DO YOU WANT TO TAKE ACTION ON THE MAANGAMIZI AS IT AFFECTS YOU?

Greetings

Do you want to take action to get redress for the Maangamizi (Afrikan ‘Hellacaust’ of chattel, colonial and neo-colonial forms of enslavement) as it affects you, your family and community?

Here is an example of how you can do so; see the revised ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ postcard template, which we urge you to send to your MP, you can find out details about your MP here.

The postcard is one tool aimed at enabling you to better lobby and engage with establishment decision-makers about including Maangamizi impact issues as they affect you, your family and community in the constituency representational work and local, national and international policy-making they prioritise.

 

click images for larger view

 

Please keep us updated about your progress.

Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign (SMWeCGEC) Team

 

aedrmc logo

 

This statement has been prepared in response to the following video:

Xtra History IDPAD 2015-25 Back Story and Reparations By Kwaku’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2Sa156jYlM&feature=youtu.be

Since originally posting these comments under the video on 14th December 2016, when the youtube link was checked yesterday 15th December 2016, the comments mysteriously became unavailable despite them being viewable for some hours when the comments were initially posted. The original comments are now available again for viewing under the you tube video. This video has been shared on many social media platforms. Since the video is publicly accessible and has been widely circulated, so must this public response be made available too.

ED ESX DELEGATION

Having watched this video, it would have been better if the recording of the whole discussion on the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March was posted to get a full sense of what the discussion was that proceeded the interventions from Glenroy Watson in the Q & A session (from 20 mins of the recording) in relation to the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March specifically. These comments I am making are therefore in response to the discussion in the above video pertaining to the 1st Mosiah (August) Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March. This video recording is available for the public to view and has been circulated across many social media platforms.

It is important for viewers to know that the organising of the Reparations March is part of a broader strategy that has legal, extra-legal, parliamentary, extra-parliamentary as well as community organising and mobilisation dimensions. Whilst critical discussion, dialogue and debate about the efficacy of specific strategy and tactics is part of the battle of ideas in arriving at the best way forward, I am somewhat concerned by the inadvertent impression that the conversation pertaining to the March by the speakers in the above recording cultivates. Viewers could be left with the limiting and incorrect impression that grassroots activists and leading organisers involved in developing and implementing reparations strategy and tactics pertaining to the March and its related activities, are not thinkers or strategists; lack the intelligence and cognitive wherewithal to be strategic, develop critical conceptual tools on the best methodologies for effecting and securing reparatory justice social change or fashion imaginative policies regarding implementation of what they are organising to achieve; or indeed that they are not engaged in their own creative processes of activist learning, knowledge co-production, research, critical debate and discussion or even aware of the strengths and limitations of the tactics they embark upon at particular points in our reparations-movement-building processes. Furthermore viewers are denied proper analysis of the context of ordinary people’s leadership and for a significant number, their involvement in the March organising and mobilising processes being interpreted as forms of ‘direct action from below’ that stem from the active resistance  and opposition of ordinary people to the continuing impact of the Maangamizi in their lives.

A further impression may also be created that the best way forward is for some elite group of ‘professionalised’ civil society experts or lobbyists who are unaccountable to Afrikan Heritage Communities, our specific Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest and our autonomous community organisations and institutions, are the ones who should be speaking, representing and negotiating for everyone else in terms of lobbying and other similar tactics etc. Furthermore, that what is required and more likely to be ‘successful’ is a more watered down, ‘liberal’ set of visions, demands and declarations Indeed, such assumptions, perspectives and views reveals some of the often obfuscated national and class politics, interests and struggles within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR). In addition, such assumptions, perspectives and views are in danger of reinforcing the notion that ordinary people are powerless, lack agency should just be spectators in the contemporary process of emancipation from the modern-day Maangamizi, which is part of the means by which power to Afrikan people will be restored making it more likely that reparatory justice can be effected and secured.

 

square banner without contacts

 

The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March is not just a March, it is organised as an action-learning participatory March where Afrikan Heritage Communities led from the ground-up,  collectively learn how to better fight injustice and unjust systems of power as well as build on the powerful insights they gain about structures and systems of power oppression and exploitation and how to build counter-power to help advance reparations social movement-building with various constituencies within the Afrikan Heritage Communities in general and specific Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest. For many, it is in the processes of marching and engaging in allied programmes and activities of the March, including through its partnership with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Campaign (SMWeCGE), that participants co-facilitators and organisers enhance their ability to think, act, theorize and imagine “outside of the box”. Priority is given to mobilising Afrikans people’s individual and collective agency and ‘power to’ effect and secure reparatory justice through community organising, reparations social movement-building and alternative institution-building. Social movement-building is the long-term, coordinated effort of individuals and organised groups of people to intentionally spark and sustain a (reparations) social movement from the ground-up. Part of which is by sustaining the March and other organizing processes that build collective power by organizing  constituencies of Afrikan Heritage Communities and our Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest, to build a change agenda and engage in joint actions to access and implement our human, peoples and Mother Earth rights, entitlements and responsibilities, challenge and change ideologies of injustice and social inequity and seek to transform social power relations in our people’s favour.  It entails:the creation of movement infrastructures required for sustained organising and mobilisation, including social relationships, organisational networks and capacity, affective solidarity, as well as movement-related identities, frames, strategies, skills, and leadership.”

It is publicly known, and well known to Glenroy Watson, that the March has never been just about marching for a day. In the first year (2014) the Reparations March was also a vehicle for delivery of a reparations petition and in the second (2015) and third years (2016) of the annual March the ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ Petition got handed in to number 10 Downing Street, Office of the UK Prime Minister as part of the programme of activities of the March.

The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC,) which Glenroy Watson knows facilitates the organising and mobilizational processes towards the annual Reparations March, are well aware that Parliament is closed on the 1st August. The 1st of August was originally chosen in the first year of the March as the day of the March because it is the officially commemorated “Emancipation Day”, marking the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act in the British Empire, on 1st  August 1833. Furthermore, the significance of 1st August 1833 is that it is the date that after all the years of resistance by chattelised Afrikans, torn away from the Motherland, Britain and its fellow European enslaver-nations of Afrikan people were compelled to recognise that they could no longer continue to enslave us without severe consequences. It therefore represents a symbolic day highlighting Afrikan people’s refusal to accept enslavement, in every manner, including its present-day manifestations.

In addition, it was determined that we as Afrikans and people of Afrikan heritage should March in protest at the fact that it was in the passing of the above piece of legislation; one of the most unjust passed in the recent history of Afrikan people’s resistance to the Maangamizi. Please note the full title of the act: ‘Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies; for promoting the Industry of the manumitted Slaves; and for compensating the Persons hitherto entitled to the Services of such Slaves commencing on 1st August 1834’. In this act, the British Parliament legislated that enslaved Afrikans in the Caribbean would be forced to pay more than 50% of the cost of their own so-called emancipation. In 1833 the British Parliament determined that the 800,000 enslaved Afrikans in the Caribbean were deemed to be chattel and to have a market value of £47 million. This same Parliament provided the sum of £20 million in grants to our people’s enslavers which was deemed to be fair compensation to them for the loss of their so-called human chattel. This same British Parliament determined that the remaining £27 million would be paid by the enslaved people to their enslavers, by means of a 4-6 year period of unjustly extorted free labour known as ‘Apprenticeship’. It was expected that all people over six years would work for 60 hours per week as apprentices to their so-called former enslavers, 45 hours of which were extorted by their enslavers.

This recording quite graciously includes the flyer with the aims of the Reparations March and any basic comprehension of the March aims makes it clear that the aims are not expected to be realised by simply marching for one day. The aims also include recognition and a profiling of Afrikan people’s varied demands, programmes and initiatives for securing reparatory justice in recognition of the diversity of strategy and tactics being deployed by various constituencies within the ISMAR. This is why the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee adopted 9 blocs (i.e. Ancestors, Global Afrikan Family, Community, Repatriation, Interfaith, Artists, Trade Unionists, Students, Non-Afrikan Allies) as part of the mobilising process towards the annual Reparations March and to carry on the process of contributing to and strengthening reparations social movement-building, community, mobilising and organising after and between Marches.

See here for more info about the organising blocs of the March:

http://www.reparationsmarch.org/international-social-movement-for-afrikan-reparations-ismar/

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/aedrmc/

Since the 2016 1st August March the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee has held two public evaluation meetings which have provided information on the strategy that the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee are working to.  For your information, the Co-Chairperson of GACuk, Abu Akil was in attendance at the last public evaluation meeting on 20th November 2016, where a hard copy of the following progress report was handed-out to all present:

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/2016/11/19/progress-report-work-done-since-the-2016-reparations-march/

In addition, a copy of the following form on how people could get involved with and contribute to the various mobilisation and organising processes of the March, (which is available on the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March website www.reparationsmarch.org ), was also handed out at the same public evaluation meeting:

file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/What%20Can%20You%20Contribute%20Form%20(1).pdf

It would not be unreasonable to expect that Glenroy Watson, (GACuk Secretary) would have also been aware of this information at the time this video was filmed on 28th November 2016 as he does mention not being at the “last evaluation meeting” (at 20 mins 30 of the recording).

To clarify, the aims of the March are as follows:

  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 calling for 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.

Please note for historical accuracy, one of the very public priorities of the March that the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee is working to is utilising the March to hand-in the’ Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ (SMWeCGE) Petition in partnership with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ Campaign. The SMWeCGE Petition is one of the campaigning tools of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) for mobilising Afrikan people’s power to exert upon the British Houses of Parliament and the European Parliament towards establishing All-Party Commissions  of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJs) and other actions necessary to advance the process of dialogue from the ground-upwards, with the British and other European states and society on the ‘how’ of securing Reparatory Justice. Accordingly, the annual Reparations March accompanies strategic lobbying to establish APPCITARJs at the levels of the UK and European Parliaments with various other endeavours taking place in between in different European countries. Such a goal is part of a demand being made on the British and European states to honour the need and right of the descendants of the Afrikan enslaved to speak in a public forum, provide testimony and evidence of how the legacies of enslavement are resulting in continued human and peoples’ rights violations, impaired quality of life and the ensuing destruction of the essential foundations of life for Afrikan people today.

By way of emphasis, please note the SMWeCGE Petition is delivered as part of the multiple programme of activities of the March which takes place all-year round. Such information was omitted from the commentary posted on the Reparations March, if indeed it was mentioned at all by anyone who contributed to the discussion in the above video.

The 2016 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March saw the introduction of the POPSAR (People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Afrikan Reparations) which took place at Parliament Square, (opposite the British Houses of Parliament), developed in association with the SMWeCGE Campaign:

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/category/popsar/

The POPSAR is a mass conscientisational forum for public debate and discourse on Afrikan Reparations as a matter of critical social importance. The purpose of the POPSAR is to engage participants and public audiences in action-learning on participatory democratic parliamentary debate on critical issues such as Afrikan Reparatory Justice. Each year a different reparations related motion will be debated and people are encouraged to engage in practical rehearsals in preparation for the annual POPSAR on 1st August which takes place as part of the programme for the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March. So yes, the British Houses of Parliament are closed, but our people hold our own ‘People’s Open Parliamentary Session’ on this date as part of our demonstration of “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!

See the following for further information

The SMWeCGE Petition can be found here:

https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-maangamizi-we-charge-genocide-ecocide

European language versions of the SMWeCGE Petition can be found here:

https://engoccar.wordpress.com/smwcge-petition/

You can find out more about the Reparations March here:

http://www.reparationsmarch.org/

You can find out more about the SMWeCGE Campaign here:

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/

Please read the following to find out a progress report on the activities of the March in association with the SMWeCGE Campaign and other partnerships.

‘Our collective reparations work is about much more than marching for one day!!!’ (Published in November 2016)

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/2016/11/19/progress-report-work-done-since-the-2016-reparations-march/

‘As we approach the 3rd year of marching: what has been achieved?’ (published in July 2016)

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/2016/07/13/approaching-3rd-year-of-marching-what-has-been-achieved/

Please see the SMWeCGE Campaign ‘Guidance on Parliamentary Actions’ (published in May 2016):

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/2016/05/11/guidance-on-proposals-for-parliamentary-actions/

Please also see the lobbying tool of the SMWeCGE Campaign which is supported by the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee and is handed out publicly as part of the outreach being led by the Grassroots Reparations Education & Outreach Teams (GREOTs) in London and Bristol which do public mobilisation and organising work all year-round.

https://stopthemaangamizi.com/2016/01/11/stop-the-maangamizi-postcard-campaign/

Part of the purpose of the GREOTs include:

  1. Teams being action-learning exemplars of the dictum ‘Education is Preparation for Reparations’ by becoming advocates for the cause of ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ as part of the process effecting and securing Reparatory Justice;
  2. Teams promoting the role of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March as part of the ‘street column’ of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
  3. Teams being the first point of contact in the education and mobilisation of Afrikan people and the general public in relation to the March – it’s aims and intended outcomes.
  4. Teams providing the general public with information about the ‘Stop the Maangamizi Campaign (SMWeCGE), its petition, the SMWeCGE Postcard’ and the annual March, (in addition to its associated events), which takes place on 1st Mosiah (August), which is also known as Maangamizi Awareness Month. Part of the purpose of the GREOTs include: 1. Teams being action-learning exemplars of the dictum ‘Education is Preparation for Reparations’ by becoming advocates for the cause of ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ as part of the process effecting and securing Reparatory Justice.

 

 

A thorough reading, digestion and overstanding of the information contained in the above documentation will demonstrate that the March is more than a one day event and most certainly does not stand alone!!!

To get a fuller perspective of the contributions being made by the March, its related activities and those of the SMWeCGE Campaign, to reparations social movement-building, it would be useful to compare and contrast these initiatives of the UK contingent of the ISMAR with other reparations related actions taking place within the UK and other countries with Afrikan Diaspora populations.

It is unfortunate that no one from the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, or its campaigning partner, the SMWeCGE Campaign, were invited to provide information or clarification or even answer to the critiques of the March. Such a biased discussion, being publicly circulated pertaining to the Reparations March could reasonably lead to the conclusion that there is an attempt to deny the Black/ Afrikan ‘Radical Imagination’, rationale, collective thought-processes and praxis of those engaging in tangible reparatory justice activism as part of ISMAR-building in the UK from the ground-up. People who say they are for reparations should also practice Reparatory Justice Ethics (RJE). The conversation started by Professor Maulana Karenga on reparations ethics is something we should all pay serious attention to and help develop in order to know how best to deal with each and with the issues involved in ISMAR-building.

Please see Karenga’s article on the ‘Ethics of Reparations: Engaging the Holocaust of Enslavement’ here:

http://www.ncobraonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Karenga-THE-ETHICS-OF-REPARATIONS.pdf

The PARCOE article: ‘On Matters of Integrity, Ethics and Representation Within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations’ is also relevant

http://On Matters Of Integrity, Ethics And Representation Within The International Social Movement For Afrikan Reparations

We must all endeavour to be seen to be doing true justice to our sacred cause of Afrikan reparatory justice.

 

In Service & Struggle

 

Esther Stanford-Xosei

Official Spokesperson, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC)

Coordinator-General, ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGE)

16/12/16

 

ed jendayiED DULANI 32ED CLARE SHEPHERD JJED DULANI ABO 122-

 

“Progressive social movements do not simply produce statistics and narratives of oppression; rather, the best ones do what great poetry always does: transport us to another place, compel us to relive horrors and, more importantly, enable us to imagine a new society. We must remember that the conditions and the very existence of social movements enable participants to imagine something different, to realize that things need not always be this way. It is that imagination, that effort to see the future in the present, that I shall call “poetry” or “poetic knowledge.” I take my lead from Aimé Césaire’s great essay “Poetry and Knowledge,” first published in 1945. Opening with the simple but provocative proposition that “Poetic knowledge is born in the great silence ofscientific knowledge,” he then demonstrates why poetry is the only way to achieve the kind of knowledge we need to move beyond the world’s crises. “What presides over the poem,” he writes, is not the most lucid intelligence, the sharpest sensibility or the subtlest feelings, but experience as a whole.” This means everything, every history, every future, every dream, every life formfrom plant to animal, every creative impulse—plumbed from the depths of the unconscious. Poetry, therefore, is not what we simply recognize as the formal “poem,” but a revolt: a scream in the night, an emancipation of language and old ways of thinking…”

Robin D.G. Kelly, ‘Freedom’s Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination’, (Boston: Beacon Press, 2002), pp.9-10)

What are today’s young activists dreaming about? We know what they are fighting against, but what are they fighting for?… the most powerful, visionary dreams of a new society don’t come from little think tanks of smart people or out of the atomized, individualistic world of consumer capitalism where raging against the status quo is simply the hip thing to do. Revolutionary dreams erupt out of political engagement.”

Robin D.G. Kelly, ‘Freedom’s Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination’, p8

“Unfortunately, too often our standards for evaluating social movements pivot around whether or not they “succeeded” in realizing their visions rather than on the merits or power of the visions themselves. By such a measure, virtually every radical movement failed because the basic power relations they sought to change remain pretty much intact. And yet it is precisely these alternative visions and dreams that inspire new generations to continue to struggle for change.”

Robin D.G. Kelly, ‘Freedom’s Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination’, Preface

robindgkelley

RESPONSES TO THE 2016 SMWeCGE PETITION

This is the covering letter delivered to the Office of the UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May, MP on 1st August 2016 as part of implementation of the aims of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March:

SMWeCGE OPEN LETTER TO TERESA MAY-page-001SMWeCGE OPEN LETTER TO TERESA MAY-page-002SMWeCGE OPEN LETTER TO TERESA MAY-page-003

This is the initial response received from the Correspondence Office at No 10 Downing Street dated 2nd August 2016.

Please note that the text concealed on the top left hand corner of the letter of acknowledgement is the home address of SMWeCGE Coordinator-General, Esther Stanford-Xosei. When one submits an application to hand in a petition via the Downing Street Liaison Office, one is required to also include a return address for receipt of acknowledgement, as per the requirements of Form 2103- Petition to Downing Street.

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

POPSAR@PARLIAMENT SQUARE

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The 2016 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March saw the introduction of the POPSAR (People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Afrikan Reparations) in association with the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide (SMWeCGE) Campaign.

The POPSAR is a mass conscientisational forum for public debate and discourse on Afrikan Reparations as a matter of critical social importance.

The purpose of the POPSAR is to engage speakers and audiences in action-learning on participatory democratic parliamentary debate on critical issues such as Afrikan Reparatory Justice.

Each year a different but reparations related motion will be debated and people are encouraged to engage in practical rehearsals in preparation for the annual POPSAR on 1st August which takes place as part of the programme for the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.

In between Marches, members of the public are invited to rehearse arguments for reparations and to also find ways of countering the opposing arguments. The theme for the 2017 POPSAR will be announced by October 2016.

See the following videos for some snippets of the speeches made at the POPSAR.

Please note such productions were produced independent of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC).

 

SMWeCGE GUIDANCE ON PROPOSALS FOR PARLIAMENTARY ACTIONS

London_-_The_Parliament_-_2773.jpg

Parliamentary Action on Afrikan Reparations: Guidance & Recommendations

On behalf of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi:We Charge Genocide Ecocide‘ Campaign Team (SMWeCGE Campaign Team), it is not recommended that the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Petition, its campaign and its supporting formations; which include the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) and the Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC) among others, which are distinct but complimentary organisational  and network formations, are officially represented in the grossly inadequate proposals such as merely going to lobby Parliament without adequate preparatory ISMAR-building groundwork. Such groundwork being necessary to ensure that as many as possible publicly elected officials, at all levels, are compelled to recognise our people’s power flexed through the SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, individual organisations and members represented on the AEDRMC, the ARTCoP, the MBC and within the SMWeCGE Campaign Team are free to participate in such lobbies, as deemed appropriate, in their own individual or organisational capacity.

The SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign already have a parliamentary and extra-parliamentary strategy that have distinct goals, which may be confused in a general lobby of Parliament, the terms of engagement or proposed outcomes, which we have not had a role in shaping or been consulted to influence.

The SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign forms a companion project with the AEDRMC and is therefore a positive action step of Afrikan reparatory justice campaigning which seeks to:

  1. Increase recognition of and educate people about the Maangamizi, its causes, contemporary manifestations and consequences;
  1. Gather evidence of the continuing impact of the Maangamizi as part of the process towards establishing the All Party-Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice at the levels of the Westminster Houses of Parliament and the European Parliament as well as the Ubuntukgotla Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice;
  1. Mobilise petition signers/supporters as a community of advocates for ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ as a force within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, (ISMAR);
  1. Catalyse the development of such a force into an integral part of the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) to ‘Stop the Maangamizi’, prevent its recurrence as well as effect and secure measures of reparatory justice from the ground-up;
  1. Utilise the process of mobilising towards the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March to amplify the voices of communities of reparatory justice interest who are engaged in resistance to the various manifestations of the Maangamizi today.

Similarly, the first 4 aims of the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March are as follows:

  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 of chattel, colonial and neo-colonial enslavement);
  1. 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;
  1. 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;
  1. To demonstrate Afrikan peoples’ strength, capacity and determination to speak to and challenge establishment power with our growing grassroots power to effect and secure reparations (reparatory justice) on our own terms.

Hence why the SMWeCGE Postcard campaign makes the following requests for Parliamentarians to take action to:

sm postcard

These are the various interconnected aspects of the strategy to progress action on the goals of the SMWeCGE Petition and its campaigning goals; some of these actions can take place simultaneously.

  1. Initiate ‘Education is Part of the Preparation for Reparations’ popular educational programmes, through action learning, which includes educating the Afrikan heritage and wider public in a structured way about the ISMAR, the PRIM and directing people into a more effective methodological approaches to the HOW? (applicable methodology) of effecting and securing reparatory justice.
  2. Initiate programmes and processes which increase overstanding of the signing of the SMWeGGE Petition in a ‘Soulsquestathon’ as meaningful only when a signatory proceeds, not only to promote the diligent comprehensive study of its contents to encourage participatory mass education,’ but also the use of the contents for the glocal practical training and rehearsal of court proceedings in his/her home, workplace, spaces of worship, leisure sites, etc., on our Global Afrikan Family Case for Holistic Reparatory Justice as it ought to be heard by the future Ubuntukgotla, Peoples’ International Tribunal for Global Justice (PITGJ).[1] As the Abuja Proclamation states: …”the pursuit of reparations by the African peoples in the continent and in the Diaspora will itself be a learning experience in self-discovery and in uniting experience politically and psychologically.
  3. Encourage local Afrikan Heritage Community constituents to do family research and gather evidence of the Maangamizi as it impacts them and their family/community of interests by documenting various violations of human, peoples and Mother Earth rights, they are or have encountered.
  4. Empower members of the Afrikan Heritage Community to creatively utilise the SMWeCGE Petition Soulsquestathons to establish MAATZOEZADUARAs (Maat Training Practice Rings) within their homes and community settings as Grassroots Afrikan Reparatory Justice Action Learning Praxis Exercising Rings (GARJALPERs) of the Ubuntukgotla; Mindful of the fact that individual family and other group cases need to be made in organic connection to our Afrikan people’s reparatory justice case in its glocal dimensions.[2]
  5. The MAATZOEZADUARAs should also be utilised to very well prepare, by way of rehearsals and other training and educational practices, “SoulTruth Barings” and other kinds of presentations in preparations for the parliamentary commissions of inquiry at local, national and international levels by Afrikan Heritage Community groups and individuals, as well as interested others from diverse communities, who desire the truthful public telling of their own germane personal, family and community stories relating to the Maangamizi to the entire world.
  6. Participate in mobilisations for the 1st August March and in this connection, by practicing arguments and engaging in open discourses and debates on reparatory justice case presentations in the lead up to the annual People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Reparations (POPSOR) which take place as part of the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
  7. Get local area Outreach Teams actively promoting the SMWeCGE Petition as a companion project to the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March as well as disseminating relevant reparations-related educational and promotional materials.
  8. Out of such Outreach Team public engagements to identify and nurture dynamic and highly-motivated Reparations Action-Learners, Community Advocates and Champions who can effectively advocate for the cause of ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ as a prerequisite to effecting and securing holistic reparatory justice. These are some of the actions that such Reparations & SMWeCGE Action-Learners, Advocates and Champions can take at the local level.
  9. Build a local support base of such Reparations and SMWeCGE Action-Learners, Advocates and Champions who will take up this issue and do sustained lobbying of local MP’s, consciousness-raising and local mobilisation with their various communities of interest on the matter of holistic reparatory justice.
  10. Lobby MP’s and other publicly elected officials in one’s local constituency to take action on the SMWeCGE Petition as outlined in the SMWeCGE Postcard campaign. Make the focus of lobbying MP’s and other publicly elected officials three-fold in terms of the 3 demands on the SMWeCGE Postcard as above. However, explaining to such elected representatives the consequences of the Maangamizi, and the negative impact it has had on one’s family, extended family or community of interest will help to illustrate the key issues contained within the SMWeCGE Petition.
  11. Invite such MP’s to attend and support local meetings and events promoting the SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign.
  12. Mobilise Reparations & SMWeCGE Action-Learners, Advocates and Champions to document progress on tasks initiated to advance the SMWeCGE Petition campaigning goals, feed-forward info to the SMWeCGE Campaign Team on the outcomes and impact of meetings with local MPs and publicly elected officials, as well as actions that such officials have agreed to undertake.
  13. Where necessary, Reparations & SMWeCGE Action-Learners, Advocates and Champions to follow-up with MPs and other publicly elected officials when the actions they take or responses given to requests to take action/s to advance the cause of reparatory justice are insufficient.
  14. Reparations & SMWeCGE Action-Learners, Advocates and Champions to contribute to local documentation of actions undertaken, through audio-visual records, pictures etc.
  15. Get to a state of affairs, where as many as possible MPs and other publicly elected officials, are familiar with the SMWeCGE Petition and its campaigning goals.
  16. Identify a named individual in every local constituency that wins recognition from the local MP and all other publicly elected officials as the ISMAR combat-post server for the SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign, (this can be from among Reparations & SMWeCGE Action-Learners, Advocates and Champions).
  17. Once the ground-work has advanced, to the required degree of glocal effectiveness, then mass lobbies of Parliament, and other organs and institutions of state, become productively feasible.
  18. Such lobbies will include among other things, requests of MPs to ask parliamentary questions, ask questions of the Prime Minister and other Ministers, to table or sign Early Day Motions and/or to initiate parliamentary debates etc., in addition to taking other necessary steps to mainstream our grassroots case for reparatory justice in parliamentary and other activities of the entire British State and civil society.

The SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign goals aligned with the aims of the 1st August Reparations March promote tactics of engagement which advance the struggle for total Pan-Afrikan liberation in terms of: increasing recognition that we are currently in the neo-colonial phase of the Maangamizi, (which is a continuum from the past chattel and colonial phases); and that the Maangamizi needs to be stopped in order for the repair of ourselves and every aspect of our societal lives to take place, in harmony with Mother Earth Rights, to be effected in the Sankofa attainment of holistic reparatory justice. For example, this pursuit of holistic reparatory justice needs to embody restitution, reclamation and also moving forward. Therefore there needs to be creativity in going beyond simply restoration of even the best of the past.

strategyTaking the lessons from the past, including that of previous organisations such as the African Reparations Movement (ARM-UK), we also have to be mindful of the political terrain and recognise that action will not be taken on the cause of reparatory justice by MPs unless there is sustained pressure from below in the local constituencies of parliamentarians. This can best happen through the ground-up dissemination of the SMWeCGE Petition, consciousness-raising and education for mobilisation and local outreach as the AEDRMC in particular is already engaged in .

A calculated assessment is being made that the demands of the SMWCGE Petition are, most likely, to be taken up under a Labour Government, with Jeremy Corbyn leading it, i.e. if sufficient pressure is applied. Jeremy Corbyn has indicated in more ways than one that he is interested in hearing what “the proposals are and what the discussions are” for reparatory justice. Hence why members of the AEDRMC & ARTCoP (e.g. Esther Stanford-Xosei, Toyah RBG) and Kofi Mawuli Klu respectively) have prioritised building the Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC). Esther Stanford-Xosei is the acting Co-Chair of the Interim Steering Committee of MBC and Toyah RBG is the Leadership Co-Facilitator of MBC Youth Wing, likewise Kofi Mawuli Klu of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) is a member of the Interim Steering Committee of the MBC.

“The MBC was formed in December 2015 with the express purpose of connecting, through Momentum, the Black Power politics of Black communities of resistance, in and Beyond Britain, into the progressive politics of the wider Labour Movement and society within and beyond the United Kingdom.

Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC) is an independently self-organising, autonomous and self-determining Black Power constituency within the network of people and organisations to continue the energy and enthusiasm of Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign. We are committed to advancing Black Power perspectives on the 10 priorities that Jeremy Corbyn has identified as his own standpoint.”

In their founding document the MBC state:

“For us, the promises upon which we shall insist the Labour Party delivers in government must include demands from our Black Power agendas of anti-racism, intersectional equity, reparatory justice and all other elements of holistic global justice.”

At the MBC Launch on 2nd April 2016 in Birmingham attended by John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (also Jeremy Corbyn’s Right Hand man), Esther Stanford-Xosei, on behalf of MBC directly requested action from John McDonnell MP for support on this issue. Follow-up work is currently occurring on this. Click here to read the speech Esther Stanford-Xosei made at the MBC Launch here.

Esther Stanford-Xosei & Toyah RBG at launch of MBC, 2 April 2016

After this speech, MBC decided to take up the SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign for All-Party Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) in both the UK and European Parliaments. MBC also committed to join the programme of activities for the 1st August 2016, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparation March.

Support for the SMWeCGE Petition was again reiterated in this MBC ‘Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn.‘ Of course, the door is open for all political parties to make overtures to act on the SMWeCGE Petition and its campaigning goals or other matters of reparatory justice.

Accordingly, the aforementioned reasons better explain why it would be problematic for the SMWeCGE and its campaign, the AEDRMC, ARTCoP or indeed the MBC to be drawn into premature lobbies of Parliament where members of the Afrikan Heritage Community turn up and make various unstructured, and perhaps at times conflicting demands, of their MPs. More so, without having built themselves up into the required glocal ISMAR force, that compels respect from a significant number of MPs and other publicly elected officials, on the cause of reparatory justice and the specific goal of establishing an APPCITARJ.

The disadvantages of participating in such premature lobbies of Parliament include:

  • It is unlikely that significant numbers of MPs will turn up without the necessary local ground-work and premature lobbies of parliament on Afrikan Reparations will in effect be a few community based speakers and organisations talking mainly to themselves in a room in Parliament, in the absence of most of the Parliamentarians who are necessary to make such lobbies worthwhile.
  • The strategy outlined above runs the risk of losing its distinctness, efficacy and impact in a cacophony of voices that will be explaining reparations in different ways, and making various demands including for financial compensation that do not go the substantive Pan-Afrikan liberation heart of the matter of our collective strategy for holistic reparatory justice.
  • The SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign goals in accordance with the aims of the 1st August Emancipation Day Reparations March will be swallowed up, and be confused with general unstructured ideas on “pay us reparations”. Currently masses of people are not highly conscientised enough to go beyond the simplistic message of pay reparations or reparations now. Reparatory justice must first of all be about stopping the continuum of harm as part of the process of total Pan-Afrikan liberation, highlighting the Sankofa winning our right to collective group Self-determination and Sovereignty.
  • The SMWeCGE Petition and its campaign, the AEDRMC, ARTCoP and MBC risk having their substantive message of reparations as total liberation in a mish-mash of different voices and demands on reparations which ultimately plays into the hands of our adversaries whom are quick to seize upon such mish-mash of ideas to stoke up confusion and discredit our cause among MPs, all other publicly elected officials and the general public.
  • Without such ground-work the SMWeCGE Petition, its campaign the AEDRMC, ARTCoP and MBC collectively runs the risk of our principled insistence on the correct strategy and tactics of fighting for true reparatory justice being misconstrued as contributing to further disunity among pro-reparations forces.

In summary, the SMWeCGE Petition, its campaign and members of the AEDRMC who are involved with MBC are building connections with the Labour Party and the wider Labour Movement.

In terms of engagement with other political parties that is the importance of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Afrikan Heritage Communities Legacies of Enslavement which is mentioned on the SMWeCGE Postcard.

Accordingly, the ‘Stop The Maangamizi’ Campaign Team further reiterate, we recommend that the AEDRMC does not officially participate or represent the Interests of the SMWeCGE Petition in any proposals for premature lobbying of parliaments and other organs and institutions of the British state.

However, individual organisations and members represented on the AEDRMC, the ARTCoP, the MBC and within the SMWeCGE Campaign Team are free to participate in such lobbies, as deemed appropriate, in their own individual or organisational capacity.

SMWeCGE Campaign Team

10/05/16

 

[1] The demands we are making are not just for us. They are also for generations of the past, the present and the future, bound together in a spiritual unity rooted in reparatory justice ethics. This means taking a Sankofa journey through our ancestries, because our ancestors are no longer with us in physicality; they have become souls. So when we are making demands that relate to them, we have to grasp the spiritual aspects of the education of reparatory justice education and how that then interconnects between generations of the past, the present and the future. It follows that our reparatory justice work, and the demands we make, have to be done with an understanding of their spiritual quintessence in terms of the connections, between the generations and the great responsibility we have to act in accordance with the principles necessary for upholding the ethics of reparations.

As descendants of Afrikans who were enslaved, we are mindful of our ancestral responsibility to ensure that when we speak in their names we do not allow the enslaver’s visions of justice to prevail in advocating what are considered to be adequate reparations. The discourse on reparations has to move beyond merely calling on the name of our ancestors as justification for the genesis of our entitlements to redress today, to truly recognising the personhood, worldviews and visions of justice of the Afrikans that were enslaved in Afrika, and the so-called Americas, including the Caribbean.

[2] Action-Learning Circle within which we educate ourselves and others to practice Maat in relation to effecting and securing reparatory justice. For example, if you are a family, you can sit in a circle, discuss the issues contained within the SMWeCGE Petition, rehearse the arguments for reparations and the opposing arguments one anticipates they will encounter; and debate with each other about the impact of the Maangamizi on your family, extended family or community of interest. In these family/community circles everybody has something to learn and something to teach. Since the impact of the Maangamizi has affected everyone differently, it is important for everyone to have their say.

kwame nkrumah thought

ABOUT THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY (APPCITARJ)

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

JAMES BALDWIN 2

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?

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