“The great tide of history flows and as it flows it carries to the shores of reality the stubborn facts of life and [hu]man’s relations one with another. One cardinal fact of our time is the momentous impact of Afrika’s awakening upon the modern world. The flowing tide of Afrikan nationalism sweeps everything before it and constitutes a challenge to the colonial powers to make a just Restitution for the years of injustice and crimes committed against our continent.“
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, from his Friday 23rd September 1960 address to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, USA.
We in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC), in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) are working in partnership with VAZOBA Afrika & Friends Networking Open Forum who organise the annual SANKOFAAPAE Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice International Libation Ceremony (SANKOFAAPAE-PARJILC), every year in solidarity with the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which takes place on the 1st August.
VAZOBA are calling Afrikans throughout the Continent and Diaspora of Afrika, and good Friends of Afrika from all over the world to join them on Wednesday, 1st August 2018. The 3rd SANKOFAAPAE-PARJILC will take place in Accra, Ghana as part of the International Reparations for Emancipation Season in glocal link with the Reparations March in London, UK.
Venue: Osekan Rock Oceanic Retreat, Accra, Ghana
Contact Details: +233 (0) 574619258 or +233 (0) 203790105
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We must have every inch of our lands, every one of our mines and industries…”
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah
The SANKOFAAPAE-PARJILC is a strictly non-party political activity of various grassroots progressive forces of Pan-Afrikan civil society which are independently mobilizing for the ground-up popular education, reparatory justice civic conscientization and its relevant human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights awareness raising among ordinary masses of peoples throughout the World to achieve our interconnected vision of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
We in the SMWeCGEC and the AEDRMC highly appreciate what is being done in Ghana and encourage all those interested in the Reparations March living in Ghana or West Afrika to help build and strengthen this satellite process in Ghana and extend it into the countries in which you live, even if you are not resident in Ghana. We recognise the SANKOFAAPAE as a unity promotional endeavour, of global dimensions, for connecting into the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR). In addition to the efforts being made by various indigenous Afrikan communities in Afrika to assert their rights to self-determination and reconstruction of nationhood including overcoming the divisions imposed by the artificially created European borders and other manifestations of the Maangamizi which continue into the present to the detriment of their Afrikan personality, humanity and sovereignty.
Examples of such national self-determinist endeavours with reparatory justice bearings which seek to overcome the divisive colonial 1884-1885 boundaries of the Congress of Berlin and counter the ensuing Euro-centric economic and geopolitical interests which have been inimical to the aspirations of Afrikans include, but are not restricted to:
• Ablodeduko Movement for Gbetowo Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Self
• Determination, Unification and Sovereignty
• Edo People’s Movement for the Restoration of Benin
• Igbo National Self-Determination Movement
• Movement For the Survival of the Ogoni People
• Niger Delta Sovereignty Movement
• O’odua Liberation Movement/Yoruba Self-Determination Movement
• Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom Movement
• Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council
• Sahrawi National Liberation Movement
• Kgeikani Kweni Movement (First People of the Kalahari)
• Nubian Katala Movement
• OvaHerero & Nama Genocide Redress Movement
• Marikana Massacre Redress Movement
• Nyasaland Massacre Redress Movement
• Ethiopian Genocide Redress Movement
• Bamileke Genocide Redress Movement
• Oromo Liberation Movement
• Tigrayan Liberation Movement
• Muhimu Kenya, Land & Freedom Army Movement
• Maasai Autonomy Movement
• Landless Peoples Movement of Azania/Namibia
• Abahlali base Mjondolo Shackdwellers Movement
• Affirmative Repositioning Movement
• Naija Resitance Movement
• People’s Union of Cameroon
• Economic Freedom Fighters of Azania
• Peoples Land Organisation
• Pan-Afrikan Congress of Azania
• Togo Resistance Movement
The SANKOFAAPAE is also relevant to providing global visibility for such self-determination battles and the communities waging them in order to facilitate Pan-Afrikan internationalist solidarity. In addition to reinvigorating our Pan-Afrikan Liberation Struggle for the Reparatory Justice regeneration of our Communities of Resistance to the MAANGAMIZI everywhere; in order not only to stop its devastating crimes of Genocide/Ecocide but also to speed up our walking the talk of principled unity in rebuilding our interconnecting Afrikan Communities of Reparations Interest at home and abroad as the cornerstones of our future MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities. MAATUBUNTUMAN is an organic integration of our autonomous Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSDs) in the Diaspora into the Sankofahomes Liberated and Contested Zones on our Mothercontinent of Afrika! All this being done in accordance with the ‘Right to Afrika’ being championed by ENGOCCAR as the most vital aspect of the UN ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’.
See this link for videos of activities which took place in Namibia and Ghana last year in solidarity with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
*The Indigenous concept of Rematriation refers to restoring a living material culture to its rightful place on Mother Earth; restoring a people to a spiritual way of life, in sacred relationship with their ancestral lands; and reclaiming ancestral remains, spirituality, culture, knowledge and resources.
“Convinced that the pursuit of reparations by the Afrikan peoples in the continent and in the Diaspora will itself be a learning experience in self-discovery and in uniting experience politically and psychologically.”
A Declaration of the first Abuja Pan-Afrikan Conference on Reparations for Afrikan Enslavement, Colonisation and Neo-Colonisation, sponsored by the Organisation of African Unity and its Reparations Commission April 27-29, 1993, Abuja, Nigeria
“Afrika is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Afrikans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Afrika’s impoverishment.”
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, ‘Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism’ (1965).
You Can Still Participate If You are in Another Country Outside of the UK
We invite you to also organise a solidarity march or event in your locality or country on the 1st August 2018.
If you are not able to organise a march, we encourage you to organise some other type of solidarity reparations action, activity or event such as: a libation ceremony (as occurs annually in Accra, (Ghana), rally, reparations radiothon e.g. #Conversation Reparations (as occurs in the USA) or reparatory justice ‘occupations’ of specific places with connections to the Maangamizi, in the past or the present. For example, companies, university campuses or historic building sites.
Even if your community were not enslaved or colonised by the British Empire, you can still connect with what we are doing in the UK by highlighting and educating people about the British Establishment’s complicity in the Maangamizi as it affects and impacts on your personhood, family and/or community.
Examples of such impacts may include, land grabs, extractive industries, environmental degradation, GMOs, tax-dodging and other forms of corporate looting, debt-bondage, various forms of externally reinforced reactionary violence such as USA-AFRICOM presence and proxy wars in addition to fratricidal inter and intra-community violence in self-destructive subservience to the global system of white supremacist racism, including its gendered forms.
At a minimum, please consider sending a solidarity statement to email@example.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Debate is combat, but your weapons are words”
Melvin B. Tolson (Denzil Washington) in the ‘Great Debaters’
What is the POPSAR?
The People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Afrikan Reparations (POPSAR) at Parliament Square is a mass consciousness-raising forum for public debate and discourse on manifestations of the Maangamizi necessitating Afrikan Reparations which takes place as part of the programme of the annual 1st August, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March. It is a public forum where we 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 POPSAR enables the constructive channelling of the ‘battle of ideas’ as an important ideological tool for ascertaining greater clarity as to strategy and tactics for effecting, securing and taking reparations. 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. Indeed this being one which succeeds in presenting a credible political, social and economic narrative around which the movement seeks to transform hearts and minds to support; which is in itself an alternative to that of the dominant white supremacy racist, capitalist class.
Motion to be debated:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT 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.
(The topic is deliberately framed in this way to elicit strong responses to rebut this proposition)
Invited guests will speak for 3 mins for/against.
This POPSAR topic should encourage and inspire intense debate, discussion and dialogue in the lead up to the 2018 March.
Rationale for this topic
Each year guidance as part of the mobilisation for and between the annual marches guidance is provided by the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) and its partner the ‘Stop the Maangamzi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) on how the campaign for reparations can be advanced, the movement strengthened and suggestions are offered on how to take action. This ranges from ‘shutting down’ Maangamizi crime scenes to organising to bring about the reparatory justice changes one desires, to creatively using the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition to galvanise action to address various manifestations of the Maangamizi as the first step to repairing and redressing the harm (reparations) to lobbying elected officials to take specific actions towards the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ).
It cannot be said that the organisers of the March in partnership with the SMWeCGEC have not in various ways outlined a plan for the types of action that people can be taking between the annual Marches. Even the flyers that were put out for the 2017 and 2018 Marches have indicated what steps people can be making. It is also recognised that these are not the only suggestions which have been made.
Nevertheless, the March as the most visible form of protest action in the annual calendar of events, activities and programmes of the UK contingent of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), is under incredible scrutiny and critique from those who are opposed to marching. For example, from those who feel it is an inadequate tactic or futile endeavour, those who advocate that there are more effective tactics, those who feel that the March and its partner campaign, the SMWeCGEC lacks a ‘meet our demands or else component’ as well as various detractors and naysayers.
It has been argued that whilst a significant number of people attend the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, these crowds are actually achieving very little in terms of furthering the campaign for reparations. The fervent political and cultural energy experienced by attendees on the ground is hugely disproportionate to the practical results of the March. The main critique of marching seems to be what happens after and between the Marches, the hodgepodge groups and individuals that participate do not necessarily have a commitment to engage in suggested follow-up action which is designed to help build the infrastructure for decision-making and for sustaining momentum between the Marches. Likewise, little is being offered by way of alternatives which people are advocating will yield better results.
This year are throwing the challenge back to you the people to state your case as to what we can and should be doing to improve the March, or what we should be doing instead, hence the topic for the 2018 POPSAR.
What is debating?
Debating involves examining ideas and policies with the aim of persuading people of the validity or futility of the ideas, policies being debated. It allows debaters to: consider and counter different arguments on the nature of the problem or solution being debated; engage with opposing views and to speak strategically.
How do we debate?
In every POPSAR session there is a motion: a statement (the truth or falsehood of which is examined in the debate), idea or policy that is framed and debated with the prefix, ‘This Gathering…’.
There are two sides to the debate, the proposition which supports the motion and the opposition which opposes or challenges it.
How is the POPSAR debate structured?
# of people in the POPSAR: 6
# of people in a team: 3
# of teams in the debate: 2
Duration of the speeches: 3 mins
All each person has to do is stand up and deliver a short speech – perhaps two to four key points they think will convince people to agree with their side of the argument. The speakers will take it in turns – first a speaker from the proposing team (the people who agree with the motion), then the opposing team (the people who disagree with the motion). Each team will have two contributors and the third will do a summary – conclusion.
The first speaker – proposing
The first speaker of the first team will probably introduce what they are going to say, introduce what their team member is going to say, make their own arguments (including answering any questions) and sum up.
If you were proposing (agreeing with) the motion above, as the first speaker you might:
1. Introduce what you are going to say
I am going to discuss …
2. Introduce what your colleague is going to say
My colleague will talk about …
3. Make your own arguments
The speaker will then go on to make these arguments. During this period, the other side will also have a chance to ask up to 2 questions:
Asking a question
At this point, someone from the other side might try to ask a question (we call this offering a ‘point of information’).
If the Speaker allows them to the debater might get to offer a reply
4. Summing up
After the debaters have presented all their arguments and allowed any questions, the next step is to sum up their proposing case – during this bit, the other side aren’t allowed to ask questions:
“So, in conclusion – While my colleague will continue the case by emphasising …., the points I have already made clearly illustrate why this Gathering should vote in favour of the motion…”
The first speaker – opposing
The first speaker against the motion will now start their speech, perhaps by going through the following process:
1. Introduce what they are going to say
“I am going to set out the case against the motion, with my key arguments being:..”
2. Introduce what your colleague is going to say
“My colleague will say…”
3. Respond to first speaker’s arguments
“However, before progressing to my main arguments I would like to take issue with some of the comments made by the first speaker for the proposition. They said that…”
4. Summing up
The first speaker for the opposition then needs to sum up their case.
The second/third speaker of the proposition team will now introduce what they are going to say, reflect on what their team member has said, make their own arguments (including answering any questions and responding to what the other team has said) and sum up. Again, the opposition team will do the same.
Although a debate is about making good arguments, it is also about showing you have listened to the other side, understood their arguments, and are willing to challenge them directly.
Once all three speakers for both teams have delivered their speeches, there is a debate from ‘the Gathering’ – this means anyone in the audience can ask a question or make a short speech in favour of one of the sides of the motion.
This part of the debate will last no longer than ten minutes.
After the floor debate, one speaker from each team gets three minutes to sum up their overall position at the end of the debate. This will include their own arguments and counters to the argument of the other side – and should leave the audience in no doubt as to who is offering the winning side of the case.
After the debate the public gathering decides who was most convincing. Allow for 2-4 points of information from the audience.
What makes a good POPSAR debater?
The audience are invited to judge the debaters on the basis of:
Content: What debaters say and the arguments and examples they use.
Style: How debaters express themselves and the language and voice they use.
Strategy: How well debaters engage with the topic, speak to the motion, respond to other people’s arguments and structure what they say.
Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy.
Questions to consider
1. Is the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March (‘The Reparations March’) nothing more than a group of attention seeking people with vague and conflicting messages and objectives on reparations parading through the streets of London begging and complaining?
2. Is the March achieving it’s aims?
3. Is the March succeeding in getting people politically mobilised to hold the British state accountable for its role in the Maangamizi?
4. What factors can increase success in implementation of the aims of the March?
5. What can we as stakeholders do to increase the numbers, diversity of constituencies of Afrikan heritage communities involved in planning, mobilising towards and participating in the March.
6. What work are you doing to help steer the energy galvanised by the March in the direction of political and policy change towards reparatory justice?
7. What role can and should allies play in mobilising for and between the Marches?
8. For those that still say that marching and petitioning, which actually cost us very little risk or harm in Britain today, achieve are a waste of time; what else is it you are prepared to do which you feel will bring about a more favourable response from the British state to our Afrikan Reparatory Justice demands?
9. What other initiatives or activities or protest actions are taking place that will be far more effective in holding the British state and other perpetrators of the Maangamizi to account?
10. What will make the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations actually move?
11. What are the methods that will effectively secure and win people of Afrikan heritage reparatory justice?
12. What have you been doing to promote the March or indeed what you may see as more effective alternatives to it?
Guidance on taking action previously put out
Call to Participate in the 2016 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March 2016
Reparations March 2017: invitation to participate
Reparations March 2017: call to action
Reparations March 2017: call to mobilise
SMWeCGEC Petition Update featuring video of AEDRMC Co-Chair Jendayi Serwah ‘Power is only going to respond to power’
Requoting from the 24th August SMWeCGEC Petition Update dated 24th August 2017
Increasingly it is becoming clearer that the British Government will only begin to listen to our Afrikan Reparatory Justice demands, including the demands of the SMWeCGEC when the advocacy, encouragement and support by our Afrikan Heritage Communities in Europe is given to the efforts of our Afrikan Communities of Resistance in Afrika, the Caribbean, other parts of Abya Yala, (the so-called Americas), as well as in Europe to shutting down extractive industries and other foreign corporate crime scenes of the Maangamizi. This is something we stated in the letter to the Prime Minister accompanying the 2017 hand-in of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition. It follows that the plunder of our community resources is still continuing to enrich white power in Britain and European domains of global apartheid across the world. We therefore need to seriously revisit some of the strategies and tactics with which our revered Ancestors fought successful liberation struggles; gaining some concessions that resulted in the official discontinuation of the British Empire, even from inside the brains and belly of the beast of the said Empire!
In fact, it is by pursuing strategies and tactics in Britain that advocated for, encouraged and supported actions of Afrikan people to make the British and other European Empires in Afrika, the Caribbean, Abya Yala as well as Asia ungovernable, which compelled changes in the British Empire, resulting in the proclamations of independence of our current nations states in Afrika and the Caribbean. A similar outcome and impact can be brought about again in our lifetime with the shutting down of Maangamizi crimes scenes in Afrika, the Caribbean, other parts of Abya Yala and Europe.
For those that still say they are not for petitioning or Marching, which actually cost us very little risk or harm in Britain today, what else is it you are prepared to do which you feel will bring about a more favourable response from the British state to our Afrikan Reparatory Justice demands?
The honestly critical discussion and reasoning that should flow from these perspectives of ours in the SMWeCGEC is something that we urge is carried out in Afrikan Heritage Communities not only in the UK, but throughout Europe, Afrika, Abya Yala and other parts of the world. We further urge that this is also done against the background of the historical legacies and the contemporary manifestations of the still ongoing Maangamizi as outlined in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition.
‘Take Action’ tab on the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ website
After 4 years of marching what has been achieved?
After the 2017 Reparations March: what next?
2017 POPSAR Topic
‘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 Maangamizi.
Please note: The topic was deliberately framed in this way to elicit strong responses to rebut this proposition.
Rationale for this topic
Micro-sites inter-personal violence between persons of Afrikan heritage communities, are not isolated manifestations. Instead, they are extensions of macro-state processes of violence. In other words, we must read inter-personal violence against men, women, children and young people of Afrikan heritage as part of the continuum of the state’s racialized, gendered, sexualized violence against Afrikan heritage communities. This is about showing the state’s complicity in ongoing intra-community violence which is in itself a ground for reparatory justice for those living today.
For further info about the 2018 Reparations March see here.
Greetings Supporters of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Following the 13th April 2018 news report on the front page of the Times Newspaper: ‘PM should apologise to ex-colonies says Labour’, it would appear as if the Labour Party is now taking steps towards listening to Afrikan voices for reparatory justice. It is only now since the passing of the late Bernie Grant MP that Labour is thinking of hearing Afrikan voices like his on our intergenerational struggle for reparatory justice.
Within 24 hours of the 11 April 2018 letter from Esther Stanford-Xosei being sent to Heidi Alexander MP and also made available to the office of the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, leader of the Labour Party, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, advocates in the House Magazine that Prime Minister Theresa May should use the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to apologise for the UK’s historic wrongs. Emily Thornberry also states that, if Labour form the next government in Britain, they will ensure that promoting and engaging with the Commonwealth is one of their top foreign policy priorities. In Esther Stanford-Xosei’s letter to Heidi Alexander she states:
“The fact that BREXIT is making it necessary for the UK Government to seek to strengthen its Commonwealth links in the aftermath of the BREXIT vote raises questions pertinent to Afrikan Reparatory Justice. Among such questions, for example, is the one about what type of relationship is Britain seeking to strengthen with Afrikan and Caribbean countries of the Commonwealth when the existing relationship is not only a product of the crimes of the past, but also fortifies present wrongs of the Maangamizi? So much is this the reality, that in the opinion of the constituencies of the ISMAR to which I belong, this relationship can only be transformed to ensure justice for all, by measures of reparations that will enable Afrikans and people of Afrikan heritage to equitably participate in re-ordering the war-begotten, unequal and unfair system of international relations that continues to be imposed, with manly Euro-American imperial might, upon the globe today.”
It would appear that Emily Thornberry is in her article also providing an answer to the above question that has been posed, in various arenas, by SMWeCGEC and some other formations of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) when she states:
“…we see our Commonwealth cousins [not] just as potential trading partners, but [because] we see them as full and equal partners in all of the challenges faced by the world and by each of our nations, from climate change and terrorism to the fight for gender equality.”
We in the SMWeCGEC are of the view that the above comment on behalf of the Labour Party demonstrates that they can be influenced to advance steps towards better listening to the case being made for holistic reparations by authentic Afrikan Heritage Community voices in and beyond the UK who are involved in building the ISMAR. However, this realisation should, under no circumstances. make campaigners for Afrikan reparations lower our guard about critically engaging with the Labour Party and the wider Labour Movement on what repairs ought to mean, so as to enable us make gains of true reparatory justice.
That is why we should be mindful and seek to ensure that the Labour Party is not made, by ‘BAME’ gate-keeping apparatchiks and other sections still clinging to its old ways of misusing the bureaucratic party machinery, to distort the legitimate measures of redress that oppressed communities influence it to address by revising them, sometimes even to the point of outright deformation; so that at the stages of policy-formulation and implementation, they become mere white-washing tokenistic gimmicks which tinker Afriphobically with vital concerns of particularly Afrikan Heritage Communities; thereby robbing us of the agency that is vitally necessary for us to do for ourselves the true reparatory justice we are seeking.
So let us keep knocking at the door of publicly elected officials as those seeking such offices will come knocking on our doors in the coming weeks soliciting our votes. We must ensure that we use our votes wisely to make candidates we may be inclined to vote for support our Afrikan Heritage Communities strategic interests and concerns; top-most on the agenda should be their support for Afrikan Reparatory Justice and their concrete action on the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard demands.
‘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)
This is a report-back of a meeting and series of correspondence between ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) Advocate Esther Stanford-Xosei and Heidi Alexander, Member of Parliament for Lewisham East.
Follow-up letter to Heidi Alexander dated 20th January 2018 requesting her to take action on the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard
On Friday 9th February 2018, Esther Stanford-Xosei went to see her MP Heidi Alexander regarding the demands in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard campaign
Upon visiting Heidi at my local surgery, she was asked to explain the purpose of my visit and what I wanted which gave me some opportunity to explain the holistic meaning of reparations and why it is relevant to the local community development and campaigning efforts of Afrikan heritage community groups organising in the borough of Lewisham and working on Maangamizi legacy issues. She explained that the simple notion of ‘pay us’ is not what holistic reparations are about (and tend to close off discussions) and rather the starting point in addressing reparations is to take action on instituting the APPCITARJ.
It was acknowledged that the most focus of elected officials would be looking at reparations policy-making in addressing to meeting community development needs in all areas of people activity where our people are working to address the impact of the Maangamizi by way of community self-repairs. Therefore, prioritisation should be given to hearing our perspectives on these issues and hearing from us about the impact of the Maangamizi locally, nationally and internationally and also finding out from Afrikan heritage communities what efforts we are taking to redress it ourselves, irrespective of government responsibility or action to do the same. This made sense to her in light of a similar approach which was initiated with former Home Office Minister for Race & Communities Fiona McTaggert, MP in 2004 by the Rendezvous of Victory (ROV) which Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu, leading members of the SMWeCGEC, were founder-members of, (see flier below ‘Commemorations 2004-7: Time to Resolve the Big Question of Reparations’ where a programme was launched acknowledging reparations from the approach I have highlighted above).
This approach is also in alignment with the approach we are encouraging in the SMWeCGEC and support organisations in relation to Afrikan heritage community self-repairs (Maatubuntujamaa /Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination – AHC-NSD building as a model of a community repairing itself, see ). It was agreed that this is seen as a more viable approach to addressing reparations which is most likely to get support from elected officials who will be concerned with redress via local and central government policy-making and is most likely to secure short-medium term reparations goals in terms of what is referred to as administrative reparations processes. Heidi Alexander acknowledged that no issue facing people of Afrikan heritage today whether it is Anti-Black racism and/or Afriphobia, school exclusions, gun and knife crime, gangs, racial profiling, homelessness, health challenges, unemployment etc. could be tackled without acknowledging the impact of the Maangamizi on Afrikan heritage communities. Esther Stanford-Xosei that it is Afrikan heritage community self-repairs initiatives which need to be better resourced and supported as at the community level, we as Afrikans also have the responsibility to be and become the change we wish to see.
Indeed, part of the repair is about Afrikan heritage communities developing our own community capacity and power-base as well as our own community rebuilding plan, which the SMWeCGEC recognise as ‘Pempamsie’ Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs planning (Pempamsie is the Adinkra symbol for sewing together in readiness -preparatory actions for reparatory justice. building our future out of our principled operational unity despite our diversity). This planning is something that was championed in the Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) plan which was developed in 2003 as a result of the BQJC legal challenge to the UK government on Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice and also contributed to the development of the SMWeCGEC.
Afrikan Community Self-Repairs are the self-determined efforts that need to be made in building our own power, in such a way, that Afrikan heritage communities are able to identify and enhance ongoing work towards stopping the contemporary manifestations of the Maangamizi, which are putting the individuals, families and other social groups that make up our communities into a state of disrepair; as well as reasoning and consciously carrying out the alternative solutions for glocally rebuilding our power base as communities, in such a way that that they are eventually transformed, in accordance with the principles and programmatic demands of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
Esther Stanford-Xosei was therefore able to put into the context the importance and practicalities of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) and the need for local data and hearings to assess the situation of people of Afrikan heritage locally. With the emphasis being on – recognise our people’s agency and self-determining community development initiatives which should be receiving greater support and resourcing. This includes initiatives in relation to implementation of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD).
The main points raised with Heidi Alexander were:
· Hear what Afrikan people are trying to do for themselves (Afrikan Heritage Community self-repairs) within and beyond the borough of Lewisham;
· The intergenerational work being done to address the Maangamizi on the part of Afrikan heritage communities which will be as aspect of the proposed hearings of the APPCITARJ and provide an opportunity to hear about work being done to address the Maangamizi which should be recognised, better supported and resourced. It is not about saying to officials come and do something about our situation which reinforces our people’s powerlessness and denies their agency whilst the state and local government has responsibilities to support our self-determined efforts as we know best what is working and what is not working for our people.
· Addressing the impact of the Maangamizi requires embarking on international conversations and actions galvanised by the IDPAD as even our communities own solutions are global and many activists involved in the SMWeCGEC work glocally. It follows that the UK government cannot adequately support Afrikan heritage communities locally or even regionally without recognising Afrikan people’s international legal personality as Afrikans who are connected to other people of Afrikan heritage within and beyond the UK which is part of our own re-empowerment process.
The three asks of Heidi Alexander were:
1. Heidi to support APPCITARJ Glocal Roundtables which are local hearings which hear Afrikan heritage community roundtables on the Maangamizi, efforts to address it and the IDPAD. It was suggested that in Lewisham we can use the model of the Peoples Commission of Inquiry on Saving Lewisham Hospital as a template.
2. Heidi to write to the related appropriate Minister in support of the main goals of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition.
3. Heidi to host or support, with other MPs, a meeting in Parliament on ‘The Academic Legitimacy for the Afrikan Reparations Case in British State Policy Making & Political Lobbying’ in association with the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR), where the SMWeCGEC in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee which facilitates the organisation of the annual 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and are engaged in UK reparations social movement-building actions which are contributing to knowledge-production through action-learning on reparations can be profiled. This is something which we are also encouraging other INOSAAR activists to do.
Heidi Alexander wanted to know what was unsatisfactory about the response from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition and its accompanying letter presented to the office of the UK Prime Minister Theresa May on 1st August 2017. She asked Esther Stanford-Xosei to email her to guide her follow-up enquiry to the relevant minister. Heidi Alexander stated that that she believed the issues Esther raised are very important for the Afrikan Heritage Community in Lewisham (46% so-called Black and other racialised and minoritized groups population of which about 32% is Afrikan heritage and local schools having 76% youth from Black and other racialised and minoritized groups !!!).
Regarding glocal APPCITARJ hearings and addressing the concerns locally, Heidi wanted to know what work is being done in other boroughs that Lewisham could learn from and she specifically asked which other MPs have expressed a willingness to support the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ postcard campaign objectives. She said that Esther should provide info about what is happening in other boroughs which was good practice that Lewisham could perhaps also pilot.
In relation to the meeting in Parliament, Heidi said that it was unlikely that she could host such a meeting as most of her parliamentary work is focused on Brexit and reforms of the NHS (which was an indication about how to also further present/frame aspects of the SMWeCGEC to gain local interest from MPs such as herself).
Heidi also stated that the local Labour Party ‘BAME representative’ is someone she wanted to connect me with as he would be very interested in the issues Esther raised.
Going forward, we in the SMWeCGEC cannot stress enough the importance of more of us making similar approaches to other MPs and elected officials.
ESTHER STANFORD-XOSEI LETTER TO HEIDI ALEXANDER REGARDING THE FCO RESPONSE setting out what is wrong with the response received from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to the 2017 ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition & its accompanying letter.
This link includes the response sent to Heidi Alexander MP further to receiving the above response from Lord Ahmad.
See here for the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard and template letter.
Check out this guidance on lobbying MPs and other elected officials.
Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)