, where appropriate, for grave and massive violations committed, and calling on those that have not yet expressed remorse or presented apologies to find some way to contribute to the restoration of the dignity of victims;
Inviting the international community and its members to honour the memory of the victims of these tragedies with a view to closing those dark chapters in history and as a means of reconciliation and healing; further noting that some have taken the initiative of regretting or expressing remorse or presenting apologies, and calling on all those that have not yet contributed to restoring the dignity of the victims to find appropriate ways to do so and, to this end, appreciating those countries that have done so;
Calling upon all States concerned to take appropriate and effective measures to halt and reverse the lasting consequences of those practices, bearing in mind their moral obligations.
All contributors to the dialogue are *Afrikan Heritage representatives from the bodies facilitating this event. You will hear from range of speakers about the context that has led to this point in the Reparations conversation, explore the meaning of Reparations and what that means for the city and globally, seek your support for the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign initiated call for an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ), as referenced in the Stop The Maangamizi Petition which will form the main proposals within the ‘Reparations and Atonement’ motion that Afrikan Heritage Communities are invited to comment upon before it is brought to a future Full Council meeting for discussion and approval.
It is really important that the debate is shaped by the whole community, both in terms of the concept itself, the work done to ready the city for a discussion and ensuring there is a shared understanding. This is the first of 2 conversations, the second conversation will be held with wider city stakeholders and the views of the city’s. Afrikan Heritage Communities (AHC) will be fed into this wider event to be held in early February 2021.
*Afrikan Heritage Communities are a diverse group who may also identify or describe themselves as:African, Caribbean, African-Caribbean, Nigerian, Jamaican, Ghanaian, Trinidadian, Black British, or of a dual heritage including African etc.
Please note that this initial meeting is open ONLY to the communities of interest as expressed above.
The video clips below, and other relevant information links, point to what is happening in one of the best known countries of West Afrika, in connection with the fraudulent 7th December 2020 General Elections to the Presidency and Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
We highlight not only the fact that the current pretender to the still hotly disputed position of President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, has been caught on camera by an investigative journalist, showing he is a corrupt, deceitful and hypocritical taker of bribes, an organiser of violent political gangsterism, but also someone with question marks about complicity in numerous unresolved murders. This concerns mostly gruesome killings that have occurred and still are happening in Ghana over a considerable period of time, particularly as from 2016, within the duration of his first term in the questionably won position of the President of Ghana.
Moreover, contrary to his initial pronouncements against the illegal mining activities popularly known as ‘Galamsey’, Akuffo-Addo has become one of most notorious profiteering facilitators of the mostly foreign extractivist plunder of Ghana’s resources, and the heinous destruction of her environment, including the desecration of sacred bush groves, forest reserves, mountains, water bodies, indigenous community settlements, endangered unique flora and fauna, and other devastating cases of Genocide and Ecocide known to Afrikan Heritage Communities as the Maangamizi.
That is why it is of the greatest importance for Internationalist Solidarity to be urgently mobilised now, from all over the World, to assist the people of Ghana to create an enabling atmosphere for genuine Participatory Democracy to develop, in the wake of properly establishing the Truth around the hotly disputed 7th December 2020 General Elections. Such Truthquest must ascertain, without any obfuscation and obstruction whatsoever, those who actually won and lost both the presidential and parliamentary ballots, and ensure the true victors are allowed to freely occupy their respective positions of government and other state responsibilities they have been popularly mandated, by the expressed sovereign will of the people, to ascend, in due service, as Ghanaians say it, to their Odomankoma MawuLisa Nyungmo God of Creation, to their revered Ancestors and to their own Ghanamanfo citizenry of Afrika and Miano Asase Yaa, their beloved Mother Earth!
With regard to the above noteworthy points, we of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), propose the following to those Peoples’ of Conscience Representatives in the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament interested in our Operation 2020 Ghana Elections Truthquest (O2020GET):-
(1) Ask the UK Government what it knows, from its own gathered intelligence, and is therefore doing, about the incumbent Government-perpetrated Electoral Violence, which discredits the official Electoral Commission (EC) declared results of, and reports on, the 7th December 2020 General Elections in Ghana.
(2) Call for the setting up of an All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Monitoring Caucus on Anti-People Violence in Ghana today.
(3) Invite all members of both Houses of the British Parliament to participate in an International Community Right To Truth Assembly (ICORTTA), by way of a Zoom meeting, to be facilitated by the Peoples’ Reparations Internationalist Solidarity Committee for Cognitive Justice in Afrika (PRISCCOJA); that will be addressed by a duly mandated representative each, of the two main contending political parties in Ghana today, that are still heatedly disputing the results of the 7th December 2020 General Elections; that is, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by John Dramani Mahama (aka JDM); and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo (aka NADAA).
(4) Sponsor, actively support and send a Friends of Ghana International Investigative Team (FOGIIT) to enquire into the various shootings, maiming and claiming human lives, including those of elected Members of Parliament, journalists and ordinary people, young and old, by police and army personnel, as well as other armed state and non-state actors, that have ocurred and still are happening in Ghana today before, during and in the aftermath of the 7th December 2020 General Elections.
(5) Support the Afrikan Heritage Communities-led initiative to hold an inaugural convention to launch their Internationalist Solidarity Forum of People’s Power Accountability on Afrika (ISFOPPAA) in London, United Kingdom, as part of the annual Afrikan Liberation Awareness Month (ALAM) activities in May 2021.
Stop the Maangamizi Campaign Briefing Note On UK Government Response to Written Question on the All Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) Asked by Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Green Party Life Peer 
This briefing, which has been shared with members of the Green Party, is our Stop the Maangamizi Campaign position informed by the ‘Law Repairs’ perspective of reparatory justice pertaining to the Law as Resistance strategy we utilise in our critical legal praxis. This comes from the school of jurisprudence to which our critical legal scholar-activists of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) belong and is also informed by a social movement-lawyering approach.
One definition of movement lawyering put forward by University of California legal expert Betty Hungis a practice which “supports and advances social movements as the building and exercise of collective power, led by the most directly impacted, to achieve systemic, institutional and cultural change”. Movement lawyers maintain a sustained commitment to social movement goals and collaborate with mobilised social movement groups and organizations over time to achieve them; in ways which support grassroots organising and help build the power of the people to bring about forms of redress and solutions to the issues and challenges they face.
The SMWeCGEC was consulted on the following question pertaining to the establishment of the APPCITARJ asked by Baroness Bennett (Green Party) in the House of Lords.
United Nations: Peace Keeping Operations – Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UIN HL10267, tabled on 12 November 2020
Re: Response from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
The ‘Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law’ (hereafter referred to as the Basic Principles) has alternatively been referred to as the UN Framework on Reparations in Green Party documentation. The Basic Principles encapsulate international best-practice standards on reparations at domestic and regional levels. Both international humanitarian law and human rights law are the product of treaties and customary international law, as well as of general principles of law – all of which are sources of international law.
The preamble to The Basic Principles state:
Emphasizing that the Basic Principles and Guidelines contained herein do not entail new international or domestic legal obligations but identify mechanisms, modalities, procedures and methods for the implementation of existing legal obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law which are complementary though different as to their norms.
It is the view of the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign that Afrikan Heritage Communities have been and continue to be victimised by the legacies of Afrikan enslavement, colonisation and neocolonialism and recognise the position of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its ‘Approach To Reparations’ (2001) that:
…The descendants of a victim of human rights abuse should also be able to pursue claims of reparations. That is, the right to reparations should not be extinguished with the death of the victim but can be pursued by his or her heirs.”
Accordingly, the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign has developed its campaign for accountability cognisant of the HRW Position:
For these practical reasons, when addressing relatively old wrongs, we would not base claims of reparations on the past abuse itself but on its contemporary effects. That is, we would focus on people who can reasonably claim that today they personally suffer the effects of past human rights violations through continuing economic or social deprivation.
HRW go on to state:
A group’s ability to identify a wrong to its ancestors would not in itself be enough to claim reparations (although under traditional human rights law its members could pursue claims for abuses against themselves). The group would also have to show continuing harm to itself from those past abuses. This focus on contemporary effects, in our view, provides a firmer and more appealing moral footing for discussions about reparations for old abuses…this approach concentrates on those people who continue to be victimized by past wrongs and seeks to end their victimization.
Re: Lord Ahmad’s statement:
As implied by its title, this addresses reparation for individuals for gross or serious violations of human rights law or international humanitarian law.
The preamble to the Basic Principles also state:
Noting that contemporary forms of victimization, while essentially directed against persons, may nevertheless also be directed against groups of persons who are targeted collectively.
Art. 8 of The Basic Principles state:
Victims are persons who individually or collectively suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through acts or omissions that constitute gross violations of international human rights law, or serious violations of international humanitarian law. Where appropriate, and in accordance with domestic law, the term “victim” also includes the immediate family or dependants of the direct victim and persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims in distress or to prevent victimization.
The Basic Principles therefore relate to individual and collective victims in that the notion of ‘victim’ includes individual (direct and indirect victims), their families and communities.
Whilst a significant amount of international human rights bodies have utilised reparations jurisprudence pertaining to victimisation directed at individuals, it is also recognised that victimisation may be directed against groups of persons who are targeted collectively and therefore have the right to seek collective redress. Moreover, International law recognises the rights of individuals to exercise certain rights in community with others.
A different concept from that of rights of ‘groups as collective entities’ are the rights of ‘groups of individuals’, such as in the case of international treaties and declarations concerning ‘minorities’. Art. 3(1) of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities  states that: “Persons belonging to minorities may exercise their rights, including those set forth in the present Declaration, individually as well as in community with other members of their group, without any discrimination”.
However, it should be clarified that not all international or regional human rights systems have exactly equivalent definitions of the term victim of human rights violations and persons entitled to reparation. Indeed, in some cases, while a person is not considered a victim, he or she may nevertheless have suffered harm and be entitled to reparation. Also, persons who have suffered harm may be considered victims in one system while not in another, but be entitled to reparation in both. In other words: the notion of victim may be narrower than the notion of persons entitled to reparation. This is reflected in Article 41 ECHR and Article 63 ACHR, which, for the purpose of reparation, do not speak of ‘victims’ with regard to this particular obligation of reparation, but of ‘injured party’. The differentiation is not reflected in Principle 8 of the UN Principles on Reparation, which defines victims from the perspective of those entitled to reparation, thus adopting a wide definition of the term victim.
Re: Lord Ahmad’s Statement:
These bodies of law are not retroactive.
Art. 6 & 7 of the Basic Principles state:
IV. Statutes of limitations
6. Where so provided for in an applicable treaty or contained in other international legal obligations, statutes of limitations shall not apply to gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law which constitute crimes under international law.
7. Domestic statutes of limitations for other types of violations that do not constitute crimes under international law, including those time limitations applicable to civil claims and other procedures, should not be unduly restrictive.
Morally speaking, one cannot impose a statute of limitations on a claim for reparations when the British Government has impaired the ability of victimised Afrikan Heritage Communities to pursue a claim or when the said government continues to deny the claims and rights of Afrikan Heritage Communities to reparations. In this regard, the response received in 2018 by the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign  from Lord Ahmad, on behalf of the British Government (“We do not believe reparations are the answer”) is instructive here.
The fact of the matter is, irrespective of the intention of those framing international laws such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and negotiating UN agreements such as the Basic Principles, it is the right of all groups and communities to self-determinedly apply law in their own interests, in consonance with the best interests of all humanity.
The breaking of treaties and other agreements made by colonising authorities in various ways with Indigenous communities which trample upon the rights of these communities and violate law, order and justice as designed for themselves in exercise of their sovereign right to self-determination, must also be given recognition. Such long overdue recognition, in the light of cognitive justice, demands acceptance as legitimate parts of international law in all its forms, the self-designed systems of law, order and justice of Indigenous communities; meaning communities that have suffered colonisation and still have various forms of neocolonialism subjugating them, at present, to settler occupation, robbery of sovereignty and denial of their independent peoplehood. This is what we in the ISMAR regard as the ‘Law Repairs’ of holistic reparatory justice.
On Gross and Serious Violations
According to the Practitioners Guide for ‘The Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Gross Human Rights Violations’:
The Basic Principles do not define either ‘gross violations ofinternational human rights law’ or ‘serious violations ofinternational humanitarian law’. Although not formally defined in international law, ‘gross violations’ and ‘seriousviolations’ denote types of violations that affect, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the most basic rights of human beings, notably the right to life and the right to physical and moral integrity of the human person. It is generally assumed that genocide, slavery and slave trade, murder, enforced disappearances, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged arbitrary detention, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and systematic racial discrimination fall into this category. Deliberate and systematic deprivation of essential foodstuffs, essential primary health care or basic shelter and housing may also amount to gross violations of human rights. In international humanitarian law, ‘serious violations’ are to be distinguished from ‘grave breaches’. The latter refers to atrocious violations that are defined in international humanitarian law but only relating to international armed conflicts. The term ‘serious violations’ is referred to but not defined in international humanitarian law. It denotes severe violations that constitute crimes under international law, whether committed in international or non-international armed conflict. The acts and elements of ‘serious violations’ (along with ‘grave breaches’) are reflected in article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court under ‘war crimes’.
It is also important to highlight the fact that these crimes against humanity, including crimes of genocide and ecocide, committed by state and corporate bodies of European imperialism were recognised as crimes not only by Afrikan people but also by peoples of conscience within European countries and their overseas settler colonial communities. In addition, these crimes were resisted. Such resistance resulted in mass movements, like the abolitionist and anti-colonial movements in Europe and other parts of the Global North in solidarity with and involving Indigenous and other communities of resistance throughout the world. That is why it is incorrect to say that such crimes against humanity represented the national will of peoples in Europe. It is noteworthy that this national will reflecting the conscience of the majority in these countries often denounced the genocide and ecocide crimes of the minority ruling classes who abused state power to perpetrate such crimes that stained the national honour of these countries as dissenting voices in these societies have always pointed out.
On the Human Rights Act
Re: Lord Ahmad’s Statement:
If a UK citizen’s rights are violated, they have recourse to remedy and reparation through the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), which gives further effect to the European Convention on Human Rights. In particular, section 8 HRA states that “In relation to any act (or proposed act) of a public authority which the court finds is unlawful, may grant such relief or remedy, or make such order within its powers as it considers just and appropriate”. There are no plans to establish an inquiry into section 8 HRA.
The Human Rights Act 1998 aims to “bring rights home”, so that Convention rights can be enforced in the UK courts rather than having to go to Strasbourg. However, narrow interpretations of the Human Rights Act which are in contravention of the letter and spirit of the Act itself, must not be used to defend the indefensible. What is being requested is for the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ), not an inquiry into section 8 of the HRA.
The Stop the Maangamizi Petition reiterates the point that the demand for the APPCITARJ is necessary “to advance the process of dialogue from the ground-upwards, with the British State and society on Reparatory Justice”.
Art. 11 of the Basic Principles explains:
Remedies for gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law include the victim’s right to the following as provided for under international law:
(a) Equal and effective access to justice;
(b) Adequate, effective and prompt reparation for harm suffered;
(c) Access to relevant information concerning violations and reparation mechanisms.
The European Court has held that the failure to conduct an effective investigation into credible allegations of human rights violations may violate the right to an effective remedy of the victim and/or their relatives.
Suggested Follow-Up Question
From this briefing we in the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign suggest Baroness Natalie Bennett can pose a follow-up question along the following lines:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, will it now, in connection with the International Decade for People of African Descent, recognise the importance of an inquiry into reparatory justice for tackling the legacies of Afrikan Enslavement such as Afriphobia, colonisation and neocolonialism, with holistic measures, including redressing the climate and ecological crises in ways that ensures that the voices of Afrikans and their descendants are properly heard and Planet Repairs delivers global justice to all.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator General, Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
There are two ways of seeing and interpreting international legal transformation – from above as most lawyers do when they focus on formal sources, judicial opinions, and treaties exclusively – or from below when we focus on the lived experience of ordinary people with international law when they encounter international institutions, frame their demands in international legal terms, and network for influencing international or domestic policy.
Balakrishnan Rajagopal, International Law From Below, 2005