This is a video recording filmed by ‘joanjoan.london’ who attended the 2017 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on the 1st August. She recently released this edited version of the closing speech made at Parliament Square which is still relevant to the various aspects of the year-round mobilising and organising that the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) engages in and advocates in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee.
“The future will have no pity for those men and women who possess the exceptional privilege to speak the words of truth, instead have taken refuge in an attitude of cold complicity and mute indifference.“
Revised quote from Frantz Fanon, ‘Toward the African Revolution: Political Essays’, 1994
Greetings Supporters of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
The letter from Esther Stanford-Xosei deals with the response from Foreign & Commonwealth Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad to the 2017 ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition and its accompanying correspondence.
The exchanges so far show that as much as sections of the Labour Movement are becoming more interested in communications with certain constituencies of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), there is a greater need to ensure that the Labour Party is challenged to develop a correct way of dealing with the issues raised in the correspondence and our Afrikan Heritage Communities in consonance with the ethics of reparatory justice. This must also be done in such a way that recognises Afrikan people’s human and people’s right to Substantive Afrikan Heritage Community Representation.
What this means is that Labour Party is being challenged by SMWeCGEC and other Afrikan Reparations campaigners to engage in ‘institutional self-repairs’ in the ways it deals with Afrikan Heritage Communities and our autonomous community organisations as well as the issues that concern us. Only by doing so, will it become a worthy stakeholder with locus standi in Afrikan Heritage Community reparatory justice engagements.
In livicated Service!
Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
Greetings Supporters of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Last October we notified you about the launching of the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) in association with PARCOE, the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe. We in the International Steering Committee Spearhead Team of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (ISC-SMWeCGEC) recognise this initiative for making a significant and unprecedented contribution to developing the intellectual arsenals necessary for tackling Afriphobia and other manifestations of the genocide/ecocide; particularly its mentacide within and beyond educational institutions. We are also pleased that the SWWeCGEC is recognised in the INOSAAR Principles of Participation.
Since the launch event, the INOSAAR has had a conference in Birmingham and looks forward to two follow-up events in Senegal and a conference in Benin. One of the follow-up actions arising from the recent INOSAAR Birmingham Conference was for INOSAAR members and constituencies to support us in getting their MPs to support a meeting in the House of Parliament to discuss ‘The Academic Legitimacy of the Afrikan Case for Reparations and its Implications for British State Policy-Making’.
See this link for the template letter which you can amend accordingly and send to your own MPs if you are based in the UK. The text is also reproduced below.
Please let INOSAAR know of any progress you make with your MPs by emailing Dr Nicola Frith & Professor Joyce Hope Scott at inosaar.ed.ac.uk.
Dear [MP NAME]
I am writing as local constituent regarding a matter of concern to me as a person of Afrikan heritage/a concerned member of the public [DELETE AS APPROPRIATE].
I was horrified to recently discover that up until 2015, tax-payers in Britain, including myself as a descendant or relative of enslaved Afrikans [DELETE IF NOT APPLICABLE], were paying off a debt that was accrued as a result of the compensation awarded to British enslavers as legislated with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (see, for example, the article in the Bristol Post from 13 February 2018).
The opinion of experts working in the field, like Bristol-based historian David Olusoga, has strengthened my own conviction about the injustice glaringly showed in this matter (see, for example, the article published in The Guardian on 12 February 2018).
Such is the public outrage, that a petition has been started about this misuse of taxes. This increasing public interest is stimulating not only public debate, but also academic research and discourses relevant to policy-making regarding these and other pertinent issues of domestic and foreign policies.
The 17 March 2018 conference in Birmingham of the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) is an example of such activity, which is drawing together both scholars, activists and policy-campaigners to exchange perspectives on their thinking and actions about how best to address these kinds of injustices.
One recent political response has been the plan unveiled by the Labour Party for firms with links to the so-called Atlantic ‘slave trade’ to contribute to the setting up of a Slavery Educational Trust (see, for example, the article in The Standard on 23 March 2018).
In response to these developments, I am requesting your support to host a meeting in the Houses of Parliament to discuss ‘The Academic Legitimacy of the Afrikan Case for Reparations and its Implications for British State Policy-Making’.This proposed meeting in Parliament is important because, as hinted at in the ‘Refund Our Taxes’ petition, the refund of tax monies can assist the Afrikan Heritage Community to effect its own innovative ‘Pempamsie’-planning approaches to reparatory justice. In other words, Afrikan Heritage Communities will be able to design their own bespoke reparatory justice programme that will satisfy their own self-determined interests and purposes. Examples of such approaches include educational and other community self-repairs, which form a vital part of the reparative process and go far beyond paycheques to individuals and governments.
I look forward to hearing from you on this urgent matter in due course.
[YOUR NAME & SIGNATURE]
Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
The following two statements from members of the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC) in Ghana, express the reparatory justice perspectives of the leadership that exists for Afrikan communities of reparations interest battling the Maangamizi on the ground in Afrika. They were presented at the 17th March 2018 International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) Conference in Birmingham. Most importantly, these statements from Paramount Chiefs, Togbe Adzatekpor VII and Nana Kobina Nketsia V highlight their recognition, as leading members of the GAFRIC, of the right of Afrikan people all over the world to the Continent of Afrika!
The ‘right to Afrika‘ incorporates the ‘right to return’ (repatriation) and ‘right to belong’ (rematriation) which is one process. One cannot happen without the other. It encompasses the Akan Sankofa principle of going back to fetch your Afrikan personality in material and spiritual terms all routed in the land of Afrika. The ‘Afrikan personality’, popularised by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, refers to manifestations of cultural uniqueness among Afrikans as reflected in our behaviours, social norms, customs, values, beliefs, spiritual zeal, attitudes, explanations of the cosmos and the supernatural, as well as social and political systems. The right to Afrika includes the right to belong to the peoplehood of Afrika and benefit from the shared land, wealth and resources of Afrika, as well as share in her many development challenges. This does not mean that all Afrikans physically has to up and return to Afrika, but that one should be able to exercise the global citizenship rights and responsibilities of being an Afrikan.
Ultimately, it is about feeling the power of Afrika protecting us as Afrikans wherever we are in the world. However, for this to happen it is necessary to rebuild Afrika on the basis of our indigenous polities and delegitimise colonial state formations. This means rebuilding Afrika into a unified whole; integrating communities of Afrikan people from the Continent and Diaspora into a globally superpowerful polity (MAATUBUNTUMAN- Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities) based on the Continent that guarantees the collective strength, dignity and security of Afrikan people worldwide.
The statements from Togbe Adzatekpor VII and Nana Kobina Nketsia V also show the readiness of such community leaders, and their respective communities of reparatory justice interest, to contribute to repairing the disrepair of our Afrikan communities. They are doing what they can to counteract the divisive impact of the Maangamizi with policies, projects, programmes and other measures towards reunifying our Global Afrikan Family, in accordance with the imperatives of holistic Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
“Convinced that 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.”
The Abuja Proclamation: A declaration of the ‘first Abuja Pan-African Conference on Reparations For African Enslavement, Colonisation And Neo-Colonisation’, sponsored by The Organisation Of African Unity and its Reparations Commission April 27-29, 1993, Abuja, Nigeria
Togbe Osie Adza Tekpor VII, Paramount Chief of the Avatime Traditional Area
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area
“To love Afrika, to seek the cultural freedom of Afrika and to serve the cultural truth of Afrika is to ask for death”
Nana Kobina Nketsia V
Recommended reading, ‘African Culture in Governance and Development: The Ghana Paradigm’ by Nana Kobina Nketsia V, with an introduction by Professor James Small.
“When we look at Afrika and see whose culture we are practising, we realise how vulnerable we are to genocide because we are practising the culture of our enemies and not the culture of our ancestors. Nana Nketsia is making a case that I don’t think any opposing legal framework can defeat; a case for us to return to the ways of our Ancestors and abandon and turn our backs on the ways of the rapists, the plunderers and the murderers who have imposed on us, their culture, their history, their notion of reality and their religion; and we must make this u-turn to continue our journey, we want to go back to the womb of Mother Afrika and compose again, as her child, her dreams, her aspirations, her hopes and her future. This will allow us to have full control of the economics, politics and culture that affects lives on a daily basis. This process must include at its core, the restoration of complete confidence in us and a belief system that is based on the reality of our own experience and that of our Ancestors, which is a challenge that Nana’s work clearly identifies.
Nana is re-membering the Afrikan continent. Its members are scattered and Nana’s book is bringing them back together. That is the essence of the word ‘remember’; reconnecting the scattered members of a once collective whole to make it whole again. Nana is reminding us to bring back our Ancestors’ way of thinking that will allow us to reconstruct a dynamic path for the future.”
Taken from the introduction by Professor James Small
“To be a slave was to be a human being under conditions in which that humanity was denied.
They were not slaves. They were [Afrikan] people.
Their condition was slavery.
They looked upon themselves and their servitude with the eyes and minds of human beings, conscious of all that went on around them”.
“Most human behaviour is controlled by images. Image is a factor in how people look at themselves and what they use to reflect themselves. The control of images is a major factor in world power”
John Henrik Clarke
“Powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress, because once you are truly educated, you will not ask for power. You will take it.”
John Henrik Clarke
They say silence speaks louder than words; in what has been perceived to be our silence, we have also been speaking volumes. It is not that we have not been responding, it is simply that some are looking for us to respond in typical sorts of ways. We in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) do not pander to obscurantism, more so with misguiding populist decorations. Our priority focus is on educating, organising and mobilising people to ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ through their own reparatory justice action-learning in order to build their own power to effect holistic reparatory justice. This is why we concur with Dr John Henrik Clarke as quoted above. What is happening in and around Libya is more than enslaved Afrikans being sold on auction blocks. Rather, this is one of the symptoms of an increasingly decadent, rotten and stinking neocolonialism as being perpetuated in Afrika by the Global Apartheid racist forces of Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism which is making our own homeland terribly more impossible to live in. If our own countries have not become hell on earth why wouldn’t Afrikans want to stay in Afrika?
Some people are making lots of noise and taking sporadically reactive actions about Afrikans being sold on auction blocks in Libya. It is not lost upon us that some of these noises and actions are being orchestrated and paid for from dodgy sources inimical to the best interests of Afrika. As justified in their spontaneity as some of such actions may appear, they raise lots more questions than answers. After these sorts of protests that we are seeing being organised in response largely to the imperialist corporate mouthpiece CNN reporting and dissemination of ‘controlling images’ of Afrikans being sold on auction-blocs, what do most of the participants who attend such protests, (including those who simply do so simply because they are paid bogus NGO bureaucrats and poverty-pimps, whose job it is to orchestrate and profit from such wild-goose chases), do as follow-up actions of every-day resistance to effect change in eradicating the root causes of such horrors? How long shall we continue to run helter-skelter in spontaneous protests actions, without taking effectively organised actions to prevent the killing of our freedom-fighting prophets and the violent destruction of the movements of resistance they have been trying to build? It would seem that there are some in our Afrikan Heritage Communities that seek to limit our activism to aimless protests, outside of the context of movement-building, with no clear goals or agreement on who should be the targets of our actions, the change we are seeking to bring about and no plan to build principled organizational unity or the capacity to facilitate such potentially change-making endeavours.
Why are those concerned not crying out and protesting louder about the mess being made of our Afrikan homeland by Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism through its neocolonial Afrikan and Arab elitist puppets; the stinking mess with all the brutalities of white-supremacy racist barbarism that is driving ordinary Afrikans away from their homes? Please be more critically aware, discerning and vigilant. Take the kind of well-planned ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ for Reparatory Justice! action/s that will prevent Afrikans from fleeing our own homeland in the first place and vacating it for more foreign setter-colonialists to move in, racially cleanse and occupy for nefarious geopolitical ends. It is high time that our people once again focused on the kinds of systematic actions that will effect systemic change and not simply respond in knee-jerk fashion to the various symptoms of the same system in such a way that these symptoms become the main focus of our protest actions.
A more useful starting point would be to target Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism and its agencies, institutions and quislings, including their Black puppets of neocolonialism, that are masterminding such horrific crimes of the Maangamizi; particularly with a view to shutting down the Maangamizi Crime Scenes that you can find anywhere near you or close to communities you can be engaged constructively with. For people in Afrika ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ is not just a slogan, it is a life and death matter, hence why we initiated the SMWeCGEC with specific aims and objectives towards stopping the Maangamzi which manifests itself in the current system of neocolonialism with symptoms including variations of ‘modern-day slavery’, such as is becoming more highlighted currently in Libya. In our justified outrage about this form of modern-day enslavement of Afrikans, we must be mindful of who is pushing and profiting from this particular narrative and proliferation of ‘slave-auction controlling images’ and whose agenda is our people’s very predictable-spontaneous reactions to such narratives serving? It is indeed the same forces today as was the case yesteryear. After all, those that are most pushing the ‘modern day-slavery’ agenda and ‘it is Afrikans that are at it again‘ agenda are those actually responsible for creating, fuelling and perpetuating those conditions which continue to make it possible, including violently killing those freedom-fighters of ours who organise and build movements so stop such manifestations of the Maangamizi.
How comes this was not occurring under a Colonel Gaddafi led-Libya? Modern-day enslavement of Afrikans in Libya, in this aggravated form, is happening because NATO forces deliberately have chosen to make it happen in order to lend credence to their governments propaganda about us forgetting our intergenerational reparatory justice demands and rather begging them to clean up the Euro-Amerikkkan ‘mess’ they have created in Libya; and save us from horrors they contrive all the time in different ways and means. After all, isn’t Libya and its current neocolonial puppet-government a territory that is absolutely controlled in military and all other forms by the same forces of Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism and their creation of reactionary counterinsurgency terrorist forces like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State?
We must not allow ourselves to fall into the Hegelian Dialectic i.e. Roman Emperor Diocletian’s age-old problem-reaction-solution method for securing geopolitical interests. This highlighting of the modern-enslavement of Afrikans in Libya, divorced from the context and continuum of the Maangamizi, is an attempt by the Euro-Amerikkkan imperialist Establishment to assert its geopolitical interests in Afrika and to shift and misdirect the masses attention away from the task of every-day resistance movement building for Pan-Afrikan Power through effecting Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice by our own People’s Power.
Directing our protests at forces which right now have no interests in stopping the trafficking, incarceration and enslavement of Afrikans in Libya is the classic way we give up our own change-making power by thinking that ‘WE THE AFRIKAN PEOPLE’ do not have the power to set our own agenda and organise to achieve it. Our time, and difficult to harness resources, are better utilised in self-determinedly organising according to our own Pan-Afrikan Liberation agenda to put a full-stop to the Maangamizi in the process of effecting holistic reparatory justice by our own people’s power; a global force those of us in the Diaspora have the responsibility first and foremost, to develop through building Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC’s NSDs/Maatubuntujamaas) to organically generate the MAATUBUNTUMANDLA Pan-Afrikan Government of Peoples Power Abroad which in our contemporary times will be the most effective way to uphold, defend and promote the best collective geo-political interests of Afrikan people throughout the World.
What is happening now in Libya and the disgraceful inability of governments and other state officials throughout the Continent and Diaspora of Afrika to do anything effective in addressing the situation makes it more imperative for Afrikans, outside of the Continent of Afrika, to prioritise the building of such MAATUBUNTUMANDLA as a step towards achieving MAATUBUNTUMAN (Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities at Home & Abroad); so that we are able to not only ‘substantively’ represent’ ourselves in positive action to make our Afrikan Lives actually matter in deed; but also amplify the voices of our Communities of Resistance on the Continent and support them in freedom-fighting actions that will enable them to stop such crimes of the Maangamizi upon their own initiatives. This is how best we in our time can fulfil our ‘mission’ and not betray it, as others have and are still doing, so as to win and guarantee our collective security and thereby provide a brighter future for us and our progeny on Planet Earth.
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign International Steering Committee (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
04/12/17 revised from original statement of Kofi Mawuli Klu on 28/11/17
“The neo-colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage. In the past it was possible to convert a country upon which a neo-colonial regime had been imposed — Egypt in the nineteenth century is an example — into a colonial territory. Today this process is no longer feasible. Old-fashioned colonialism is by no means entirely abolished. It still constitutes an African problem, but it is everywhere on the retreat. Once a territory has become nominally independent it is no longer possible, as it was in the last century, to reverse the process. Existing colonies may linger on, but no new colonies will be created. In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism we have today neo-colonialism. The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.”
Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, ‘Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism’
“Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”
Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March 2017
“To those caught up in only slogan-mongering about the Afrikan Revolution who self-derisively dismiss mass campaigns such as this one of Reparations, refusing to unfold their own blinds to its crucial significance in our Liberation Struggle; we address our paraphrasing of the remark of Amilcar Cabral that, by taking to the revolutionary path of self-determined Struggle for Afrikan Liberation, the masses of our people are not fighting for ideas in anyone’s head; they are fighting for a true National and Social Emancipation that will guarantee them such concrete benefits as will ensure their material and spiritual prosperity! That is why the AASU-E [All-Afrikan Student’s Union in Europe] sees Reparations from the perspective of Afrikan youth as the actual conscientization of the objectives of our whole people’s Liberation Struggle under the banner of revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism. Therefore the Reparations we the youth of Afrika are demanding must restore to all people of Afrikan origin throughout the World full sovereignty, the absolute ownership of the whole of our Homeland, including all its resources, and the Renaissance of Maat and other value of our classical civilisation, in order to give us the concrete basis for independently achieving our own material and spiritual prosperity.“
Antonieta Carla Santana, ‘Our Struggle for Reparations in Afrikan Youth Perspective’: A Draft Paper for Presentation to the 11th December 1993 Birmingham Working Conference of the African Reparations Movement (ARM-UK)
“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 it sought to change remain pretty much intact. And yet it is precisely those alternative visions and dreams that inspire new generations to continue to struggle for change.”
— Robin D.G. Kelley —
The March as the street column of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) is going through a period of change; which involves reflecting on what has been done so far, what have been the gains so far and what more is to be done? including how best to ‘repair’ the movement itself to make it better fit for purpose. So unlike in the past, when the perception of many adherents of reparations was just let’s all go and demand compensation for the wrongs that were done to our Ancestors, it is dawning on the leading activists and increasing members of the Afrikan Heritage Community, that it will take far more programmatic work to win hearts and minds and achieve the true purpose of holistic Afrikan Reparatory Justice, which is much more than money! The messaging of the March, via the chants, images and text displayed on banners and other ephemera has grown to include the context of ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ in terms of a cessation of violations which is an essential prequisite of effecting and securing reparatory justice as a result of the continuum of enslavement from chattel enslavement through to colonialism and now into this neocolonial phase. So now it is not as easy to dismiss the public and grassroots advocacy of Marchers as being stuck in the past with very little recognition of the continuation of the systems, structures and manifestations of oppression and injustice today. Furthermore, taking into account, that we live in a Britain of state and non-state orchestrated terrorism; care is being taken as to how the form and content of the March should be. So, the March is at a crossroads and this has also impacted the amount of people who came out to support it this year.
However, success of the March should not just be judged in terms of how many people attend each year which seems to be many people’s perception of what constitutes success. But who decides what constitutes success? Success can only be determined by those people in struggle; those who are fighting or organizing for something. If we compare year one of the March with year four you will see that the March has better organisation, clear- consensus-building and decision-making structures, such as the 9 organising Blocs to recognise the diverse constituencies who are pulling together to help strengthen and build the movement as well as several task-action groups which deal with operational tasks throughout the year.
The March also has clear aims and objectives and clear goals which was not the case for the first March of 2014, as significant as it was. The programme for the March itself has also improved with the introduction in 2016 of the People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Afrikan Reparations (POPSAR). The POPSAR at Parliament Square is a mass consciousness-raising forum for public debate and discourse on manifestations of the Maangamizi necessitating Afrikan Reparations. It is a public forum where Afrikan people rehearse our arguments in pursuit of the ‘battle of Ideas’ on obstacles to the realisation of holistic reparatory justice. The purpose of the POPSAR is to engage audiences in action-learning on participatory democratic parliamentary debate and the ‘Battle of Ideas’ on critical issues such as how to stop various manifestations of the Maangamizi as part of the process of effecting and securing Afrikan Reparatory Justice.
The Battle of Ideas is an important ideological tool. 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 cannot 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 that is in itself an alternative to that of the dominant white supremacy racist, capitalist class. This is the Battle of Ideas.
The theme for the 2017-2018 March year, which we encourage our Afrikan Heritage Communities to continue to discuss and take action on between the 2017 and 2018 Marches is:
‘Black on Black Violence’: Why are we not doing enough to stop this manifestation of the Maangamizi? Debating the motion: This gathering believes that we as Afrikan Heritage Communities are not doing what is necessary to stop this manifestation of the MaangamiziIn addition, the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) and its campaign partner, the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) now have websites which regularly put out reparations focused information and educational content as part of public reparations education which are not being put out elsewhere. Whether people want to recognise it or not, the March has now become a recognised institution and is the most visible and largest activity of the UK contingent of the ISMAR in the yearly calendar of Afrikan organising activities to further the cause of Afrikan reparatory justice.
“The March visually displays a freedom-fighting unity of Afrikan people from all over the world, on the streets of London, rallying together as one defiant family, inside the belly of the beast; that is no longer happening in Afrikan protests, in any other parts of the world, including those on the Continent of Afrika. I am an Afrikan born and bred in Ghana and I know what the power of this image meaningfully conveys to Afrikans at home and all other peoples across the world“.
Kofi Mawuli Klu, Co-Vice Chairperson SMWeCGEC
It also needs to be recognised that, unlike in CARICOM countries, Emancipation Day is not a public holiday in the UK and the 2017 March occurred on a Tuesday, when many people are normally at work. We have also had many reports that people were denied the day off who wanted to take it off and in an economic climate of austerity people want to hold unto their jobs. Regardless of numbers, the focused and sterling organisation of the March is attracting recognition and attention worldwide. It may not also be widely known that the March costs £8000 plus to organise and this is paid for by ordinary people, often the most marginalised in society. So, the fact that the March has been able to establish itself and become institutionalised as a key feature of the street column of the ISMAR is in itself an achievement. It is important to note that the March is a totally Afrikan and totally independent, grassroots funded march; no state resources, no funding or resourcing from Black professional classes and elites enables this March to happen! This is important so that the agenda of making a direct challenge to the British state, which the March represents, does not become co-opted or diluted.
Delegation which handed in the 2017 SMWeCGEC Petition
Anyhow, what is clear is that each year there is a constituency that support the SMWeCGEC. According to the count on 31st July 2017, 9636 people have been courageous enough to sign the petition and advocate its perspectives so far and that figures continues to rise each day. This is no mean feat given the fact that so many who have a lot to say about what should be done, are not prepared to sign it, and often come up with quite porous reasons as to why they will not attach their name and contact details to the petition.
You can read the letter that accompanied the petition hand-in on 1st August 2017 here. This 9636 + people are a clear constituency and shows progress from the 5811 who signed the petition last year! You can also see the response to the petition here. This article provides some responses to those who say “what is the point of petitioning?”
On ISMAR strategy & tactics…
Tactics are forms of collective action publicly deployed, whether in-person or via audio, visual, or written media, in service of a sustained campaign of claims making.
What is the strategy?
We are not just marching for the sake of marching, the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March is just one of a number of tactics, in an overall multi-layered strategy to ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ (Afrikan Hellacaust of chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement), in order to bring about systemic change and revolutionary social transformation of our condition as Afrikan people, as part of building our people’s power to effect, secure and take reparatory justice on our own terms.
The Maangamizi will only be stopped by the collective power and might of our people on the continent and the Diaspora of Afrika, by way of completing the Pan-Afrikan Revolution, (with complete steps, too numerous and unnecessary to fully spell out here), which include the realisation of social change reparatory justice goals of the ISMAR and the People’s Reparations International Movement (PRIM).
Clearly the March, cannot be reduced to be an event that occurs on one day; rather it is organised in such a way as to help advance reparations social movement-building of various constituencies within our Afrikan Heritage Communities locally, nationally and internationally. In this regard, priority is given to mobilising our own individual and people’s collective ‘power to’ effect and secure reparatory justice through community organising, reparations social movement-building and 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. 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.”
No one organisation or institution can supplant the power of a vibrant ISMAR. Successful social change efforts have been led not by individual organisations, but by movements. See here for the difference between organisations and movements.
The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, as the street column of the ISMAR is therefore a vehicle for mass mobilisation and education as part of our self-repair and people’s power-building process. It is also a conduit as part of an on-going parliamentary and extra-parliamentary strategy, hence the delivery of the SMWeCGEC Petition charging the British State with the crimes of Genocide and Ecocide and demanding an end to their role in the continuing Maangamizi. So we can say that despite much activity and mobilisation occurring in the UK towards reparatory justice, there has in recent times, been very little focus on the British State. We can now say that since the 1990s there has not been an Afrikan Heritage Community dialogue with the British state on our global justice case for total Pan-Afrikan liberation, including issues of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. This is now occurring as a result the SMWeCGEC and the promotion of its campaign goals by the March. We know that the radical content of this dialogue, pertaining to Afrikan genocide, the need to ‘Stop the Maangamizi! of the present, as well as shut down Maangamizi crimes scenes as a form of civil disobedience, is not being raised before the British Government and any other state body in Europe by any other reparations process, campaign, organisation or even any Afrikan or Caribbean state entity.
The AEDRMC, in partnership with the SMWeCGEC, will continue the year long process of march planning, mobilisation and organisation alongside its ‘Education is Part of the Preparation for Reparations’. Similarly, to compliment these initiatives, the SMWeCGEC is carrying out ISMAR Advocacy Training programmes and the promotion of reparatory justice action-learning programmes and initiatives in preparedness for educating people about how to effect and secure reparatory justice including the methodology for effectively establishing the All-Party Parliamentary (People’s) Commissions of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJs) and local benches of the Ubuntukgotla People’s International Tribunal For Global Justice (U-PITGJ), also contained within the SMWeCGEC Petition.
“The issue at stake is whether we want to formulate reparations as a reformist, and even potentially reactionary demand, or as a radical demand for social transformation. A variety of platforms have been developed under the rubric of reparations, and many of these demands can actually serve to strengthen the demands of white supremacy.”
Andrea Smith, ‘Conquest’, p53
The AEDRMC, as facilitators of the annual 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March organising process in partnership with the SMWeCGEC are in pursuit of comprehensive holistic land-based reparations. This means our reparations as Afrikans in the Diaspora is umbilically connected to the liberation of our Motherland, Afrika; including restoration of her sovereignty and the self-determination of Afrikan people worldwide and the establishment of structures of non-territorial autonomy in the Diaspora. Hence support for the notion of us being an Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination. As representatives of a diverse array of campaigns, organisations and interests groups, we are collectively working for the achievement of the kind of reparations that we can ALL be truly proud of and benefit from. This is necessary to ensure that all of our people, (not just a few) get ‘satisfaction’ out of the results (that also includes our predecessors, our contemporaries and our posterity, i.e. those yet to be born).
However, YOU are encouraged to continue to mobilising and self-organising. The March is NOT the entire Reparations Movement so YOU need to develop complimentary reparatory justice strategies in your own groups, organisations and networks.
There is much dichotomous thinking and many misconceptions among the general public about what tactics movement’s should utilise to best meet their objectives. Movements often select from a repertoire of possibilities available to them at any given time and place. Nevertheless, it is often assumed that adopting one tactic, at a particular point, in time precludes a movement from adopting other tactics at a different time or even simultaneously. Multiple tactics must be undertaken by movements in order to reach and build support among their intended audiences, the multiple publics they are seeking to influence as well as achieve their desired objectives. Nevertheless, there are different tactics that self-reflective movements will use depending on the campaign objectives and goals that different forces within such a movement set out to achieve.
Despite its growing visibility, it is important to emphasize that the March is not the whole ISMAR, it is simply an aspect of it, otherwise known as a column within it, i.e. the street column. However, it is also the case that many movements have characteristically relied on demonstrative or even ‘confrontational’ tactics to advance their cause, and this is still the method of choice for street protest actions. Although movement activists expend a great deal of energy, time, and resources choosing tactics, all tactics are not designed to have the same outcomes or impact, for the tactical choices of a movement often embody the movement’s key demands.
There is a difference for example, between political persuasion (lobbying, voting, petitioning), demonstrative (marches, rallies, vigils, acts of civil disobedience) and economic (boycotts and selective buying) tactics. Boycotts, selective buying, buying-Black, setting up ‘Black’ businesses, group economics, or even cooperative group economics, (which do not take into consideration the reparatory justice political economy of glocal Pan-Afrikan community regeneration and development) alone, will not be sufficient to stop the various manifestations of the Maangamizi that people of Afrikan heritage are being subjected to today. In fact, in some instances our people can get inadvertently caught up in the pursuit of ‘big’ anti-people private business models that promote mal-development, genocidal, ecocidal and slavery-like working practices which contribute to prolonging the Maangamizi. Neither is it the case that ‘political persuasion’ or demonstrative tactics such as lobbying, marching and petitioning alone are enough to stop the various manifestation of the Maangamizi. However, each of the aforementioned combination of tactics can contribute to this overall objective of the ISMAR in different ways and all together unify the diversity of forces necessary for ultimate victory!!!
We are approaching what is often referred to as a ‘revolutionary situation’, the crisis of the European Global Order is worsening more than ever before, their state machineries, political parties and other institutions are crumbling from within, their societies are broken, in some cases beyond repair, and the social forces they command are in disarray. This situation presents us as Afrikan people with great opportunity. There is however, a missing link which is the organised, disciplined political might of the Afrikan masses in concert with the masses of Global Black Humanity, which includes the linking up with and sharing of strategy and tactics among Afrikan Heritage communities of reparatory justice interest and resistance in Europe, Abya Yala, (the so-called Americas), Melanasia, Australasia, Oceania and those on the continent of Afrika.
Accordingly, the AEDRMC in partnership with the SMWeCGEC are engaging in mass mobilisational and popular educational work, action-learning, knowledge-building, mobilisation and organising towards that purpose.
Whilst the March first took place in 2014 under the leadership of the Rastafari Movement UK (RMUK) with a number of supporting organisations, since the introduction of specific March aims and march being facilitated by the AEDRMC, this is a further summary of what has been achieved thus far:
• There is now (since 2015), a consolidated stewardship and facilitation of the organising processes for the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day (People’s) Reparations March with the formalisation of the AEDRMC, consisting of a diverse array of Afrikan heritage groups, organisatons, movements and individuals. Most of the committee members, both individual and organisational, have been involved with the March from its inception.
• The AEDRMC and its subsequent partnership with the SMWeCGEC has helped to consolidate the emergence of an independent ground-up Pan-Afrikan inspired, and initiated, transnational process of leading, mobilising and organising Afrikan people other than the anti-Pan-Afrikan Liberation statist CARICOM Reparatory Justice Programme and their Ten-Point Plan. Despite the fact that reparatory justice organising goes back centuries, there has been little recognition of this by Afrikan heritage social, political and economic elites who, for many decades, have chosen, contrary to our indigenous Afrikan traditions of exercising people’s power, not to identify with the ground-up initiated and led ISMAR. For instance, in 2003 the UK based Black Quest for Justice Campaign supported by PARCOE (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe), the then Black United Front (UK), the then Global Afrikan Congress (UK) and the then International Front for Afrikan Reparations (IFAR) developed a Ten-Point Plan (below), as part of a legal and extra-legal strategy to effect and secure Pan-Afrikan Reparations, which continues to be championed by PARCOE. Despite this being one of several reparations focused initiatives emanating from Afrikans in the UK ISMAR, the mass media and some newer reparations focused organisations and activists have tended to defer to the CARICOM Ten-Point Plan, or initiatives taking place in so-called North America, as though there has been no history-making on the part of the prior-existing ISMAR in the UK.
Afrikans in the UK developed a ten-point plan in 2003!
According to Professors Adjoa Aiyetoro and Adrienne Davis in their 2010 article ‘Historic and Modern Movements for Reparations: The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America ...”part of the largely untold history of reparations is the struggle not only for reparations itself, but also the struggle between distinct Black classes over strategies for citizenship and the right to envision the racial future”. The ISMAR, just like any other social movement has its contestations, national, classed, gendered and other internal struggles.
Representative Sample of ISMAR Collective Leadership, Past & Present
• There is increased engagement with and implementation of the March aims. We are not just marching aimlessly but with a strategy which is in operation at various levels. This means that March facilitators, in partnership with the SMWeCGEC, support the mobilisation and organisation of a core section of the Afrikan Heritage Community of Reparatory Justice Interest who seek to engage in strategic reparations activism and direct their energies to the attainment of specific reparations social-movement-building goals, which are measurable and through which progress can be evaluated. In the process of mobilising and organising together all year-round, the March organising process significantly contributes to transforming activism from being an individualistic approach to a Ujima (collective work and responsibility) approach. Our revolutionary Afrikan ideology will ensure that we can consciously construct the society that we want to build. Although the March aims were in place and operation for the 2015 March, there was not as much take up with implementing the aims as is occurring now.
• Since 2015, a partnership, operational unity and working relationship between the AEDRMC and the SMWeCGEC has been established. In recognition of the fact that the March is not the whole Reparations Movement, the AEDRMC has also embraced the complimentary SMWCGEC goals contained in the SMWeCGEC Petition, both the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 versions. So, whilst the AEDRMC, the March Aims and the SMWeCGEC campaigning aims and goals remain distinct, the fulfilment of both the aims of the March and the SMWeCGEC campaigning aims and goals are mutually constitutive.
The complimentary aims of the SMWeCGEC as a positive action step of reparatory justice campaigning are to:
The above aims and objectives are implemented and worked on all year-round by various organisational members and individuals involved in the AEDRMC and the SMWeCGEC, the Local and Regional March Outreach Teams, Task Actions Groups, in addition to the various Blocs of the March. The key point to highlight here is that the aims of the March and the SMWeCGEC promote social movement-building, which is part of a people power-building process to be able to effect our people’s reparatory justice will.
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large, sometimes informal, groupings of individuals, organisations and other relevant interest groups which focus on specific political or social issues; and who are organised and organising to promote, carry out, resist or undo social, cultural or political change.
Social movement-building is the long-term, coordinated effort of individuals and organized groups of people to intentionally spark and sustain a social movement.
Social movement forces constantly engage with multiple publics, core constituencies in addition to allies and seek to harness people’s collective power to address systemic problems, redress enduring injustice and promote alternative visions or solutions. It follows that reparations which will meaningfully work for ALL of US as Afrikan People, will only be effected and secured as a result of a MASS MOVEMENT that we continue to build. Our people’s process of history-making thus far teaches us that this is the only way that sustainable and transformative change occurs, despite the reversion to Messianic approaches to reparatory justice change which are being promoted by some sections of the Afrikan Heritage Community; which assume that all we need to do is follow a particular leader who is divinely anointed to lead us to the promised land of reparatory justice, and none can truly get to this post-Afrikan Reparations World Order but through following such a divinely sent leader!
Whilst it is recognised that movements always use a mixture of tactics, generally have multiple leaders, groups and agendas, ultimately, such reparatory justice will only be effected and secured when we have built and harnessed the POWER to effect our National will and strategic geopolitical interests as people of Afrikan ancestry and heritage.
“It will be gross self-delusive wishful thinking to believe that those wielding the reins of White racist supremacy are going to pay any serious heed to the Afrikan demand for Reparations, unless their hold on the machinery of global power is effectively challenged by the well-organised, upsurgent and self-empowering masses of Afrikan people, and their allied progressive forces throughout the World.”
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, 1993.
@ ISMAR Advocates Training Course 13/11/16
Afrikan Reparationists are playing a leading role in building the Academic column of the ISMAR through which the March and the SMWeCGEC are being critically studied
The SMWeCGEC in partnership with the March are also being promoted within the emerging International Network of Scholars & Activists on Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) which will be launched in London on 21st October 2017 in association with academic researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Wheelock College (Boston, USA). The INOSAAR will bring together activists and scholars to explore the development of academic spaces for institutionalising work on Afrikan reparations. This launch of the INOSAAR in London will be the first of four events being organised by the INOSAAR; the first series of events continues from London through Birmingham, Paris and Porto Novo (Benin). The London launch is being coordinated in collaboration with PARCOE, through which engagement is being developed with the ARTCoP, as a special grassroots academic interest network of the ISMAR.
How the SMWCGEC enhances the purposefulness of the March
The March is a mass mobilisational and organisational vehicle for delivery of the SMWeCGEC Petition. Some have likened the petition and its campaign goals of establishing All-Party Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJs) at the levels of the Westminster and European Parliaments, to ‘begging’ those most responsible for causing our Maangamizi, to repair us or that it is futile because the British Establishment will never meet this demand. This is simply not the case. In the SMWeCGEC Petition, we say :“We affirm” that WE, as members of the Afrikan Heritage Community are charging the British state with acts of Genocide/Ecocide against people of Afrikan heritage, within and beyond the UK. In reality we are affirming this rather than begging the State.
It is our firm view that the demand for such a APPCITARJ is very possible to be realised if we mount people’s political pressure at every level. The process of establishing such an APPCITARJ will itself raise awareness on the part of Afrikan people, of our right to holistic reparations and is part of a legal, extra-legal, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary strategy, which enables and supports the development of mass popular legal consciousness-raising about the legitimacy of our reparations case and the necessity to stop current manifestations of the Maangamizi harms that we continue to suffer. Given that the established legal disorder of unjust law , which has violated Afrikan people’s legal rights for 500+ years, has worked hard to deny the legitimacy of our people’s reparations claims, under the guise that slavery was legalised by Europeans, the assertion by Afrikan people of our right to reparations is fundamental to reparatory justice social change-making. Such social change being necessary to transform the old global order, which denies responsibility for the Maangamizi, as well as the legitimacy of our people’s global case for reparatory justice, and the Post-Reparations World Order, where such Maangamizi denial is criminalised and the consequences of the Maangamizi are redressed and holistically repaired.
This is an aspect of charting an Afrikan self-determined path of legal struggle for reparations (i.e. struggle by use of the law as a form of resistance) which is advocated by Kofi Mawuli Klu, co-founder member of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ campaign in his 1993 Paper ‘Charting an Afrikan Self-Determined Path of Legal Struggle for Reparations’. The key components to such a self-determined legal path of struggle include:
In light of the history of Afrikan people’s experience of violence from systems of hegemony imposed by European elites, for the purposes of defending an imperialistic White supremacy racist system of wealth, privilege and power, we are not advocating the unnecessary spilling of our blood and loss of life of our people by taking actions which we are not yet adequately prepared for, as a group within the UK and Europe, i.e. politically, organisationally, militarily or otherwise. Rather, we see the SMWeCGEC advocating a process of non-violent direct action, in the first instance, which calls upon the UK Government and the European Parliament to:
“…live up to its declarations of commitment to global respect for universal human rights, good governance and democracy in acknowledging and addressing the social and economic legacies of enslavement on contemporary generations of Afrikans and people of Afrikan heritage. We believe that establishing the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice will go a long way towards institutionalising a reparative truth-seeking process that will contribute to healing and restoring the descendants of the enslaved and facilitating racial justice and equity between the descendants of the enslaved and the enslavers as well as in the wider society. However, such “repair” of the relationship between people of Afrikan heritage and the rest of society cannot take place without public acknowledgement of the crimes against Afrikan people and their descendants over five centuries and counting, and without UK governmental action to enable redress and reparation for the brutal injustices committed in the past which still continues into the present. We call upon the British state to honour the need and right of the descendants of the 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.”
The SMWeCGEC is also galvanising grassroots work towards establishing glocal sittings of the Ubuntukgotla Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ) as part of a series of actions which will put a full stop, by way of holistic and transformative reparations, to all acts of Genocide/Ecocide against Afrikan people.
It is important to note that the APPCITARJs, combined with the establishment of glocal sittings of the U-PITGJ are essential to legitimize other forms of direct action, which are increasingly being resorted to by communities of Afrikan Reparatory Justice Interest especially in Afrika, more so given the fact that the demands contained within the SMWeCGEC are not as yet being met by non-violent means. The SMWeCGEC therefore acts as an important catalyser to continue the process of Afrikan People’s self-liberation to victory and in the process to effect and take reparations by our own efforts.
First Nation Brother & Sister from Australia and Fiji – Ghillar Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union of Aboriginal Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of Euahlayi Peoples Republic & Fijian Lawyer, Oni Kirwin representing the Fiji Native Government in Exile, domiciled in Australia
Notably, the SMWeCGEC has been helping to consolidate the PRIM of which the ISMAR is part, through participating and helping to shape the Spearhead Pacific Alliance and BOOMERANGCIRCUIT Preparatory Conference for the 2017 Pacific Alliance Gathering of Colonised Peoples & Sovereign Peoples Union for Global Justice through Decolonisation and Reparations (11-14/10/16). This prep conference produced the ‘London Statement of Common Purpose’ arising from this momentous event, which continues in the best Black radical traditions in our Peoples making of world history. The International Consultative Preparatory Forum (ICPF) was initiated by, members of the SMWeCGEC and the AEDRMC working through the Popular Educational Complex of Black Empowerment Action Learning (PECOBEAL) and the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) in partnership with the First Nations ‘Spearhead Pacific Alliance’ on Decolonisation and Reparations in alliance of Tribal Chiefs, Rulers, Lawmen and Law women and includes the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples of Australia ; the Union of British Columbian Chiefs who are non-Treaty Nations; and colonized Pacific Nations, including the Fiji Native Government-in-Exile.
Reparations by our own people’s power
Adapted version of Jean-Jacques Dessalines Original Haitian Flag
Our history shows us that the greatest examples of us effecting and securing reparatory justice is by our own people’s efforts, such as in the case of the Haitian Revolution.
Drawing from and reformulating the notion of reparations enforcement, the SMWeCGEC also advocates a form of reparations enforcement. Reparations enforcement is the 21st century reparations activism paradigm. Armed with the various programmes and declarations that have sought to address our people’s condition, wedded to our definition of reparations, we have moved from the position of simply advocating for reparations to that of enforcing our human, people’s and Mother Earth rights to be repaired.
A reparations enforcer is a person, organisation, or state who has an understanding, and acts upon that understanding, that reparations for people of Afrikan heritage is a vital matter of asserting human, peoples and Mother Earth rights.
The reparations enforcer effectively identifies and uses their internal resources to move the injuring parties – governments, corporations, institutions, or individuals – to stop manifestations of the Maangamizi, first and foremost; contribute to building healthy alternatives to the harmful manifestations of the Maangamizi, including such alternatives that will ensure the healing, repair, restoration, nation-building and sovereignty of Afrikan heritage communities.
“Reparations is like freedom, nobody gives you reparations, reparations is something you have to take”
Prophet Kwaku 2014, Co-Chair, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee
“I believe that there are now two reasons why people have not embraced this cause as their own. One is skepticism, and the other is racism, one doubts whether we can succeed, the other hopes that we do not. I do not have much to say to the racist, the one who wishes to deny us our rights only because of our colour. But I do have a few words for the [person] who though [he/she] wished us well, believes that we have taken on more than we can accomplish. I remind him that Samuel Johnson said that ‘nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.’ And finally, I refer him to James Baldwin, who said, I know that what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand. And one is after all emboldened by the spectacle of human history in general, and [Afrikan Diaspora] history in particular, for it testifies to nothing less than the perpetual achievement of the impossible“
(bracketed text changes to reflect contemporary usage of terms).
Bashorun M.K.O Abiola, extracts from an address on ‘Reparation: Progress Report and Future Prospects’ – delivered in London on 3 May, 1992
Please note, this update has been written by the SMWeCGEC Team although some of the members of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee are also members of this team. That being said, the SMWeCGEC Team takes full responsibility for the views and information presented expressed above.