‘Stop the Maangamizi We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign & Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament
Statement on the Relevance of Roger Hallam’s Comments Regarding the Shoah to Recognising, Counteracting & Preventing the Recurrence of the Maangamizi
Songs we would never hear! Histories we would never know! Art we would never see! Because the European had the capacity to destroy and didn’t have the moral restraint not to.
Professor Maulana Karenga
As an Afrikan Heritage Community-based formation engaged in building an affinity relationship with Extinction Rebellion (XR), our ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) and its sister body the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP) feel compelled to say for history something about the globally significant conflict now brewing in Extinction Rebellion (XR) pertaining to one of its co-founders, Roger Hallam.
In the English-language interview in Die Zeit published on the 20th November 2019 it is reported that Roger Hallam said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history.” He listed other mass killings in the past 500 years, including the Belgians’ slaughter in the Congo Free State; which was a corporate state in Central Afrika that King Leopold II of Belgium claimed private ownership of and evolved into evolved into a colony (the Belgian Congo) in the land now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Roger Hallam pointed out: “They went to the Congo in the late 19th century and decimated it.” For the information of those not yet aware of this conflict, it is necessary to note that he was also quoted as having said that, seen in this context, the Jewish Holocaust was “almost a normal event … just another fuckery in human history”.
Nsala, the man in the picture, was photographed by English missionary Alice Seeley Harris after he arrived at her mission in The Congo (1904) clutching a parcel that contained what was left of his five-year-old daughter. She’d been killed and dismembered as a punishment when his village failed to meet the rubber quotas demanded by the imperial regime. The Harris Lantern Slide Show © Anti-Slavery International
For some context about Roger Hallam’s reference to the Congo see:
Children who had been mutilated through amputation under the regime of King Leopold II
It is also important to read King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa written by Adam Hochschild, of which a documentary version is available. Just last week it was announced Ben Affleck would be producing and directing a film inspired by this book.
As organisations campaigning on our Afrikan Heritage Community experience of the particular manifestations of a special type of genocide and ecocide that we refer to as the Maangamizi, which is not only in the past but continues into the present, and to which Roger Hallam was making reference to, we cannot keep silent on this matter. For us, the issue that is being missed, if you read Rogers comments in context, and which none of the statements being issued officially by XR have recognised or commented on so far, is the reference to the genocide of Afrikans in the Congo which is only one of the many heinous crimes of what we in the SMWeCGEC and GAPP refer to as the Maangamizi. The Maangamizi has represented an existential threat to the peoplehood, self-determination and agency of Afrikan people for the past 500+ years of world history.
This is not a Genocide Olympics. In the rush to condemn Roger Hallam for his comments there is an equally epistemically and structurally violent denial of the omnicides against Afrikan, Aboriginal and Indigenous Humanity, (non-European humanity in short). In the reactions to Roger Hallam’s quoted comments in newspapers, what is inferred is the view that the Shoah, (Jewish Holocaust) was exceptional above all other Holocausts and genocides. Whilst it is true, as the axiom goes “no one cries more than the bereaved”, from the quoted comments, it is clear that Roger Hallam, like many others especially from the affected communities take the view that other genocides also need recognition prevention and redress. To do so is not to deny, denigrate or reduce the significance of the Shoah.
At the International Conference on Genocide Prevention that took place in Brussels from 31 March – 1 April 2014, Yehuda Bauer stated that “The Holocaust is not unique; it is unprecedented, and that means that it is a precedent that can be repeated (though not in the same way), unless we prevent that ”
A Matter of Comparison, The Holocaust, Genocides and Crimes Against Humanity: An Analysis and Overview of Comparative Literature and Programs by Koen Kluessien & Carse Ramos, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Incidentally, the Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) was established to work on how best to support teachers who choose to relate the Holocaust to other genocides and crimes against humanity. According to the above report: A Matter of Comparison, the Holocaust, Genocides and Crimes Against Humanity a central accomplishment of the Committee was the publication of the series of documents including The Holocaust and Other Genocides which offers ideas and recommendations to educators teaching about the Holocaust and its relationship to other genocides and crimes against humanity. In the Why relate the Holocaust to other genocides and crimes against humanity?
section of the aforementioned report, the authors “summarise a number of important reasons why it can be valuable to offer such a comparative approach, points out some challenges, and concludes with some reasons or agendas that should not lie behind a comparative approach.”
So, we in the SMWeCGEC and GAPP are making this statement to highlight the fact that whilst not in favour of the unacceptable type of language that accompanied the main point in Roger’s original statement, we seek to highlight the most important fact is drawing attention to the currently ongoing genocide and ecocide, of which our continuing present-day Maangamizi is part of. This is the first time that someone racialised as white in a prominent campaigning organisation in Europe, a campaign that is currently in the global mainstream media limelight, has dared to lend support to something that our Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world has been drumming up for centuries. Our Maangamizi is one of the most horrendous, traumatizing and long-enduring up until now special types of genocide and ecocide of over 500 years duration. It continues into the present, even though the white supremacy racist establishment of Global Apartheid has terroristically compelled even some among our own Afrikan Heritage Communities and most Peoples of the world to be in denial of it.
The Shoah has quite rightfully been recognised and there are laws that protect against Jewish Holocaust denial. Yet people deny the Maangamizi of the past and present every day with impunity. We in the SMWeCGEC partner with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee to co-organise the annual 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and hand in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition to the Office of the UK Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street simply with a demand supported by thousands that we can have a dialogue with the British state and society via the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ).
Yet from 2015 until now, we have been denied a fair hearing and consistently been told “we do not believe that reparations are the answer” by officials of the British State. Speaking about the Afrikan case, we have no recognition and no justice!!!, even in this United Nations declared International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), in which the United Nations on behalf of the international community recognises that that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. Despite this progressive declaration the British State has said it will not recognise the Decade. Even within XR our demands for recognition of our Afrikan humanity gone unmet, with some pushing unto us the unfairly homogenizing descriptor ‘People of Colour’ as a way of not recognising the specific experiences of People of Afrikan heritage.
So, Afrikan Heritage youths, who have been raised in a society and world order where they are shown every day that their Black humanity and Afrikan lives do not matter have internalised this and are now the agents of what Black Panther Party Co-Founder Dr Huey P. Newton referred to as Reactionary Suicide (the act of Black self-murder) or what Scholar-Activist Psychologist Professor Amos Wilson refers to as Black-On-Black Violence: The Psychodynamics of Black Self-Annihilation in the Service of White Domination as was exemplified in the theme of the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March: ‘Continuing Our People’s 500 + Years Reparations Rebellion – Stop Terminating Our People: Rebelling Against and Redressing Youth Mentacide/Ecocide!!!’
We therefore overstand why, to those insisting on this denial of our Maangamizi, particularly in its present phase of neocolonial enslavement, with all of its horrors of Afriphobic and anti-Black racism, Roger Hallam is being lynched for being a ‘white race traitor’.
We dare all those all those who are ganging up to lynch Roger Hallam, beyond assisting him to correct his errors, to act in accordance with the XR demand to ‘tell the truth’. This means to confess truthfully that, actually, the one unspoken thing they are ganging up to mercilessly assassinate the character of Roger Hallam for, without any of the XR compassion for his human errors, is his daring to put the case we are making about our present-day experience of life as Afrikan People across the world as being a Hellacaust of continuing genocide and ecocide; of omnicide crimes continuing for centuries into the present as our Maangamizi!
Yes, this open pointing to the current situation of Afrikans and other still oppressed and super-exploited Peoples of the Global South, who are still being terrorised with genocide and ecocide by those in the Minority World of the Global North holding the reins of so much Global Apartheid racist power as to be perpetuating the vestiges of colonialism and the ravages of neo-colonialism, including forms of eco-fascism, against the will of our Peoples of the Majority World, is his real offence to them and others of their ilk.
We are not deceived by the claims being made by some of these elements condemning Roger Hallam that they are doing so in pursuit of Global Justice. What we really mean in our long-standing, painstaking and experiential learning Pan-Afrikan Freedom Fighting for Global Justice bears no resemblance to what they are claiming. As Activist-Writer Alice Walker says: “No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.” A climate of fear is being created within and around XR to terrorise those who do not share views similar to those now putting out blanket condemnatory statements about Roger Hallam’s comments.
Part of the context in what is being claimed to be hateful anti-Semitism and Jewish Holocaust denial on the part of Roger Hallam by some, is the Maangamizi against the OvaHerero and Nama People (1904–1908) by Germany’s Second Reich, under Kaiser Wilhelm II, which was a precursor to the Jewish Holocaust. True champions of Global Justice would know that the OvaHerero and Nama People have an ongoing movement for genocide recognition and redress.
As the article: In Germany’s Extermination Program for Black Africans, a Template for the Holocaust in the Times of Israel highlights – decades before the Nazis turned to the Jews, German colonialists who seized land and made it into a colony they called German Southwest Africa, (now known as Namibia) dehumanised, built death camps for, and slaughtered tens of thousands of OvaHerero and Nama People in a systematic genocide which was the “odious precursor of the Shoah.” As stated by the Post Conflict Research Center:
“How far back can the roots of the Holocaust be traced? The events that took place from 1941 – 1945 bore a striking resemblance to atrocities carried out years before in German South West Africa. Many of the ideologies that fuelled the Holocaust, as well as the means of systematic confinement and extermination of a people, began at the turn of the 20th century with the Herero and Nama.”
“Key perpetrators of this African genocide became high-ranking Nazis 30 years later. Names are chillingly familiar: Dr. Heinrich Ernst Goering was Namibia’s governor. His son, Hermann Goering, became a top Nazi leader. Eugen Fischer, a physician and professor of medicine, conducted experiments on the Herero that included forced sterilizations and injections of smallpox, typhus and tuberculosis. One of Fischer’s students was Dr. Joseph Mengele, known as the “angel of death” for sending people to the Auschwitz gas chambers and performing cruel medical experiments that he learned from Fischer. Franz Ritter von Epp commanded German troops against the Herero and later was a Nazi leader until he was captured by the U.S. Army in 1945. The list of names linking the Herero genocide to the Holocaust is horrifying.”
See also the following articles available on the worldwide web:
• European Holocaust Had Roots in Africa, Now Namibia is Suing Germany – Without Understanding What Happened to the Herero and Nama people, it is Impossible to Understand What Occurred Right Before and During World War II.
• Article on ‘Black People’ and the Holocaust on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website.
• It is also recommended one reads Germany’s Genocide of the Herero: Kaiser Wilhelm II, His General, His Settlers, His Soldiers by Jeremy Sarkin in which he argues that the history of the OvaHerero genocide remains a key issue for many around the world partly because the German policy not to pay compensation for the genocide contrasts with its long-standing Jewish Holocaust reparations policy.
“We Jews champion the phrase “Never Again” in regard to the Final Solution. We also enshrine throughout our religion and culture the principle of remembrance or zachor. We should make every effort to hear the pain, and to validate the suffering, of other ethnic groups who also anguished under the nightmare of genocide. To do so is not to diminish our own tragedy. It is not to make comparisons or parallels. It is not to engage in an absurd exercise in gamesmanship over who suffered more terribly, us or them. It is, instead, to ennoble our own perseverance as a people. For if we fail to remember the genocides of the Armenians and the Herero, then we abdicate our own moral standing to ask the same of ourselves.“
It is clear to see that in the case of the Genocide of Afrikans in the Congo as well as that of the OvaHerero and Nama, Afriphobic racism belittles the memory of its victims and accounts for the differential outcomes of struggles for redress by their descendants.
These are photos from Esther Stanford-Xosei’s 2017 trip to Namibia as a guest of honour of the Ovaherero & Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation (OGF) for the 111th Commemoration of the Extermination Order which ushered in the OvaHerero-Nama Genocide
Our very track-record of activism on counteracting the Maangamizi demands that we do not succumb to this climate of epistemic and structural violence growing in XR at this time around this issue; but must rather truthfully speak in defence of those from amongst our allies who are seeking to do what the likes of: Abolitionists John Brown, Thomas and Lydia Hardy, Thomas Spence, Thomas Clarkson, Mary and John Estlin; Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst; Scholar-Activist Historians Basil Davidson, Noel Ignatiev and Peter Fryer; as well as Black Liberation Army member, Marilyn Jean Buck have. Despite risking public condemnation we know, as Warrior-Poet Audre Lorde in her ‘Litany for Survival’ says, for those of us who have been “imprinted by fear“… it is better to speak, remembering we were never meant to survive.”
We hope the likes of Roger Hallam will be inspired and strengthened by such gallant predecessors and unswervingly walk their talk with striving even harder in internationalist solidarity with our Afrikan and all other oppressed Peoples, to finally put a full-stop to the Maangamizi and other continuing forms of genocide and ecocide. This is necessary to unify truly progressive forces in addressing the Climate and Ecological Crisis with holistic Planet Repairs in their Reparatory Justice meaningfulness; with a view to delivering the Global Justice for All that will enable us to win our own Maatubuntuman as one of the cornerstones for building Ubuntudunia together with all Humanity.
Stop the Maangamizi!
Build Maatubuntuman for Ubuntudunia!
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP)
Leadership Facilitating Team
Kambanda Veii, Jendayi Serwah, Esther Stanford-Xosei & Utjuia Esther Muinjangue Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March (2017)
BBC- Victoria Derbyshire Show
CLIVE SMITH – AS IT IS TV
NATION OF ISLAM – London Study Group
We in the ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) would like to extend our deep thanks and appreciation for the coverage Got Kush TV provided in preparation for the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and its all-year round campaigning work conducted through the SMWeCGEC as well as coverage of the March itself.
Although the 2019 Reparations March pre-March interviews below are relevant to the all-year round activism in advancement of the cause of reparations and strengthening the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
The following videos are coverage of the actual 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March including some of the speeches:
The above image is the © copyright of photojournalist Thabo Jaiyesimi and must be accredited as such.
Please note, only copies of the additional 2,828 signatures collected between last year (14,590) and this year (17,418) were handed in with a copy of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition. Every year we tend to copy the same petitions and re-submit them with additional signatures collected. For environmental reasons, it was determined that we would only hand in the additional signatures collected this year until we reach 100,000 signatures that will be handed in all together when that figure is reached. Or in the alternative that the lobbying efforts of MPs and other elected officials via the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Postcard yield the desired results. However, the SMWeCGEC is not relying on securing 100,000 to secure the campaign objectives, as ultimately reparatory justice will be effected, secured and taken by our own People’s Power, supported by other People’s of Conscience as well as our non-Afrikan Allies as part of PRIM-building.
In total 17,418 people have now signed the petition, this includes those who sign the online petition and the paper version.
Although 6 Petitioners were present as identified in the covering letter to the UK pRIME Minister which accompanied the petition, only 4 of the 6-member delegation were able to hand in the petition this year due to 2 members of the delegation unfortunately forgetting their ID.
This is a link to info about the petition hand-ins in the three preceding years:
This is a copy of the letter that accompanied the 2015 petition hand-in:
We in the ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) would like to extend our deep thanks and appreciation for the coverage Got Kush TV provided in preparation for the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and its all-year round campaigning work conducted through the SMWeCGEC.
Although the 2019 Reparations March has now taken place, the interviews below are relevant to the all-year round activism in advancement of the cause of reparations and strengthening the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
On Saturday 24th February 2019 a historic meeting took place in Bristol co-organised by Extinction Rebellion Bristol (XR Bristol), the ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign (SMWeCGEC) and the Bristol based Afrikan ConneXions Consortium (ACC).
The theme of the meeting was ‘Legacies of Enslavement and Resistance For Rebellion Today‘. It was co-chaired by Robin Boardman from XR Bristol and Jendayi Serwah, Co-Vice Chair, SMWeCGEC who introduced the meeting and the interconnections between XR Bristol, SMWeCGEC and ACC. Kofi Mawuli Klu, a Pan-Afrikanist political activist and SMWeCGEC Co-Vice Chair spoke on ‘Lessons from Abolitionist Resistance for Stopping the Maangamizi Today By the Necessary Reparatory Justice Means of Extinction Rebellion’.
In his message, Kofi explored the legacies of the history of Afrikan & Abolitionist resistance to the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust) which can be drawn on in building solidarities with the Extinction Rebellion Movement today in tackling common goals of stopping ecocide, genocide and repairing the World.
There were participatory workshop discussions which followed the presentation.
The following was a video taken by Extinction Rebellion Bristol of the introductory messages from Robin, Jendayi as well as Kofi’s speech.
Pictures from the event, courtesy of Extinction Rebellion Bristol & Afrikan Connexions Consortium
I spoke as an activist in the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, in general and a representative of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) which takes a special interest in the connections between the Maangamizi (the Afrikan Hellacaust), the global Afrikan reparations claim arising from it, and a host of contemporary injustices that not only we as Afrikans, but also the rest of humanity faces and which endanger our very existence. That is the possibility of human and other species extinction.
Extinction is an expression of structural violence against Indigenous peoples and their relations, and colonial violence in particular; involving systemic forms of harm, exclusion and discrimination, each of which is ecologically devastating. So how does extinction apply to us as Afrikan Heritage Communities?; well, for over 500 years, the entre Maangamizi, in all its phases, rooted in the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Afrikans (TTEA), enslavement and colonialism, has been and still is geared towards the extinction of Afrikan people. These forms of colonial and structural violence not only involved mass killing, but also the invasion, occupation, settlement and despoliation of our Motherland, Afrika; uprooting and disordering Afrikan communities, trafficking millions of Afrikans into Abya Yala (the so-called Americas) which had genocidal and ecocidal outcomes; destroyed millions of lives over generations and changed the socio-economic fabric of existing societies in Afrika, Abya Yala and the Caribbean. For those that remained, this led to enduring injustice with intergenerational and epigenetic effects. For instance, undermining our own Afrikan modes of governance and kinship systems and in the process systematically destroying relationships between life forms in addition to epistemicide/s or the erasure of knowledges. Such forms of violence weakened the co-constitutive relationships between Afrikan Heritage communities, other life forms and ecosystems that have enabled our collective survival in harmony with nature for millennia.
An aspect of genocide is “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” Various aspects of these harms are epitomised in the twelve manifestations of ecocide and genocide highlighted in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition, a grassroots tool of the SMWeCGEC, working towards genocide and ecocide prevention by mobilising people as part of the People’s Reparations International Movement (PRIM) and the ISMAR to stop various manifestations of the Maangamizi. The third manifestation of the Maangamizi contained in the petition is: denial of Black and Afrikan ‘Mother Earth’ (Nana Asase Yaa), human and peoples’ rights to national self-determination as an oppressed People. In the petition, various other ‘power disparities’ and inhumane public policies and practices are identified which have genocidal outcomes and continue to cause devastation to Afrikan Heritage Communities within and beyond the UK. Such policies and practices have resulted in the decimation of generation after generation of people of Afrikan heritage due to ecocidally induced physical and cultural genocide, the destruction of ecological and social life-systems as well as natural flora and fauna. Not to mention the perpetration of a myriad of other environmental crimes such as wildlife crimes, illegal logging, illegal fishing, illegal waste disposal and pollution, illegal traffic of ozone-depleting substances and illegal mining.
Some of the genocidal outcomes for Afrikan Heritage Communities include:
• Physical, biological, economic, cultural genocide
• Social and civil death of Afrikan People.
• Ecocide of our environment.
However, the life-destroying pollution of our planet, anti-Black racism, its specific form of Afriphobia and the impoverishment of whom Frantz Fanon referred to as the ‘Wretched of the Earth’, all arguably have their causes in the current unjust world system. Many scholar-activists have helped us to understand that the current world system is rooted in and has been established through the Transatlantic enslavement of Afrikans. We as an Afrikan-led Reparatory Justice campaign are therefore working as an affinity group and campaign which is building solidarities with the Extinction Rebellion Movement on the basis of the commonality of interest we share in rebelling against ecocide and ensuring accountability for environmental crimes. In addition to the fact that our campaign itself is a form of ‘rebellion against extinction.’ – In that it is safeguarding Afrikan people’s role as custodians of humanity’s futures; which focuses on the racialised and other intersectional destruction/s of genocide and ecocide as deliberately inflicted forms of colonial, imperialist violence against Afrikans, indigenous peoples and Mother Earth, in furtherance of advancing holistic reparatory justice. This is something which PARCOE, the reparations coalition I am part, of refers to as Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. In this regard, the SMWeCGEC has been heavily influenced by PARCOE’s approach or (‘overstanding’) of the problem of climate change from a Pan-Afrikan internationalist perspective; therefore seeing the climate emergency as the result of the criminal imposition – by the ruling classes of Europe – of a rapacious system expropriating the resources of the globe, not only at the expense of the majority of Humanity, but also to the detriment of our Mother Earth.
Our strapline in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign is ‘stopping the harm – the first step to repairing the damage’. By repairing the damage we are referring to reparations or as we prefer to say, Reparatory Justice. We see this as the beginning of the solution to reversing centuries of super-exploitation and extractivism and ending the ‘climate emergency’ and its corollary ‘human and peoples rights emergency’. Enforced access to much of the world’s natural capital – oil, gas, timber, minerals which lies on or beneath lands occupied by Afrikan, indigenous and Aboriginal peoples often entails land evictions, displacements, forced relocations, arrests, abuses and killings and other violations. For us as people of Afrikan heritage, reparations cannot simply be limited to financial compensation alone due to the nature of the damage and existential threat that we are facing. Comprehensive and adequate reparations require the removal of structures built on centuries of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes of aggression, in the forms of enslavement, colonialism and neo-colonialism or what we refer to as the Maangamizi.
Reparations must entail the cessation of current violations, such as environmental crimes in particular, and guarantees of non-repetition including true decolonisation and the restitution of sovereignty for Afrikan, Aboriginal and other indigenous peoples globally. For sovereignty, as conceptualised by Afrikan and indigenous peoples, is indispensable to halting the destruction of Nana Asase Yaa (Mother Earth) as our home; which has been caused by the structurally violent European initiated cultural, political, socio-economic system known as capitalism that is rooted in the genocide of indigenous and Afrikan peoples, chattel enslavement and the dispossession of ancestral lands, territories and natural resources.
Afrikans, Aboriginal and indigenous peoples have always known that the processes of genocide and ecocide are inseparable, for what has happened to our people and the lands on which we live are interconnected. In the Pan-Afrikan perspective of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign this warrants an ‘overstanding’ that in stopping the harms of ecocide and genocide, we not only have to emancipate and save ourselves, but this process of stopping the harm and repairing the damage must also result in the repair of humanity and the cosmos. Since we as Afrikan people, who in the words of Audre Lorde, “were never meant to survive,” see that we have unique insights into what it means to be in stewardship of this World, Planet and Cosmos.
Accordingly, one of the seven goals of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice is to “Enforce environmental elements of global justice full respect for Mother Earth/ Nana Asase Yaa rights.” However, we know that we cannot accomplish even our own self-determined goals for Reparatory Justice fully without working with others who are seeking to achieve similar goals of revolutionary social change and transformation. As the Afrikan freedom fighter Samora Machel said: “International solidarity is not an act of charity: it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives. The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”
But how do we repair the loss of a future?
We have to destroy the peace of those who are too comfortable to change in order to rebuild!
By all means, we must escalate the rebellion by building alternative futures.
I close with some words of wisdom from the Calypsonian Baron’s ‘Mother Earth is Dying’.
Today the things we nurture could determine the future
And pray what would the picture be
See grandson and granddaughter fighting, chaos and disaster
As Mother Earth protest violently
Wake up, wake up people and be part of the struggle!
The planet earth in serious trouble
We got to end this melancholy refrain
We cannot afford to lose Paradise again
That’s why I’m pleading.
Mother Earth is crying, she say to stop the polluting…
Mother Earth is Dying, we got to stop the polluting…
Whole attitude got to change, and priorities rearrange
We got to become more competent
The way we protect the environment
And fight, fight for all that it’s worth
Fight to save Mother Earth…
Mother Earth crying…
In case you don’t know, the planet Earth dying slow
What a sad way to go.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator-General, ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
The ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) was represented as part of a group of global witnesses who took part in the recent #RebellionDay organised by Extinction Rebellion on Saturday 17th November 2018. The Extinction Rebellion is a movement composed of several thousand people across the UK and other parts of the world that is using nonviolent direct action, economic disruption and civil disobedience to demand action on the climate emergency. “Based on the science,” reads Extinction Rebellion’s website, “we have ten years at the most to reduce CO2 emissions to zero, or the human race and most other species are at high risk of extinction within decades.”
At their launch on 31st October 2018, (with more than 1,000 protesters blocking Parliament Square in London), Extinction Rebellion issued a ‘Declaration of Rebellion‘ against the UK Government for its inaction on the climate crisis. Citing inspiration from grassroots movements such as Gandhi’s independence marches, the Suffragettes, the Civil Rights Movement and Occupy, Extinction Rebellion has attracted much support from religious groups. Such groups include Christian Climate Action, which has had several of its members arrested due to taking part in some of Extinction Rebellion protest actions.
So, what happened?
#RebellionDay was the climax of XR’s first week of coordinated actions of civil disobedience against the British Government for its criminal inaction in the face of the climate and ecological emergency which we all face. According to the Extinction Rebellion Press Release:
“More than 6,000 people have occupied five bridges in central London to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis – and to put pressure on the Government to come clean on the fact that there is a climate emergency.
This is the first time in living memory that a protest group has intentionally and deliberately blocked the five iconic bridges of central London – Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges.”
This action brought huge disruption to central London. According to Extinction Rebellion 85 people were arrested. The Metropolitan Police said most arrests were for breaches of the Highway Act, however all of the 82 conscientious protectors have now been released under investigation.
Extinction Rebellion’s topline demands are:
1. The Government must admit the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse all policies inconsistent with addressing climate change, and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
2. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
3. A national Citizen’s Assembly must be created, to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
The following Afrikan Heritage Community groups and organisations were also represented: PARCOE, the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament and INOSAAR-RepAfrika. SMWeCGEC members Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu spoke at Blackfriars Bridge as well as at the Extinction Assembly, which took part on Westminster Bridge. They are part of a group of Global South ‘witnesses’ who were invited to “bear witness” to the impact of the climate emergency in their countries. The final part of the action involved a Citizens Assembly where attendees formed small groups as part of a sit-in on Westminster Bridge and discussed the question: ‘How do you think societies should be organised to create a world for our children?’ #RebellionDay concluded with an interfaith ceremony in Parliament Square, where the action was taken to plant some trees!
Global South Witnesses speaking about West Papua, Mongolia, Afrika & the Caribbean
Why is the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign linking with Extinction Rebellion?
Actually, we were first contacted by a member of Extinction Rebellion who expressed an interest in becoming a ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ petition-action-learner. After some correspondence, a colleague from the CAFA Archival Resources Team (CARAT) based at May Day Rooms met some of the leaders of Extinction Rebellion who asked to meet some of us, so a PARCOE representative also involved in this campaign, together with the CARAT met and started discussing terms of engagement. After some discussion, the SMWeCGEC decided to fully engage with Extinction Rebellion in their activities and explore how best we could collaborate. Not least because working with Extinction Rebellion is being done in fulfilment of some of our own Pan-Afrikan internationalist campaign aims.
Aims three and four of the SMWeCGEC are to:
- Mobilise petition signers/supporters to organise as a community of advocates for ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ as a force within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
- Catalyse the development of such a force into an integral part of the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) to ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ and build MAATUBUNTUMAN as the most effective way to prevent its recurrence as well as effect and secure measures of reparatory justice from the ground-up.
It is therefore the view of the SMWeCGEC that our campaign can be strengthened in the process of building a concrete relationship with concrete allies engage in forms of resistance to aspects of the Maangamizi and who are also in pursuit of similar objectives as us; such as stopping ecocide, taking seriously the threat of human and other species extinction, as well as countering extractivism and reversing the harmful effects of extractive industries etc. It is our belief that this inter-movement dialogue and action has the potential for galvanising and strengthening the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) and through that also its constituent part, the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
We have therefore linked up with Extinction Rebellion because of the common interest we share in exposing, tackling and trying to stop the harms of ecocide as well as seeking to bring about a different World Order in which people relate to each other, to the World, Mother Earth and the Cosmos in accordance with the principles of ubuntu. This is what we refer to as Ubuntudunia, (a Pan-Afrikan conception of a world of global justice for all, consisting of the terms ubuntu + dunia which is Kiswahili term for world); something which is possible that our combined efforts with such movements, who are also organising to bring about global justice can achieve. Whilst one of the specific reparations goals of the ISMAR is to establish MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrkan Union of Communities, part of the work of the PRIM is to achieve Ubuntudunia.
You see, as activists and campaigners, we often know what we are fighting against but do not always take the time to prefigure the alternative world and realities that we wish to see. As you may be aware, the SMWeCGEC partners with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which last year adopted the theme: promoting the reparatory justice change we are organising to bring about.
It is the view of the SMWeCGEC that working with the Extinction Rebellion will catalyse the evolution of the Reparations March by facilitating the participation of those who are interested in the Ubuntu Non-Afrikan Allies Bloc of the Reparations March in Extinction Rebellion activities in such a way that furthers our mutual action-learning.
Whilst many critique marching, we see the Reparations March as a dress rehearsal and part of the preparatory process for the development of other tactics and forms of organisation which will lead to the achievement of our strategic objectives of holistic Reparatory Justice. Hence why the SMWeCGEC initiated the ISMAR Advocates training course in 2016 as a springboard to develop the necessary training that is required to organise mass civil disobedience.
We are working with Extinction Rebellion internationally because it is also important to globalise work on exposing and stopping the Maangamizi to achieve Reparatory Justice all over the world. This work involves our colleagues in Vazoba Afrika & Friends Networking Open Forum and the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC) as well as the West Afrikan Grassroots Preparatory Action Coordinating Committee of the INOSAAR (WAGPACC-INOSAAR).
Where do we go from here?
We will now make use of the opportunity we have to reflect on the lessons rom this first action-learning encounter with Extinction Rebellion in terms of assessing what possibilities exist, preparing for further dialogue with Extinction Rebellion and working out how we take on board lessons from their experiences of non-violent direct action and mass civil disobedience and how we also respond to their interest in learning from us. One of the key points of action-learning is how non-violent direct action relates to implementation of the aims of the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
We take on board the above point made by Extinction Rebellion as it is something which we are also familiar hearing from many critics of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March. Hence why the following theme for the 2018 People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Afrikan Reparations (POPSAR) @Parliament Square as part of the programme of the Reparations March:
Be it resolved, the Reparations March, as a form of reparatory justice street protest, is being made inadequate due to inactivity by the majority of its participants in taking steps to advance the campaign for reparations between the annual marches.
Indeed, many have critiqued the Reparations March but have not presented an evidence base for the alternative strategies of tactics which can bring about reparatory justice social change. We as the SMWeCGEC are now also working with allies that are demonstrating with action what alternative tactics can be, through their own self-disciplined, organisation and sacrifice for a cause which they feel is greater than themselves.
It is true, unless those who are serious about the goals of the ISMAR and effecting and securing holistic Reparatory Justice are willing to take organised forms of resistance in the form of planned mass civil disobedience then not much will change. However, this is not a call to undisciplined rioting, this is a call to work for purposeful rebellion by organising people who are willing to work together, to think together, to learn together, to learn from each other, to learn from others including non-Afrikan allies; to strategise as well as build the necessary infrastructure for making such tactics of rebellion a reality.
Esther Stanford-Xosei & Kofi Mawuli Klu holding placard of Dr. Gail Bradbrook, professor of molecular biophysics & co-founder of Rising Up!, which is now helping to organise the Extinction Rebellion
Kofi Mawuli Klu on Sky TV promoting #RebellionDay
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#Repost @tamsinomond (@get_repost) ・・・ what a way to begin This Historic day. Sky news kicks us off with an 8 minute report… 🌍🙌💚 Thank you Kofi Mawuli Klu, Ghanaian environmentalist, human rights activist and Rebel who joins us today on one of our five bridges. We need you to join us to – to fight for yourself, for our planet, for Kofi, for the future. This day is the beginning of the rest of our lives. We can build new realities, emerging from the defunct structures of capitalism, we can build a world of resistance, solidarity and love. Join us @extinctionrebellion #StopTheMaangamizi #Reparations #ExtinctionRebellion #WeChargeGENOCIDE #WechargeECOCIDE #wearetheoneswehavebeenwaitingfor
All images are the © copyright of Thabo Jaiyesimi and must be accredited as such
14,590 Signatures of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Petition handed-in
The 6-member delegation for the 2018 hand-in of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition were:
From Right to Left
1. Hon. Prophet Kweme Abubaka (Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, Ethiopia African Black International Congress)
2. Dr Barryl Biekman, (Europe-wide NGO Consultative Council for Afrikan Reparations, Netherlands)
3. Mama Lindiwe Tsele (Pan-African Congress of Azania)
4. Ms Kambanda Veii (Ovaherero Genocide Foundation, Namibia)
5. Cllr Joshua Brown-Smith, age 12 (Office of the Young Mayor, London Borough of Lewisham)
6. Professor Gus John (Gus John Associates, Member of the African Union Technical Union Technical Committee of Experts on the 6th Region).
The delegation which handed-in the 2018 ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide!’ Petition represents a selection of the diversity within our Afrikan Heritage Community. The Young, The Elders, Born on the Continent, Born in the Diaspora, Male and Female, and as in previous members some members flew in from Afrika and Europe!
#Parliament is a Crime Scene!
See the following letter which accompanied the hand-in of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition
Please note, the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition has been handed-in since 2015, in 2016 no signatures were handed in just the petition and a cover letter. In 2016, 5811 signatures were handed in, in 2017, 9636 signatures were handed in.
It is important to note that the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition is not the only tactic we are adopting, the petition signatures accompany a Maangamizi Crime Scene sticker operation and lobbying of MPs strategy via the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard involving support for developing Afrikan Heritage Community advocacy on the points contained in the petition.
It is also important to note that we in the International Steering Committee Spearhead Team of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign (ISC-SMWeCGEC) know that reparations will not be achieved simply by submitting this petition, if one reads the petition it is clear that this is not our thinking. In numerous articles and documents we talk about the March and the petition being part of revolutionary strategy and tactics that we are engaged in, which also involve all forms and levels of liberation struggle waged by various contingents of the International Social Movement for Afrikans (ISMAR).
The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and the annual hand-in of the petition is about building a broad public support base for consolidating the ISMAR in order to strengthen the harnessing and building of Afrikan people’s power to advance reparations to definitive victory; whiincluding the establishment of MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities.
See the following links for further info about the strategy and tactics of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee:
As we approach the 3rd year of marching, what has been achieved? (2016)
After 4 years of marching, what has been achieved? (2017)
Rationale for Afrikan Reparations March (2018)
This video is of a workshop which took place on Friday 27th July, 2018 and provides some elaboration on the revolutionary thinking and work into for the long-term results that the March is meant to produce and to which it is already contributing.
This is a link to the initial response that was received from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in response to the 2017 ‘Stop of the Maangamizi!’ Petition and its covering letter, and also the further response from FCO Minister Lord Ahmad.